Central Valley Briefs

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LOUD for Tomorrow

LOUD for Tomorrow (LFT) is a grassroots youth-led organization based in Kern County, which accounts for 66% of the registered voters in Congressional District 22—the seat currently held by Rep. David Valadao (R–Hanford). Founded in 2018, LFT’s mission is to build youth power to transform local schools and communities through civic engagement, advocacy and healing justice. LFT is also focused on changing the entire power structure in the Central Valley.

Focusing on youth ages 16–25, LFT organizes young people to register peers and win campaigns for a brighter tomorrow. LFT engages in phone banking, texting, canvassing and voter activation events focusing on first-time voters and low-propensity Latinx voters.

LFT’s 2024 goals are to register 3,500+ young voters, run three voter education campaigns, contact 35,000 voters in Tulare and Kern counties, recruit and train 45+ paid and volunteer voter organizers, mail 35,000 voter guides to priority voter blocks and organize 10+ community events to build trust and relationships with voters.

Learn more at loudfor.org.

Central Valley Matters Fundraiser

Central Valley Matters was formed in 2021 after volunteer canvassers realized work needed to be done year-round in Congressional District 22. Its April 25 fundraiser features a conversation with Jane Fonda and Dolores Huerta on “Why Does the Central Valley Matter?”

“As we watch our democracy on the edge of the precipice, we are acutely aware that success lies in the margin of effort.” The non-stop attack ads in CD 22 were so bad in 2022 that canvassers found many residents didn’t even know the difference between a Democrat and a Republican. Many thought all politicians were bad so they didn’t want to spend time learning how, when and where to vote. This form of voter suppression needs to be counteracted one conversation at a time. 

Huerta continues to work tirelessly: developing leaders and advocating for the working poor, women and children. As founder and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, she speaks about issues of social justice and public policy.

Fonda is an American actress and activist who currently works to promote climate action. A film icon, she has received various accolades, including two Academy Awards, two British Academy Film Arts Awards and seven Golden Globes.

The fundraiser will be on April 25 at 5 p.m. via Zoom. Register at mobilize.us/swingleft/event/607149/.

Climate Adaptation and Environmental Justice

The City of Fresno is currently working on a citywide Climate Adaptation Plan & Environmental Justice Element. This element of the General Plan will create standards and programs to reduce environmental health risks and pollution exposure that have occurred over time to historically disadvantaged communities.

A Climate Adaptation Plan helps prepare places for projected hazards resulting from climate change by assessing risks associated with droughts, extreme temperatures, fires, floods and air pollution. From this information, long-term goals will be developed and incorporated into the Fresno General Plan.

An Environmental Justice Element creates standards and programs to reduce environmental health risks and pollution exposure that have occurred over time to historically disadvantaged communities.

Provide your feedback by taking the survey at tinyurl.com/CAP-EJ-Survey (English) or tinyurl.com/CAP-EJ-Spanish (Español).

Affordable Housing Lending

More than half a million people experienced homelessness in the United States in 2022. California, Oregon and Washington have some of the highest levels of housing insecurity in the nation.

Beneficial State Bank attempts to combat financial insecurity and the housing crisis through affordable housing lending. The bank had more than $337 million in outstanding commercial loans to the affordable housing sector at the end of 2022, accounting for 39% of its commercial loan portfolio.

Beneficial State Bank believes that safe, affordable housing is a basic human right—something that everyone deserves. “We think it’s worth fighting for until everyone in our community has it.”

The Beneficial State Bank vision is of an economy that restores our planet ​and extends prosperity to all.​

“We practice Beneficial Banking™, ​in harmony with nature, ​to help more people and help people more.

“Together, we hold the power to create a new banking system that is environmentally regenerative and equitable for all.”

Valley Air Urban Greening Project

In the spring of 2023, the Valley Air District awarded Tree Fresno $1 million to implement an urban greening project throughout south-central Fresno. The Valley Air Urban Greening Project is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities.

The project will fund 1,200 5-gallon trees for residents living in the AB 617 boundary of south-central Fresno. In addition to residential trees, 500 community 15-gallon trees will be planted.

For more information, click on “Adopt a Tree” at treefresno.org/ or contact julio.lopez@ccejn.org.

Federal Funding for Shaw Avenue Repairs 

The City of Fresno has received $1.78 million in federal funds, along with $2.67 million in previous grants, to transform Shaw Avenue. This project will revamp a six-mile stretch of Shaw Avenue from Highway 99 to Blackstone Avenue.

Here’s the plan:

  • The “pothole blitz” is under way
  • Hot patching across the six-mile stretch
  • Crack sealing on schedule, covering 36 lane miles

Both hot and cold patch methods will be used for Shaw Avenue repairs, ensuring swift action.

Potholes signal pavement issues caused by rain, overloading or lack of maintenance. With more than 1,850 miles of roads in Fresno, the City is tackling the challenge head-on:

  • Since 2023, 83 potholes were reported for Shaw Avenue
  • 400–500 tons of cold mix annually
  • New hot mix crew for 2,000 tons per year citywide

Report potholes via 311.

Author

  • Community Alliance

    The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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