Mayor Swearengin Welcomes California’s First Lady to Fresno for WE Connect Event

Mayor Ashley Swearengin will join California’s First Lady, Maria Shriver,today at Manchester Center in Fresno for a popular “one stop” event designed to help low-income residents access resources to help them become more financially secure.

First Lady Maria Shriver will visit Fresno on behalf of the WE Connect program, a pioneering public/private partnership which provides assistance with programs such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Through EITC, working families earning less than $56,000 per year can obtain refunds of up to $4,800, even if they owe no tax.

Mayor Swearengin has made it a priority to encourage eligible residents to file for the EITC, since more than $26 million in refunds went unclaimed last year in Fresno alone.

First Lady Maria Shriver will tour WE Connect booths with Mayor Swearengin starting at 4:30 p.m. Following the tour, both will be available to the media. Other participants include Chris Schneider from Central California Legal Services, Laura Fennel from Intuit, and Claudia Page from the Helping Hands Center.

Free tax filing services will be available at today’s event, along with access to a variety of other programs including lifeline utility services, child care credits, and low- cost auto insurance. The event runs from 3 to 7 p.m.