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!
Council Vice President Esmeralda Soria
Councilmember Esmeralda Soria was elected to represent Council District 1 in the City of Fresno on November 4th of 2014 and sworn in on January 6th of 2015.
Esmeralda was born and raised in Tulare County by Mexican immigrant farmworkers. Education and always giving back to the community were two 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 decided to continue 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 California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation where she continued to work on issues impacting the Central Valley, including the City of Fresno. 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 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. In 2012, she was recognized for her vision, leadership and zealous advocacy for the community.
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. As District Director, Esmeralda built partnerships with community leaders to address unemployment rates in the Central Valley, workforce development, and education among others. She also worked with community leaders to ensure that Fresno received its fair share of public safety dollars to keep criminals off our street and ensure our neighborhoods are safer. Esmeralda also brought local government agencies together to fight against the elimination of redevelopment funds, which the City of Fresno relied on. 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 boards of Hands On Central California, Fresno Barrios Unidos and UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic Council. She has also taught at San Joaquin College of Law. In 2014, Esmeralda was named a 40 under 40 in the Central Valley by Business Street Online.
Today, she continues to serve the community as a Fresno EOC Commissioner and professor at Fresno City College.
Esmeralda believes we must work together to move the City of Fresno forward and make it a great place to raise our families. She is committed to work hard to make our city a safer and stronger community for everyone.
Chief of Staff
Terry Cox serves as Chief of Staff to Councilmember Esmeralda Soria, District 1. Terry oversees the day to day operations of District 1 and management of the staff. Her responsibilities include scheduling, overseeing the district budget, and meeting with key stakeholders, community leaders and various organizations of behalf of Councilmember Soria. Terry also assists and advises Councilmember Soria on city related issues. She has also previously served as Chief of Staff for 7 years to Councilmember Ronquillo and served on the Council budget committee.
Prior to joining the District 1 team, Terry was a contract employee for PG&E’s 70 mile Central Valley Power Connect Transmission Line Project, coordinating the outreach to the public and elected officials of Madera, Fresno and Kings County. Terry was also responsible for scheduling and organization of Community meetings held in eight cities within in the three Counties.
Terry also brings 8 years of budget and project management experience with the City of Fresno’s Redevelopment Agency now known as the Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency of the City of Fresno. As a Project Manager/Management Analyst III, Terry was responsible for analyzing and proposing an annual budget plan for Agency projects as well as assisting with the preparation and presentation of the budget. Her daily responsibilities included project management and proposal to the City Council multiple multi-million dollar public/private development and public works projects over the years.
Terry currently serves as President of the Central Unified Board of Trustees. She was elected to the office of Trustee in 2000. She was re-elected in 2004, 2008 and 2012. The district’s current student enrollment is over 15,000 students and employs over 1,400 support staff. The district boundaries cover 88 square miles and lies within District 1 boundaries.
In 2011, Terry was elected to the Fresno County Committee on School District Organization serving Fresno County. In January 2015, she was re-elected to serve until 2018. The county committee on school district organization has a major role in the review and approval of proposals to change school district organization in the county. Their recommendations and findings are provided to the Fresno County Office of Education and the State Board of Education.
Terry has served by appointment of the City of Fresno Council as a committee member on the West Area Citizens Committee (1995-2008) and the District 1 Citizens Implementation Committee (2008-2015). As a committee member she was advisory to the City Councilmember and City of Fresno Planning Commission on projects within the West Area and District 1.
Itzi Robles serves as a liaison between residents of District 1 and Councilmember Soria. She is focused on community outreach and engagement and constituent services.
Before coming on board, Itzi interned for the Education & Leadership Foundation a community benefit non-profit organization that strives to provide services to low-income families and students. Itzi assisted families in the Central Valley by providing immigration services in area of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Cases, Citizenship Applications and as an English tutor to migrant families in the rural areas of the Central Valley. Previously she interned for the FCOE Migrant Education Region IV office where she assisted the Program Specialist with special projects and assisted migrant families with finding resources available through the migrant office.
One of her passions is working with students to motivate them in obtaining higher education and spent her evenings as an After School Program teacher at Biola Elementary School and as a Martial Arts Taekwondo Instructor for the Fresno Black Belt Taekwondo Center.
Itzi also serves on the board of the Southeast Fresno Community Economic Development Association which works towards economic prosperity of Southeast Fresno and encourages the investment of resources to improve economic conditions for the benefit of all Fresno region residents.
Since the age of 16, Itzi has been engaged in her community by leading projects with the goal of improving the overall quality of life of her community.
Itzi Robles holds a B.A in Political Science and Legal Studies from California State University, Fresno and is currently working on an MBA with a concentration in Public Administration.
Clifford Williams is a service aid with our office and primarily works with constituent services. Clifford was a former Maddy Intern and volunteered over 150 hours prior to his current position. He is currently a senior at California State University, Fresno and majors in Political Science and Economics. Professionally, he intends to become a small business owner and pursue a career in electoral politics.
Daisy V. Benavidez
Boys and Girls Summer Jobs Intern
Daisy V. Benavidez is a summer intern for Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria in District 1. Having a passion for political-oriented skill learning, Daisy completed the internship program through Boys & Girls Club. Daisy currently studies at Fresno City College in aim for her PhD in both psychology and holistic medicine. She intends to set up her own practice in the future that combines Islamic and holistic medicine to better nurture her community.
