City Council

District 1

Councilmember Esmeralda Soria

Esmeralda Soria Photo

Esmeralda Soria

I am honored to serve as your Councilmember and look forward to staying connected. I pride myself in being accessible and I am dedicated to addressing your concerns. District 1 includes Tower District, Fresno High, neighborhoods near Lions Park and west of Highway 99. Our district is diverse but many of the needs are the same. I am committed to finding strategies to ensure that our neighborhoods are safer, prioritize the repair of aging infrastructure, create job opportunities, help connect our neighborhoods through bike lanes and trails, and engage our youth. Please use our website as a resource. I invite you to attend any of the Thursday City Council meetings or visit my office at City Hall. My team is here to serve you!

District Map
Current Affairs

July 23, 2020 – NO COST COVID-19 Testing Tomorrow!

July 21, 2020 – Schedule Your NO COST COVID-19 Testing Now!

July 16, 2020 – NO COST COVID-19 TESTING!

July 14, 2020 – Cornelia Avenue Paving Project!

July 8, 2020 – Virtual Community Meeting Tonight!

July 6, 2020 – Join us for a virtual community meeting!

July 4, 2020 – Happy 4th of July!

July 3, 2020 – Give us your input on Palm Avenue Protected Bikeway!

July 2, 2020 – Do you need housing assistance due to COVID-19?

June 26, 2020 – Have you been counted?

June 21, 2020 – Happy Father’s Day

June 19, 2020 – Freedom Day!

June 18, 2020 – IMPORTANT Fresno City Council Actions!

June 17, 2020 – We want to hear from you!

June 15, 2020 – Tune in: Budget Hearings continue this week!

June 12, 2020 – LAST CHANCE TO APPLY!


June 8, 2020 – City of Fresno Budget Hearings Begin Tomorrow!

April 22, 2020 – Funding Approved for Blackstone & McKinley Railroad Separation Project!

April 17, 2020 – Street Maintenance Near You!

April 10, 2020 – Latest COVID-19 News!

April 9, 2020 – COVID-19 Medi-Cal Coverage for ALL!

April 9, 2020 – Protect All Workers!

April 7, 2020 – Was your business impacted by COVID-19?

April 1, 2020 – Have you been counted?

March 31, 2020 – Cesar Chavez Day

March 30, 2020 – COVID-19 Announcements & Resources!

March 20, 2020 – COVID-19 UPDATE: Governor Newsom Issues Mandatory Stay At Home Order

March 19, 2020 – COVID-19: Rent Deferral, Eviction Moratorium, and Foreclosures

March 18, 2020 – COVID-19 Update

March 16, 2020 – City of Fresno Declares State of Emergency

March 13, 2020 – COVID-19 District 1 Update

March 11, 2020 – Have you noticed the Highway Clean-Up?

March 6, 2020 – Exciting things are happening…

February 24, 2020 – REMINDER: Groundbreaking Ceremony

February 21, 2020 – Groundbreaking Ceremony

February 14, 2020 – Deadline Extension to Nominate a 2020 Woman of the Year

February 7 2020 – REMINDER: Nominate a 2020 Woman of the Year!

February 6, 2020 – Women’s Empowerment Summit in Fresno!

January 31, 2020 – Announcing the Tower District Beautification Plan

January 29, 2020 – Nominate a 2020 Woman of the Year!

January 24, 2020 – We have great news!


Councilmember Esmeralda Soria was elected to represent Council District 1 in the City of Fresno on November 4th of 2014 and was sworn-in for her second 4-year term on January 10, 2019. The City of Fresno has a population of over a half million people and Esmeralda represents over 72,000 residents in her district. She was the first Latina in the history of the City of Fresno to be elected as Council President and served her term proudly from January 2018 to January 2019.

Esmeralda was born and raised in Tulare County by Mexican immigrant farmworkers. Education and always giving back to the community were among the values both of her parents instilled in her.

After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, she was offered a fellowship in Sacramento at our State Capitol where she worked for two years on issues of public safety, education, and women’s health. Esmeralda then continued her education, earning her Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Davis. During her time in law school, Esmeralda was offered an internship at The White House and devoted countless hours to pro bono work in economically disadvantaged communities.

