Happy New Year! It’s the start of the second session of the 117th Congress and I look forward to delivering more results for the Valley, including strengthening voting rights, and calling for an expansion of COVID-19 testing and vaccination. Here are the latest highlights:
Honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Yesterday, we celebrated a true champion of equality, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was an American hero who fought for equality and justice. I was proud to march with Fresno leaders and community members to honor the life and legacy of Dr. King. Despite the progress made since the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, we have more work to do.
To honor his legacy, it’s critical that the Senate pass the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act. This legislation would expand opportunities to vote, combat voter suppression, and promote election security. It’s the right thing to do in safeguarding our right to vote, which is the foundation of our democracy.
Remembering January 6 and vowing to never let it happen again
January 6, 2021, was one of the darkest days in modern American history. To think that our nation would witness the violent trespassing into our nation’s capital and attempt to overturn a free and fair election was a violation of law and spirit of what our constitution stands for, guaranteeing a peaceful transfer of the presidency.
Congress is gathering the facts of that fateful day through the January 6 Committee to get the true facts on how this happened. I will do all I can to ensure our Democracy withstands the test of time and that every American’s vote is counted and respected.
Prioritizing the expansion of COVID-19 Testing
Our nation has seen a surge in coronavirus cases, and Americans are struggling to access COVID-19 PCR tests. I am calling on the Biden administration to prioritize improving our testing systems to ensure Americans don’t have to wait long hours or pay a single dime for same-day results.
Exploring new technologies for Rural America
As a senior member of the House Agriculture Committee, I participated in a hearing on the implications of electric vehicle (EV) investments for agriculture and rural America. This was an opportunity to examine the possible obstacles to electric vehicle (EV) adoption in rural America and its impact on our food supply chain.
I was proud to support the bipartisan infrastructure law, which invests $384 million in a network of EV charging stations across California to accelerate the adoption of EV’s to improve air quality and support domestic manufacturing jobs.
Re-engaging the U.S. on the global stage
Rising aggression by Russia on the Ukrainian-Russian border undermines international law and threatens the security of Ukraine. President Biden has made it clear that the U.S. and our NATO allies will respond decisively, should Russia invade Ukraine.
Some of my colleagues and I paid tribute to football coach and broadcasting legend John Madden on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. As a representative of a district that includes many Raider Nation fans, it was my honor to celebrate Madden’s remarkable life, not just as a legendary football coach, but as a role model who impacted the lives of many Americans across the country.
Help with a federal agency
Whether it’s the U.S. Passport office, IRS, or Social Security, residents of the 16th Congressional District of California can call or email my office for assistance in dealing with federal agencies. Learn more about seeking help with a federal agency.
As we move forward, remember that my staff and I are here to help. If my office can assist you, please contact us.
CALL TO ACTION FOR OUR UNHOUSED at FRESNO CITY COUNCIL THURSDAY! Important!!! Please share. We need people to speak up/ write in about several Fresno City Council items of great concern and oppose items 1-D and 1-FF:
1. There is a proposed change in ordinance (Item 1-FF) concerning “illegal occupancy” on private property that would allow for property owners to face expensive fines and clean up costs for allowing those who are homeless to be on their property. This could include safe camps and such. See more info and main points below. 2. There is a proposed change in ordinance, item 1-D, to prohibit people from being in an abatement area that that is intentionally being added to prohibit Homeless advocates from helping people during a sweep or clean up. Advocates have been crucial for helping with the rights of the unhoused and assisting them through the process of an abatement, including communicating and ensuring their needs are attended. This ordinance will hurt them. If advocates cannot be there to assist our street family, they may deal with civil rights violations without protection. It could also be used to remove those who are homeless from any abatement area. See more below
The new text in this ordinance includes “illegal occupancy.” This means that private property owners could be fined for allowing people to live on their property. The second fine is $1,000 and the third fine is $3,000, plus abatement costs.
This will affect safe camps and other arrangements in which people are allowed on a property that could be deemed illegal.
This could very much harm homeowners kind enough to allow people on their property
Dez shared that one homeowner was charged so much for fines and other costs that she had to just sell her property.
This will push people with lots to remove people living on there.
This will give the city more latitude to go after people who are camping on lots. It is also a work around to do encampment sweeps.
#2: 1-D Ordinance (for introduction) – Amending Administrative Abatement, FMC section 10-616, to clarify limits on access to restricted areas where abatements are taking place. This is an introduction, so action to approve will likely be the next meeting, but you can still speak up.http://fresno.legistar.com/gateway.aspx?m=l&id=/matter.aspx?key=13613
Basically, the city can cordoned off an area for abatement in which no one is allowed without permission. This could include cleaning/clearing encampment
Those who violate this could be charged with a misdemeanor and fined $250
An Advocate heard from H Spees that this is to restrict advocates, as a result of a code enforcement officer being physical towards an advocate.
