Written by Annalisa Perea
Jan. 11 marked the first meeting of the new year for the Fresno City Council. I am deeply honored to have been elected as council president by my colleagues. As we embark on this new year, the Fresno City Council renews its commitment to addressing the pivotal issues that impact our neighborhoods, our city and the broader region.
Envision a three-legged stool with the heart of our community, the Fresno residents, at its center. The three legs symbolize our key priorities: public safety, housing initiatives and economic development. The resilience of these three pillars directly influences the quality of life in our beloved community.
Public safety remains a paramount concern, and our focus will persist in creating a city where every resident feels safe, welcome and supported. Collaborating with our police chief, we are dedicated to maintaining a robust and diverse police force that ensures the safety of residents and businesses alike. Strengthening community-based policing will be a top priority to foster a sense of unity and trust.
Housing initiatives are integral to the fabric of our community, and we are committed to implementing policies that diversify our housing stock. This includes a concerted effort to build more affordable housing, including rental units. Strategically updating our city zoning ordinances and streamlining our permitting processes will expedite home construction, increasing housing inventory and subsequently making rents more affordable.
Economic development serves as a vital tool to generate revenue for essential services such as roads, police and fire departments. Regrettably, the absence of a critical tax-sharing agreement with our county partners in recent years has hindered our ability to plan and construct necessary housing units and clean energy hubs. I am eager to collaborate with our county partners to establish a new, mutually beneficial tax-sharing agreement. Together, we can pave the way for more housing, clean manufacturing jobs and new tax revenue for Fresno.
In addition, it is imperative that we work collaboratively to address the issue of homelessness, particularly among those struggling with mental illness and substance addiction. Crafting a compassionate and thoughtful path to create a care court system in Fresno County is essential. Allowing a segment of our homeless population to languish on the streets is not dignified; it’s time for real solutions, and we are committed to following through with results.
As we navigate the challenges of 2024, I assure you of my commitment to working closely with my colleagues and Mayor Jerry Dyer. This year promises to be busy but positive for Fresno, and together we will remain steadfast in focusing on the issues that matter most to you and your family.
I encourage you to become involved and be proactive with our City. If you have an idea, or a solution, or just want to let us know what’s happening in your neighborhood, please share it with your representatives. Many times, the best ideas come from YOU! Positive change can be all around us…please join me in making this one of the best years that Fresno has ever experienced.
Feel free to call us at 559-621-8000 or 311.
Annalisa Perea, representative for District 1, is president of the Fresno City Council.