Esmeralda’s passion has always been to give back to the community that shaped who she is today. After law school, she became the Sustainable Rural Communities Project Director for the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation. Esmeralda’s advocacy work in front of city councils and county boards of supervisors provided her a key understanding of how local government works. She learned how to build coalitions and work together with the government to ensure working families were benefitting from their budgetary and policy decisions. She was instrumental in ensuring that our communities had equal access to Safe Routes to School Program (AB 561) and Unmet Needs Transportation funding.

Her continued commitment to public service brought her to work as District Director to Senator Michael J. Rubio and later as a Policy Advisor to Assemblymember Henry T. Perea. Esmeralda built partnerships with community leaders to address unemployment rates in the Central Valley, workforce development, and education among others. She has championed water quality and affordability issues and helped secure safe drinking water emergency funding for disadvantaged communities throughout the Central Valley.

Esmeralda has served on several non-profit boards such as Hands On Central California, Fresno Barrios Unidos, and UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic Council. She is a proud alumna of the HOPE Leadership Institute, graduating from the program in 2013.  In 2014, she was named a 40 under 40 Leader in the Central Valley by Business Street Online. In 2018, Esmeralda was one of sixty people throughout the world selected to attend Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, Executive Leadership Program.

Esmeralda is the only woman on the Fresno City Council and the second Latina to ever serve on the council. She is dedicated to providing robust constituent services to residents in her district and is focused on public safety, infrastructure needs, affordable housing, food sustainability, clean renewable energy projects, and issues relating to youth and working families. Esmeralda is committed to working hard to move the City of Fresno forward and make it a safer and stronger community for everyone.

In addition, Esmeralda is a professor at Fresno City College, teaching Judicial Reasoning and Latino Politics. She is the chair of the Housing Successor Agency and the Fresno Revitalization Corporation. She also serves on the board of the Fresno Joint Powers Financing Authority, California Latino Economic Institute and is a member of the League of California Cities serving on the Latino Caucus and the Transportation, Communication, and Public Works Policy Committee. She also served on the Fresno Regional Workforce Development Board & Executive Committee and the Fresno Area Workforce Investment Corporation Board. In 2018, she was appointed to serve on California Governor Gavin Newsom’s transition team, and most recently was appointed to serve on the Local Government Commission board.

Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency of the City of Fresno, Chair
Fresno Revitalization Corporation, Chair
CA Latino Economic Institute, Boardmember
Fresno Joint Powers Financing Authority, Boardmember *
Governor Gavin Newsom’s Homeless Taskforce
Local Government Commission, Boardmember

CA League of Cities
Annual Conference General Resolutions Committee, Boardmember
Latino Caucus, Boardmember

City Council Committees
Association for the Beautification of Highway 99
Budget Sub-Committee
Cannabis Ad Hoc Committee
CDBG Sub-Committee
Census/Redistricting Ad Hoc Committee
Code Enforcement Sub-Committee
COVID-19 Plan Committee
Fresno EIFD Public Financing Authority
Homeless (HEAP Funding Plan) Sub-Committee
Litigation Exposure Reduction Ad Hoc Committee
Parks & Public Safety Subcommittee
Special Events Ad Hoc Committee
Sub-Committee on Transportation

Sister City
Sister City Ambassador to Cheateauroux, France

Previous Boards Served
Access Plus Capital
City Council City & County Adhoc Committee
City Council iDEFER Committee
Fresno Area Workforce Investment Corporation Board*
Fresno Innovative Charter Schools, Dailey Elementary School
Fresno Regional Workforce Development Board Executive Committee*
Governor Gavin Newsom’s Transition Team
League of CA Cities, South San Joaquin Valley Division
League of CA Cities, Transportation, Communication, and Public Works Committee, Chair
RDA Transition Subcommittee

* Representing the City of Fresno

Terry Cox Photo

Terry Cox Chief of Staff

Terry Cox
Chief of Staff

Terry serves as Chief of Staff to Councilmember Esmeralda Soria, District 1.  Terry provides legislative support to the Councilmember, oversees the day to day operations and budget of District 1, handles Councilmember Soria’s calendar, and management of the district staff.

Itzi Robles

Itzi Robles
Council Assistant

Itzi serves as a Council Assistant to District 1.  Itzi oversees constituency services, social media, and communications for District 1.