Summer Professional Youth Internship 2017
Zoe Miller is a summer intern with District 1 and a junior at Edison High. She applied for the job to further explore the local politics that shape her city, and to be a part of change in her community. In the office, her responsibilities are primarily to assist Councilmember Soria and her staff with special projects. Zoe has lived in Fresno her whole life, and is passionate about the city and making it a better place. She is dedicated to pursuing a career that will give her the resources to better the Fresno communities that raised her.
Summer Professional Youth Internship 2017/Service Aid
Jorge Lopez is an intern with our office. He began as a Maddy Institute Intern during his sophomore year at CSU Fresno, and continues to work with us as he approaches his junior year. Jorge is majoring in political science and hopes to be an immigration attorney in the future.
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
Tower District Design Review Committee
- Get involved with the development and review of the Tower District design plans.
- Meets first and third Fridays of the month at 3:30PM in City Hall Room 3078.
- Accepting applications for current open positions.
- Staff: Lauren Filice, Planning and Development Dept. (559) 621-8070.
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, 5:30PM-7:30PM in City Hall Room 4017.
- 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 4:00PM in City Hall Room 3054
- Accepting applications for current open positions.
- Staff: Christopher Preciado, Development and Resource Management Dept. (559)621-8068.
Power the Tower
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.
How to Apply:
Return the following items –
- Complete the Councilmember Esmeralda Soria’s Council Internship Application.
- Provide proof of enrollment, including number of semester units completed and grade point average.
- Include a letter of interest.
- Submit 2 References (cannot be a relative).
Email: Terry.Cox@fresno.gov (application packet must be sent in PDF)
Mail: Attn: Terry Cox — 2600 Fresno Street, Fresno CA 93721
Code Violations (559) 621-8400
- Car Parked On Lawn
- InOp In Driveway (cob webs, flat tires, wrecked)
- InOp In Yard
- Car Over Unpaved Surface
- Boat Stored In Driveway
- Trailer Stored In Driveway
- Trailer Stored In Yard
- Boat Stored In Yard
- Tall Weeds, 6″ Tall
- Dry, Tall Weeds
- Vacant Unsecured House
- Trash In Yard
- Trash In Driveway
- Trash At Gutter
- Junk And Appliances In Driveway
- Junk And Appliances In Yard
- Canopy In Driveway
- Basketball Hoop On Sidewalk
- Parked Car On Sidewalk
- Trash And Junk In Alley
- Weeds, Dry, Tall In Alley
- Auto Repair On Property
- A Fence Taller Than 6 Feet Or Shorter Than 3 Feet
- Mobil Home In Driveway
- Mobil Home In Yard
- Yard Sale Signs on Trees, in Medians, or on Poles
Police Violations (559) 621-8000
- InOp Parked In Street (cob webs, flat tires, wrecked)
- Boat Stored In Street
- Trailer Stored In Street
- Basketball Hoop In Street
- Mobile Home Parked In Street W/Power Hooked Up
Public Works (559) 621-8650
- Sign Replacement/Repair
- Sidewalk, Curb, Gutter Repairs
- Tree Removal/Replacement And Trimming
- Street Lights
- Traffic Lights
- Standing Water
Community Sanitation Graffiti Reporting Form On-Line
- Graffiti Reporting (fences, trees, parks, building and signs)
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:
In The News
- May 2017 – Fresno High Beautification Project
- March 2017 – Women of the Year
- February 2017 – Know Your Rights Workshop
- December 2016 – Young Councilmember Program
- September 2016 – Latino Voter Registration Month
- September 2016 – Toy Drive
- November 17, 2015 – Saving the Trees on Van Ness Blvd.
- November 16, 2015 – Inspiration Park Opens to the Public
- August 27, 2015 – Councilmember Soria’s Community Garden Watering Exemption Passes Council 6-0
- June 8, 2015 – Money for Fresno parks comes under scrutiny
- June 6, 2015 – Fresno’s ‘River West:’ Big hopes, big money ride on its design
- June 4, 2015 – Council gives youth a voice at Fresno City Hall
- May 20, 2015 – New bus route from Fresno to Yosemite starts Saturday
- February 7, 2015 – Fresno firefighters give the public hands-on lessons
- January 20, 2015 – Slain Fresno girl’s mom remembers a happy-go-lucky child
- January 8, 2015 – Esmeralda Soria takes oath as Fresno council member
Press Releases/Media Advisories
- Councilmember Soria announces the introduction of two Ordinances to fight blight in Fresno’s Underserved Neighborhoods – December 10, 2015
- Councilmember Soria Requests $1.5 million in Funding to Plan and Build More Parks in Fresno – June 8, 2015
- Fresno Youth Commission – June 4, 2015
- Oath of Office – January 8, 2015
- Councilmember Soria to host City Hall Reception for Sister Cities delegation from Chateauroux, France – February 29, 2016
- Councilmember Soria Announces Completion of Family Friendly Upgrades to City Hall – January 7, 2016
- Councilmember Esmeralda Soria Honors U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera – October 29, 2015
- First 5 Grant for Family Friendly Upgrades to City Hall – August 11, 2015
- Women’s History Month Reception – March 25, 2015
- 1st Community Meeting – February 18, 2015
- Soria Press Conference – January 20, 2015