This could be applied to advocates helping homeless in abatement efforts, and used to keep them away from accessing them. Advocates help the homeless feel like they have some power and also to know their rights and be able to stand up for it.
It would also affect those who are homeless, in which they can be threatened with a misdemeanor and fine if they don’t move from an abatement area
We don’t need our homeless to deal will have more useless charges on their record to hinder their lives.
There is also the “slippery slope” and potential issues with this ordinance? I.E.: what if a child runs into a blighted house or abatement area and a parent runs into the area? Technically, that person. could be charged. The people on duty would have discretion, and the privilege would likely not face charges, but it leaves too much open.
This is a civil and first amendment rights issue that needs to be resisted.
We would like any attorneys to look into this and speak up.
3. There is also 1-Q, which is various funding allocation from CARES Act. Our concern is that all facilities follow COVID protocols. The Village of Hope Cabins have been housing 3-4 people with bunks, which don’t allow for social distancing. The city has to ensure that there is proper COVID protocols at all shelters. (Spees denied that there were 3 people in a cabin, despite photographic evidence)
Also, please note that they will also have: 3.-B. ID 22-106: Summary of 2021 Homeless Services Investments This is information, so public comment time won’t be included
I hope everyone had a great holiday season and is starting the new year with a positive outlook. We have great news coming to our district and I look forward to your feedback and participation in the upcoming meetings. Unfortunately, we did not leave COVID-19 behind us; therefore, you will find testing and vaccination site locations below.
Espero que todos hayan tenido una gran temporada navideña y estén comenzando el nuevo año con una perspectiva positiva. Tenemos excelentes noticias para nuestro distrito y espero sus comentarios y participación en las próximas reuniones. Desafortunadamente, no dejamos atrás el COVID-19, por lo que he compartido sitios que puede visitar para hacerse pruebas y vacunas.
FRESNO CITY COUNCIL MEETING
Join us for tomorrow’s City Council Meeting at 9:00 a.m.
Some agenda items for tomorrow’s meeting include:
1Q – Emergency Solution Grant provided by the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Community Development (HUD CPD). Actions pertaining to:
-Housing Authority City of Fresno
-Marjaree Mason Center
-Ambassador Inn and Villa Motel Operations
-UCSF Covid-19 Vaccination and Testing Events 1U – New South Tower Park, Ted C. Wills Soccer Fields, San Pablo Park 1V – Regional Fire Training Center 1W – Final Map of Tract No. 6187: Self-Help Enterprises, Inc. to construct 22 single-family homes on the Northwest corner of E. Annadale Ave. and S. Ivy Ave. 1Z – Resolution of Intention to vacate a portion of Stanislaus St. and L St. adjacent to Block 89 of the City, and a portion of an alley in Block 89 of the City for a proposed multi-family and retail project on a vacant site. 1AA – Annual Tree Trimmings 1FF – Ordinance (for introduction) – Amending Unlawful Dumping FMC section 10-611
WHO: Fresno City Council WHERE: City Hall and Zoom WHEN: Thursday, January 13 at 9 a.m.
PARK AT MLK MAGNET CORE
We need your input for the design of the Park at MLK Magnet Core coming to Southwest Fresno!
Join our office for a virtual community meeting on the 19th of January to help launch the planning and design process.
*Spanish and Hmong interpretation will be provided.*
WHO: District 3, Transform Fresno, & Studio-MLA WHERE: Zoom WHEN: Wednesday, January 19 at 6 p.m.
MARTIN LUTHER KING CELEBRATORY EVENTS
Friday, January 14, 2022 – Opening Garlanding Ceremony, 11:45 A.M. – 12:45 P.M.
Location: Fresno County Courthouse Park (at MLK Memorial Bust, on the west side of park facing Van Ness) 1100 Van Ness Avenue Fresno, CA. 93724.
Saturday, January 15, 2022– M.L.K. Candlelight Peace Vigil, 6:00 P.M. Location: Fresno City Hall Breezeway, 2600 Fresno Street Fresno, CA. 93721 Virtual: Fresno Martin Luther King Unity Committee Facebook Page and City of Fresno Facebook Page and on Zoom (ID: 870 4811 5825) Candles will be provided.
Monday, January 17, 2022 – M.L.K. Community March, 9:15 A.M. – 10:45 A.M. Location: St. John Cathedral, 2814 Mariposa Avenue Fresno, CA. 93721. Virtual: Fresno Martin Luther King Unity Committee Facebook Page and City of Fresno Facebook Page and on Zoom (ID: 870 4811 5825) Marchers assemble at 9:30 A.M. March begins at 10:00 A.M., stops at City Hall then proceeds to Veterans Memorial Auditorium (2425 Fresno Street) where the program will conclude.
As part of part Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day of Service, we have partnered with Beautify Fresno for 2 Beautify Fresno events on January 17th! We will be cleaning up Downtown Fresno and the Clinton/Marks area.
