Meet Chief Deputy District Attorney Michael R. Jump…
“As part of Native American Heritage Month, I want to honor my great grandparents who were born and lived on the Cherokee Nation West reservation in Indian Territory in what is now Oklahoma. I am also a citizen of the Cherokee ...Nation. In addition, I am Scottish, Irish, Welsh and apparently a little indigenous central American among other things. I am also a product of the dustbowl with grandparents who moved from Oklahoma to California to work in the oil and agricultural fields as part of the mass “Grapes of Wrath” migration that Steinbeck wrote about.
I was born and raised in Santa Paula. My family lived on Limoneira Ranch. Our neighborhood was full of families with kids whose parents worked for the ranch. All of us ranch kids frequently rode away sunny days in packs on homemade bikes cobbled together from mismatched parts. We had little money and a lot of time to invent games, hike chaparral hillsides and generally figure out ways to entertain ourselves.
We also worked hard. The first job I ever had was as a thirteen-year-old, picking strawberries in Oxnard with my best buddy and neighbor. Subsequent teen summers were spent picking lemons, avocados and doing weed abatement around the ranch.
I credit working in the fields and orchards, along with hardworking, loving parents with guiding my brother and I to be the first generation in our family to graduate from college. I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and then went onto graduate and law school earning a Master of Science in Environmental Science and Juris Doctorate. After law school came other adventures working for the Bristol Bay Native Association along the Bering Sea coast for two years immersing myself in Yupik Eskimo village life.
Now I am a Chief Deputy District Attorney who develops and oversees programs that help victims. I am a product of many different cultural and racial influences in one fair skinned hazel eyed mix. I am proud of it all. I am proud of my Native American heritage. I am proud of the ranch culture that taught me about tolerance, diversity, friendship, and hard work. And I am proud of the work I did in court, holding people accountable as a trial prosecutor and of the work I do now helping victims and developing the Ventura County Family Justice Center in Ventura. Lastly, I am proud of and feel privileged to be working on a Family Justice Center for Oxnard to better serve farmworker, Mixtecan and Indigena victims.”
– Michael Jump, Chief Deputy District Attorney