Friday , February 23 2024

Social Justice At The Heart Of Fresno Gas Tax Debate

Fresno Mayor Lee Brand has pulled a proposed spending plan that would have funded road repairs in the city, after criticism that it would have perpetuated inequality. Brand’s plan would have distributed $ 12 million from the SB1 gas tax roughly equally among the city’s seven council districts, but the plan didn’t sit well with most of the councilmembers who say they want equity first. At least four of the seven council members want more of the funds invested in South Fresno. That’s where historical redlining and underinvestment have resulted in poor neighborhoods with demonstrably lower life expectancies—many of which lack sidewalks and streetlights. “There’s a difference between equal and equity,” said Councilmember Luis Chavez at a press conference on Monday. “If I gave everybody a pair of size-10 shoes here, it might work for some but not for others.” At a press conference the next day, the council’s conservative minority accused their colleagues of waging class warfare and aiming to

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