Letters to the Editor – November 2017

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A group of community members at a TCC meeting at Westside Church of God. Candice Hill is standing in the front row, second from the right. Mary Curry is standing in the front row, third from the left. Photo courtesy of Candice Hill.

Clarification of TCC Success

By Candice Troutman

Attn.: Downtown, Chinatown and Southwest Fresno Residents

Re: Clarification on the success of TCC Proposal #5 and a Call for Celebration

As many have said, the Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) process has been and still is a historic time for our city. No three neighborhoods in California have successfully gone through an open process to decide on a $70 million “green” package the way downtown, Chinatown and southwest Fresno residents have.

Although there is much more heavy lifting ahead, as a young resident in southwest Fresno I urge our leaders to usher in an atmosphere of celebration. A celebration is not a break from production, but a time to formally recognize what so many have accomplished. With that said, before a historic moment can be celebrated, a proper record of what occurred must be provided.

This is the purpose of my letter as a southwest Fresno resident, a voting member within the TCC Steering Committee and primarily as one of the residents present at the Oct. 2 “SW Fresno Resident only” meeting. It was during that meeting from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. where Proposal #5 was shaped.

No one organization should attempt to claim credit for our community success with the TCC. Because we came together, we will now see investment in our neighborhoods. What was so miraculous about the outcome was that countless parts were moving from several organizations, individuals and between three sides of town that historically competed for funds.

Downtown, Chinatown and southwest Fresno came to an agreement in 48 hours! My vantage point can prove that before the 5 p.m. meeting took place on Oct. 4, our three neighborhoods already communicated in-person, by phone, by e-mail and through a lot of texting and was sold on Proposal #5.

For one organization to specifically claim “thanks to their efforts,” it gives the uninformed reader the impression that the success of the TCC came from one source and its partners.

As a resident who was born and raised in southwest Fresno, obtained my first job as a teen in west Fresno and my first livable wage job in west Fresno later as an adult, met my husband for the first time on the “Golden Westside” and as a current resident raising my family in southwest Fresno, I’ve waited too long to see this type of transformation take place to sit quiet as I witness an organization of great influence disproportionately claim the credit of this great TCC process. This violates the TCC spirit.

Honor is due to several, but no one can claim it all. Each organization and resident had a purpose. Many played a significant role. Some played a short, yet vital, role. Some had a long extensive role. Countless had to work behind the scenes. Let’s not forget that. It’s important that this is made clear in the beginning as it will affect how we celebrate.

Who said Chinatown and southwest Fresno can’t work together? Who said Downtown and southwest Fresno don’t care for each other? Who’d dare say that all three can’t talk to each other. We just erased that stigma on Oct. 4th.

Again, I know we have so much work to do. But pausing for a celebration will strengthen us to implement Proposal #5. I’d like for our leaders to know, especially in southwest Fresno, that it was an honor to be among the residents on Oct. 2 to put together Proposal #5. What occurred from that Monday to Wednesday was like a quench of my thirst for leadership, unity, understanding and the beginning stages of healing. To see all the pink-colored voting cards raised in the air on that voting night of Oct. 4—well, I never thought I’d witness that in my lifetime; but I did! We can’t lose that. We must hold to it.

If you have ideas of how we can celebrate this historic moment, please share that with your leaders. Let’s continue the dialogue. I want to talk to fellow southwest Fresno residents without influence from third parties that don’t live in our area (or Fresno). Then, I want to hear from Chinatown and downtown. As one leader in downtown texted, “It’s workable,” and as the owner of Central Fish said at one of the TCC meetings, “It’s time to move forward.” I’m ready.

Candice Troutman

“Proposal 5” SW Fresno Resident Group