Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) introduced legislation to designate the U.S. Post Office located at 1961 North C Street in Oxnard, California as the “John R. Hatcher III Post Office Building.” A lifelong resident of Oxnard, John R. Hatcher III was a prominent community leader and staunch civil rights champion.
“John was a pillar of our community. It was his passion for social justice and civil rights that guided him. He was an outspoken and fierce advocate of our community, which he loved so much,” said Congresswoman Julia Brownley. “He was instrumental in establishing and founding many of the organizations that, to this day, support, encourage, and empower the Black American community throughout Ventura County.
“As the proud representative of Ventura County, it is my hope that the designation of this post office building will honor John R. Hatcher III, his work, and his legacy.”
“We are truly honored for this incredible tribute. My husband, John, would be so proud to know that his work did not go unnoticed. As many know, my husband fought to eliminate racial injustices and systematic inequalities. He defended the rights of all people who suffered from the unequal and unilateral hands of justice and the biases of unfair policies and practices in employment. He sought to find a fair, equal, and equitable process. He believed in the righteousness of our democracy and in the power of the people he served. He made sacrifices and committed his life to make a difference,” said JoAnne E. Hatcher, John R. Hatcher III’s widow, and family in a statement. “We are truly humbled by this, and we want to personally thank Congresswoman Julia Brownley for introducing this bill. And to all the members of the California Congressional Delegation who cosponsored this legislation, we sincerely thank you.”
The son of a civil rights leader in Birmingham, AL during the Jim Crow era, John R. Hatcher III followed in his father’s footsteps and spent his life fighting for equality. Hatcher was a member of the NAACP for more than 60 years, nearly four decades of which he served as president of the Ventura County Chapter, in addition to eight years as the NAACP Southern Area president covering six states.
Hatcher was a veteran of the United States Air Force, serving more than 22 years before working as a civil servant for the Department of the Navy. A recipient of the African-American Achievement Award at California State University, Channel Islands, Hatcher aided in the establishment of the Ventura County African-American Chamber of Commerce, Tri-County Sentry newspaper, and naming the Thurgood Marshall School in the Oxnard School District.
The bill is supported by John R. Hatcher III’s family and the Ventura County Chapter of the NAACP.