Celida Garcia Lopez

Celida Garcia Lopez

Celida Garcia Lopez
Council Assistant

Celida Garcia Lopez assists with constituency services, community events and oversees Councilmember Soria’s Young Councilmember Program.

Jaskeet Raika

Jaskeet Raika

Jaskeet Raika
Council Aide

Jaskeet joined District 1 as an Intern and currently serves as a Council Aide assisting with constituent services, community events, social media, research, and special projects.

Jazmin Gallardo

Jazmin Gallardo

Jazmin Gallardo
Council Aide

Jazmin joined District 1 as a Kenneth L Maddy Institute Legislative Intern, she currently serves as a Council Aide assisting with constituent services, community events, social media, research, and special projects.

Contact us at:
(559) 621-7817

Events and Proclamations

Proclamations, Certificates, and Resolutions

Click photo for details



Click photo for details


Public Improvement Projects

Look for these upcoming Public Works improvement projects in District 1:

Maintaining and renewing infrastructure in our community supports neighborhood revitalization, economic development, public safety, sustainability and air quality. Councilmember Soria is happy to announce the following projects have been confirmed in District 1.

  • Shaw Avenue Street Overlay: Blythe to Brawley Avenue ($352,600)
  • Shields Avenue Street Overlay: Blackstone to Palm Avenue ($846,500)
  • Clinton Avenue Street Overlay: Blackstone to Maroa Avenue ($635,200)
  • Van Ness Blvd. Repaving: Clinton to Shields Ave. Northbound ($150,000)
  • Fairmont at Polk Ave: Neighborhood Street Reconstruction ($142,000)
  • Highway City: Polk Avenue from Shaw to Gettysburg Avenue Engineering Study ($126,000)
  • Cornelia and Ashlan Area: Tree Trimming ($30,000)
  • Normal Street: Echo to Wishon Concrete Repair ($40,000)

Total improvements $ 2,322,300

Get Involved With District 1

Tower District Design Review Committee

  • Get involved with the development and review of the Tower District design plans.
  • Meets 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month at 5:00 pm in City Hall Room 2165.
  • Accepting applications for current open positions.
  • Staff: Phillip Siegrist, Planner III (559) 621-8061

Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC)

  • Advise and recommend policies for the planning, development and maintenance of pedestrian and bikeway systems for safe and enjoyable travel.
  • Meets fourth Wednesday of the month, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm in City Hall Room 2165
  • Accepting applications for future open positions; no current vacancies.
  • Staff: Jill Gormley, Traffic Engineering Division (559) 621-8800.

Council District One Plan Implementation Committee

  • Evaluate and make recommendations on land use applications for new and additions to buildings, and/or land use proposals in the District.
  • Meets first and third Tuesday of the month at 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm in City Hall Room 2120
  • Accepting applications for current open positions.
  • Staff: Jose Valenzuela, Planner III (559) 621-8070
Boards and Commissions Application

Fresno City Council District 1 Internship Program
Councilmember Esmeralda Soria values education and believes that students bring new ideas, new energy and new skills to the workforce. Internships provide valuable work experience directly related to the student’s academic field of study. Participants will be given high-level work experience that may prepare them for permanent positions in the workforce.

  • Year-Round Intern: This position provides a year-round internship to a full-time student at an accredited high school, college, or university. Proof of enrollment must be submitted. This position requires 18-20 hours of work per week and includes a stipend pay. During a semester or vacation breaks, Council Interns can work more hours than they are normally scheduled to work if available.
  • Summer Intern: This position provides students an internship throughout the summer semester/vacation break. The minimum number of hours a Council Intern should be available to work is 18-20 hours per week.

How to Apply:
Return the following items –

  1. Complete the Councilmember Esmeralda Soria’s Council Internship Application.
  2. Provide proof of enrollment, including number of semester units completed and grade point average.
  3. Include a letter of interest.
  4. Submit 2 References (cannot be a relative).