Join us with your friends, family, or group by registering at BeautifyFresno.org
Como parte del Día de Servicio del Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., nos hemos asociado con Beautify Fresno para 2 eventos de Beautify Fresno el 17 de enero. Limpiaremos el centro de Fresno y el área de Clinton y Marks. Trae a sus amigos, familiares o grupo para ayudarnos en mejorar nuestro distrito! Registrese en BeautifyFresno.org
MEASURE P SURVEY
Complete the survey to help plan and allocate Measure P funds for the years ahead! Your participation and feedback are extremely important in this process.
Measure P funds are used to:
Improve & maintain safe, clean neighborhood parks & playgrounds. New neighborhood parks; senior & youth recreation facilities. Youth & senior recreation programs; after-school programs; & job training for youth & veterans. Expanded access to arts & culture. Safe walking & biking trails; street beautification & litter removal; & the San Joaquin river parkway. Program implementation, planning & plan updates, program & project innovation, & audit & oversight support.
The City Administration has introduced a Text Amendment: Neighborhood Industrial Overlay for public review. The overlay proposal aims to preserve existing uses for parcels currently zoned mixed-use, but where the use and zoning are not aligned. The text amendment will be heard by all Council District Project Review Committees and the Planning Commission before coming to City Council.
We have requested that the District 3 Committee meeting be heard after the holidays to ensure our residents are able to engage in the discussion. District 3’s Committee meeting will meet virtually on January 25th at 5:30 p.m.
Zoom Link will be available on Friday, January 14, 2022. A separate email will be sent as soon as link becomes available.
PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
BUSSETO FOODS NEW CAMPUS
The developer-led neighborhood meeting will be held to introduce their project, Busseto Foods New Campus, at the proposed location, 2325 S. West Avenue / 995 W. Church Avenue.
This meeting will be held to introduce the project to neighbors and to answer any questions. For additional information regarding this project, contact:
With this investment, we are calling on our community partners to collaborate with the City to ensure Fresno fully recovers from the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic.
Community-Based Organization proposals will be accepted through January 31, 2022.
FRESNO ARTS COUNCIL
The Fresno Arts Council and the City of Fresno are looking for a Consultant to help us develop the Cultural Arts Plan! Under Measure P, the plan will be a community-wide public participation process that will define priority outcomes and investments for the future of Fresno arts and cultural programs. Please spread the word!
Extended Deadline! Tuesday, February 7, 2022, by 2:00 p.m.
West Fresno Family Resource Center Fresno Covid-19 Equity Project UCSF Fresno
COVID-19 vaccinations are being provided at the Mary Ella Brown Center every 1st & 3rd Thursday of the month. Whether it will be your first or second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, or your single dose of the J&J Janssen vaccine, staff from UCSF will be able to answer any questions you may have about the COVID-19 vaccines.
Please keep in mind that the Pfizer vaccine is available for ages 5+ and J&J Janssen for ages 18+. Get your booster shot if six months have passed since getting your second Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or at least two months if you got Johnson & Johnson.
Address: 1350 E Annandale Ave Fresno Date: every 1st & 3rd Thursday Time: 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
African American Coalition Fresno Covid-19 Equity Project (by appointment)
1025 Fulton Street
Call the Vaccine Support Line: (559) 312-8044
1221 Fulton Street
Call: (559) 600-3550
Fresno County Dep. of Public Health
California homeowners can now get mortgage relief through a $1 billion program. If you are falling behind on mortgage payments and have experienced financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you might be eligible for assistance.
Los propietarios de viviendas de California ahora pueden obtener alivio hipotecario a través de un programa de $1 mil millones. Si se está atrasando en los pagos de la hipoteca y ha experimentado dificultades financieras debido a la pandemia de COVID-19, es posible que sea elegible para recibir asistencia. El cuestionario está disponible en varios idiomas.
As a reminder, City of Fresno residents are encouraged to apply for assistance if they are unable to pay the full amount of rent and utilities since April 1, 2020. Eligible renters can receive up to three months of prospective rent. There are 6 Community-Benefit Organizations (CBOs) that will process the applications.
Como recordatorio, los residentes de la Ciudad de Fresno pueden presentar su solicitud si estan atrasados con la renta o con los pagos de servicios publicos desde el 1 de Abril 2020. Inquilinos elegibles pueden recibir hasta tres meses de pago adelantado de alquiler. Hay 6 organizaciones de beneficio comunitario que procesaran las solicitudes.
Contact an organization below to get started: Comuníquese con una de las organizaciones siguientes:
Reading and Beyond: 559-214-0317 The Fresno Center: 559-898-2565 Centro la Familia: 559-237-2961 Jakara Movement: 559-549-4088 West Fresno Family Resource Center: 559-621-2967 Education and Leadership Foundation: 559-291-5428
We are here for you. Estamos Aquí Para Usted.
Our staff remains readily available through COVID-19.