FRESNO, CA – Mayor Ashley Swearengin today announced the selection of the next 10 Fresno neighborhoods of focus for Neighborhood Revitalization Teams as part of the City’s Restore Fresno initiative at a press conference held at Jane Addams Elementary School. Mayor Swearengin was joined by Fresno City Councilmembers Oliver Baines, Clint Olivier, and Esmeralda Soria, as well as Fresno Unified School District Superintendent Michael Hanson, representatives from the Fresno Housing Authority, and residents from El Dorado and Kirk neighborhoods.
In recent months the Mayor convened Fresno Unified School District’s Superintendent, Fresno Housing Authority’s CEO, the Police Chief, City Manager, and City staff for a collaborative discussion on Restore Fresno, and an effort to select the Neighborhood Revitalization Team’s next 10 neighborhoods of focus. After garnering input from each participant’s unique perspective, and determining that each neighborhood meets low-moderate income metrics, the following 10 school neighborhoods have been identified to begin the revitalization process: Hidalgo/Leavenworth, Webster, Slater, Columbia, King, Winchell, Van Pao, Addams, Williams, and Fort Miller.
“Our Neighborhood Revitalization Teams are the lifeblood for our renewal efforts because they work daily in the neighborhood with the people of the neighborhood to restore the neighborhood,” said Mayor Swearengin. “These next ten neighborhoods of focus will get the same attention and see the same successful results as we continue working with residents to build capacity in these impacted areas.”
The neighborhoods were selected with input from various partners utilizing criteria such as student achievement, police issues/resources, blight, low-moderate income, various community health indicators, proximity to existing revitalization efforts, and neighborhood assets. The Neighborhood Revitalization Teams plan to begin engaging the first neighborhood, Hidalgo/Leavenworth, in November 2016, with revitalization efforts fully under way by January, 2017.
It is anticipated that the City will fill six positions by December 2016, which will equip Community Revitalization with four Inspector Teams to accomplish the planned work in these next 10 neighborhoods, while continuing to sustain the progress made in the original five.
Restore Fresno is a compilation of initiatives to improve property values, living conditions, public safety and the overall quality of life in our older neighborhoods. The five current neighborhoods of focus have focused on engaging residents and building capacity in El Dorado, Jefferson, Kirk, Lowell, and Yokomi neighborhoods. In each of these neighborhoods, resident leadership has been cultivated, blight has been dramatically reduced, housing issues have been improved, and neighborhood leaders are working together with City staff to resolve intractable problems. Each neighborhood continues to receive the support of the Neighborhood Revitalization Teams, through regular code sweeps, and consistent resident contact each month.