Friday , May 24 2024

Protest over parks in Fresno

Controversy over an advertisement about parks in Fresno.

A group called Building Healthy Communities contends there is more park space in wealthy areas of Fresno than there is in low income areas.

They say parks impact the health of people who live in those neighborhoods.

The group wanted to place an ad on city Fresno Area Express buses to urge the city to build more parks south of Shaw Avenue. But the city refused to allow the ad on buses.

The city of Fresno says the advertisement is political. And political ads are not allowed on the side of city buses.

But those who wanted to place the ad call this censorship.

"Parks for all, no censorship," demonstrators chanted in Central Fresno. Close to 70 people gathered at Romain Park to protest a decision by the city of Fresno, which will not allow this advertisement on city buses.

"They have blocked Fresno BHS from placing this sign on city buses because it’s too political, it’s too controversial," said Sandra Celedon-Castro with Building Healthy Communities.

The group tried to take out the advertisement to get Fresno to build more parks in low income areas. Their billboard compares the number of parks in two different zip codes: 93720 in northeast Fresno, which includes Woodward Park. And 93706 in southwest Fresno.

‘One acre for a thousand people are expected to play on one acre if you live in south Fresno," Celedon-Castro said.

The city of Fresno says it’s not trying to squash free speech.
Mayor Ashley Swearengin released a statement saying quote:
"Local rules prohibit any political speech from being included in city bus ads. So unless those local rules are changed, we can’t run these ads."

The mayor praised the group for raising awareness of the discrepancies in park spaces. And said she agrees, older areas should have more parks.

18-year-old Antonio Jauregui grew up in Calwa and says kids just want a safe place to play.

"Whether it be playground, monkey bars, skate parks, pools, stuff that’s not in your backyard or your neighbors backyard or not even in your neighborhood," Jauregui said.

The city points out that the newest park, Martin Ray Reilly Park, is located in south Fresno. And the next two parks that will be built are also located south of Shaw Avenue, the street BHC used to define ‘north’ and ‘south’ in Fresno.

About NewsPress

Dedicated to going around town and getting in everyone's business!

Check Also

For agriculture, a changing climate brings challenges—but also opportunities

In many ways, climate change has already hit home here in the San Joaquin Valley—especially …

Wanna Comment?

Loading Facebook Comments ...

Leave a Reply