Written by The Business Journal Staff
Mayor Ashley Swearengin on Monday announced the selection of the next 10 Fresno “neighborhoods of focus” in the city’s ambitious Neighborhood Revitalization program aimed at fighting blight.
The effort, unveiled in front of a colorful mural at Jane Addams Elementary on West McKinley Avenue, is part of the City’s Restore Fresno plan, a compilation of initiatives designed by the Swearengin administration to improve property values, living conditions, public safety and the overall quality of life in the city’s older neighborhoods.
The newest neighborhoods of focus under the mayor’s plan are the Addams, Slater, Williams, Webster and Fort Miller neighborhoods in central Fresno; the Leavenworth, Hidalgo, Winchell and Vang Pao neighborhoods in southeast Fresno; and the Columbia and King school neighborhoods in southwest Fresno.
The five current neighborhoods of focus have centered on engaging residents and building capacity in the El Dorado, Jefferson, Kirk, Lowell, and Yokomi neighborhoods. In each of these neighborhoods, according to the mayor, resident leadership has been cultivated, blight has been dramatically reduced, housing issues have been improved and neighborhood leaders are working together with City staff to resolve intractable problems.
Each neighborhood also continues to receive the support of the Neighborhood Revitalization Teams through regular code sweeps and consistent resident contact each month.
In June, the Fresno City Council approved the mayor’s proposed budget, which included funding to add the staff needed to expand the Neighborhood Revitalization program. Since then, the mayor, City Manager Bruce Rudd, Fresno Unified School District Superintendent Michael Hanson, Fresno Housing Authority CEO Preston Prince, Police Chief Jerry Dyer, and City staff have been collaborating and assessing where additional NRT resources should be focused.
Hanson also attended Monday’s press conference along with Fresno City Councilmembers Oliver Baines, Clint Olivier and Esmeralda Soria.