Theresa Sears is Involvement Editor for Voice of OC and works with active residents throughout Orange County helping to lift their voices by facilitating the publication of daily Op-eds from a broad array of perspectives.
Theresa also handles office administration and works to help organize Voice of OC civic training programs and policy events.
With an intimate knowledge of Orange County civic issues, Theresa has worked as an active grassroots community leader on a host of public land use and regional public-benefit issues across the region for the past three decades.
As a solutions oriented activist, she has taken a leadership role in grass roots efforts supporting the public’s right to know and petition their government, community engagement, legal remedies and direct democracy.
Her efforts have preserved Orange County’s fairgrounds, Barham Ranch which is now part of Santiago Oak Regional Park, as well critical open space in East Orange. She’s also led efforts to protect Orange County’s regional park system as a leader with the Friends of Harbors, Beaches and Parks
Languages spoken: English and some Spanish
Areas of expertise: Community organizing, direct democracy, open government – public oversight, land use, civic engagement and protecting public assets.
The City of Costa Mesa won a complete and resounding victory in federal court on Friday Dec. 7 as a jury unanimously agreed the city’s sober living ordinance is not discriminatory and does not violate the Fair Housing Act and dismissed a lawsuit filed by Yellowstone Women’s First Step House, Inc. and two other entities against the City.
Mohammed Aly, a local resident and executive director of the Orange County Poverty Alleviation Coalition, writes that doing nothing about homelessness is no longer an option. Given the progress of a federal lawsuit on homelessness in Orange County, Aly argues that cities like Tustin, which tonight will consider approving for construction 54 affordable rental units and 60 permanent supportive affordable rental units, can no longer refuse to provide housing opportunities for low income people.
Paul Naudé, President of Surf Industry Manufacturers Association Environmental Fund, writes about the importance of protecting the beaches that power Orange County’s economy and recent state legislation seeking to block new onshore oil infrastructure.
After repeated requests from community members, the Orange County Supervisors will host a legally-required public forum to provide details of the county’s collaboration with federal immigration enforcement agencies. The OC Sheriffs and Supervisors have been called out for siding with President Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda, and against the county’s own immigrant residents.
On Tuesday November 27th, the Orange County Needle Exchange Program (OCNEP) was informed that the county’s request for an injunction to halt our operations was preliminarily granted. We are extremely disappointed with the court’s decision and wholeheartedly disagree with it. We are working closely with our legal team to determine the most effective course of action moving forward.
The Superior Court for the County of San Diego has issued a preliminary injunction against the Orange County Needle Exchange Program and the California Department of Public Health to effectively stop those agencies from operating a mobile needle exchange program in Costa Mesa and other cities in the county.
Fr. Dennis Kriz pastor of St. Philip Benizi Catholic Church in Fullerton writes that if we are all truly “our brothers’ keepers” we must be creative in creating real jobs for the homeless and property tax deductions for those living near shelter facilities.
Gregory Scott CEO of Community Action Partnership is alarmed by homelessness and leaving seniors, children and families on the street who don’t know where their next meal is coming or have a place to go. The Hope for the Holidays campaign helps to address some of these issues.
Believing that hope is a gift that never goes out of style, KidWorks, a Santa Ana-based nonprofit that provides academic, spiritual and leadership programs for underserved children and teens, has set a goal of collecting more than 1,500 Christmas presents for parents to give to their young family members.
While many communities throughout the state are courageously fighting wildfires saving both habitat lands and homes, locally we are reminded that the horrors of the Freeway Complex Fire ravaged our region just 10 years ago. The Freeway Complex Fire damaged or destroyed 280+ homes and burned 30,000+ acres across four counties.