Anthony, his mother and younger brother, lived in a barracks-model apartment off First Avenue. From within their residing place, you could listen to the hum of the 41 & 180 interchange.
Romain Park, the only “green space” in their southeast Fresno community, consisted of two basketball courts, a tiny playground and skatepark and a field of generally useless grass and weeds. None looked all that inviting. So when I advised a journey to Woodward Park for our initially Huge Brothers Massive Sisters outing, Anthony’s eyes acquired big.
Anthony was 11 when we satisfied and experienced lived in Fresno his full lifestyle. We rode our bikes together the bluff prior to dropping down to exactly where the Jensen River Ranch scrapes the San Joaquin River. Which is when he told me he had never ever been to Woodward Park ahead of. Nor experienced he ever been to the Sierra.
My jaw just about hit the dirt. To him, these normal environment a brief freeway generate from household might as effectively have been from a distinct world.
What’s develop into of Anthony, I cannot say. We misplaced contact years ago. But he’s who I instantly imagined of following absorbing Thursday’s decision by California’s Fifth District Court of Charm. Measure P, which we assumed had fallen small of the voter bulk it essential two several years back, was declared a winner.
If that wasn’t sufficient surprising good news for a person afternoon, along arrived a assertion co-authored by Fresno’s latest and long term mayors expressing the metropolis accepts the ruling and will not search for to attraction.
A double shock considering Lee Manufacturer and Jerry Dyer both actively campaigned towards Evaluate P, drawing the ire of myself and other people.
But now, all of a unexpected, all the things is hunky dory. Measure P passes, and we will not stand in the way.
Mayoral transform in tune
“We normally don’t comment on pending litigation, but today’s Fifth District Court docket of Enchantment Evaluate P ruling is distinct,” Manufacturer mentioned. “The metropolis of Fresno will abide by the court’s determination when it will become last.”
“It is time for us to arrive with each other as a community and aid the effects of Measure P,” Dyer added. “I glance ahead to operating with the Metropolis Council and group associates as we utilize these dollars to beautify our parks and trails and fulfill the requires of our youth for decades to occur.”
Perhaps both are nonetheless giddy from Wednesday’s information about Southwest Airlines. Or extra possible, just pragmatic politics. Manufacturer is at the finish of his operate. No need to have to keep up this fight. And Dyer’s in the rosiest place of all. His administration will get to commit the dollars elevated by the 3/8-cent citywide profits tax without the price of much, if any, political cash.
On one hand, Dyer receives to you should parks advocates that commonly oppose him on other matters. On the other, he can glimpse at the No on P group and shrug, “Nothing I can do. The decide gave his ruling.”
There are a lot of who emerge victorious. Topping the listing is Fresno Setting up Wholesome Communities and president/CEO Sanrda Celedon, the nonprofit that released the #Parks4All campaign in 2015 and sued the city around the Evaluate P vote in 2019.
With no Fresno BHC and Celedon, this grassroots motion never ever leaves the drawing board, enable alone crosses the complete line. In between Fresno BHC’s common park advancement attempts, its essential job in aiding the Fresno County Section of General public Overall health distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to very poor, rural communities and her own operate with the city’s police reform commission, Celedon is a soaring drive in community politics.
Tax cash trails, arts, litter elimination
But, definitely, there are so lots of winners. Fresno’s parks and inexperienced areas rank in close proximity to the base of each countrywide study for a explanation: They’re insufficient for a city of 545,000. Fresno requirements extra parks and to get superior treatment of the types it has. In common, the even more south you go, the a lot more obtrusive the need.
On a per-capita basis, Fresno spends fewer than 50 percent, or even considerably less than a 3rd, on parks compared to California towns of similar size. Evaluate P will enable shut that hole by investing dollars where by it’s most required, in accordance with the city’s parks learn plan.
And, recall, we’re not just speaking about parks. Evaluate P will aid fund going for walks and biking trails, arts and soon after-university programs as perfectly as litter removing from the city’s road medians and freeways.
All for about $3.25 for each thirty day period to the average Fresno family members — considerably less than the value of a latte.
No a person likes spending taxes, but at least these dollars aren’t being delivered somewhere else. The dollars stays appropriate in this article, with a fastened function. Likely reworking some of Fresno’s most significant deficiencies into a strength and source of satisfaction.
Seriously, nevertheless, the major beneficiaries are young children like Anthony who mature up inside a piecemeal grid of stoplights and strip malls that turn into their full earth. This is for them.