Email: (application packet must be sent in PDF)

Mail: Attn: Terry Cox — 2600 Fresno Street, Fresno CA 93721

Code Violation Guide

Code Violations (559) 621-8400

  1. Car Parked On Lawn
  2. InOp In Driveway (cob webs, flat tires, wrecked)
  3. InOp In Yard
  4. Car Over Unpaved Surface
  5. Boat Stored In Driveway
  6. Trailer Stored In Driveway
  7. Trailer Stored In Yard
  8. Boat Stored In Yard
  9. Tall Weeds, 6″ Tall
  10. Dry, Tall Weeds
  11. Vacant Unsecured House
  12. Trash In Yard
  13. Trash In Driveway
  14. Trash At Gutter
  15. Junk And Appliances In Driveway
  16. Junk And Appliances In Yard
  17. Canopy In Driveway
  18. Basketball Hoop On Sidewalk
  19. Parked Car On Sidewalk
  20. Trash And Junk In Alley
  21. Weeds, Dry, Tall In Alley
  22. Auto Repair On Property
  23. A Fence Taller Than 6 Feet Or Shorter Than 3 Feet
  24. Mobil Home In Driveway
  25. Mobil Home In Yard
  26. Yard Sale Signs on Trees, in Medians, or on Poles

Report Code Violations with FresGo

FresGo - Report an Issue

Police Violations (559) 621-8000

  1. InOp Parked In Street (cob webs, flat tires, wrecked)
  2. Boat Stored In Street
  3. Trailer Stored In Street
  4. Basketball Hoop In Street
  5. Mobile Home Parked In Street W/Power Hooked Up

Public Works (559) 621-8650

  1. Sign Replacement/Repair
  2. Sidewalk, Curb, Gutter Repairs
  3. Tree Removal/Replacement And Trimming
  4. Street Lights
  5. Traffic Lights
  6. Standing Water

Community Sanitation Graffiti Reporting Form On-Line

  1. Graffiti Reporting (fences, trees, parks, building and signs)
Certificate, Proclamation, and Letter Requests

Our office welcomes the opportunity to recognize exceptional individuals and events throughout District One with an official proclamation or certificate of recognition. These documents may be issued in honor of civic events, to recognize achievements, or to commemorate important dates in the life of an individual or organization.

To make a request for a proclamation or certificate, please contact the District One office at least 30 days prior to issuance.

To request a letter of support please contact our office at least 2 weeks prior to the date of issuance.

We request the following information:

District 1 Cert/Proc/Letter Request
District 1 News


In The News





Press Releases/Media Advisories

Residential and Business Energy Program Resources

“Power the Tower” a partnership between Fresno City Councilmember Esmeralda Soria, California State University Fresno, City of Fresno and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has accumulated data and identify strategies to help Tower District business owners explore affordable, clean renewable energy technology. Our vision is to transform the Tower District into a leading business corridor powered by smart, connected, clean energy technologies and serve as a model for economic growth in Fresno and beyond.

View these three handouts to explore available no cost and low-cost resources that will help you become more energy efficient, start saving money on your energy bills, and help reduce pollution in our community! There is detailed information for both business owners and residents.

Energy Toolkit – General Information
Energy Toolkit – Residential Information
Energy Toolkit – Business Information

Fresno Youth Commission

Who We Are and What We Do

The purpose of the Youth Commission is to bring Fresno’s young people to the decision-making table on issues impactful to youth within the jurisdiction of the city. The Youth Commission will serve as a space where young people can work to create positive change in our community. Young people will have a voice in shaping and developing social, economic, recreational, and educational programs that serve youth.

The City of Fresno Youth Commission will be comprised of 16 individuals, eight voting members and eight alternate, non-voting members. Two members will be appointed from each of Fresno’s seven city council districts and two will be appointed at-large by the Mayor. Appointments are for a two-year term. Procedures are in place to ensure that the members of the Youth Commission are representative and inclusive of the rich diversity of the City of Fresno, including but not limited to:

  • Ethnically and culturally diverse youth
  • Youth with health disparities
  • Youth who are out of school
  • Youth who are unemployed
  • Youth who are homeless
  • Youth who are LGBTQIA

Youth Commissioners will be trained and supported by Youth Leadership Institute and the City of Fresno. Each year, Youth Commissioners benefit from youth leadership training and prioritize those issues that most impact youth and/or that have little or no youth input or representation.

City of Fresno Youth Commission Ordinance
City of Fresno Youth Commission Application

Online Service Request
District 1 Online Service Request

Requestor's Information

Location/Description of Problem

Contact Councilmember Esmeralda Soria's Office
Contact District 1