A month after the Fresno City Council approved Councilman Garry Bredefeld’s plan to prominently display the national motto “In God We Trust” at Fresno City Hall, workers from FASTSIGNS spent Tuesday afternoon installing the 8-inch stainless steel letters behind the dais in the chamber.
Private contributions from donors covered the $1,740 cost of the installation; Bredefeld’s office said no public funds were used for the project.
Bredefeld’s proposal triggered more than an hour of passionate debate on May 11 prior to the council’s 6-0 vote. The number of speakers at the session was nearly evenly divided – 24 in support of Bredefeld’s resolution, 23 opposed. Some speakers said putting the motto in City Hall would restore a sense of moral values for the city. Others asserted that the motto was divisive because of its religious tone and instead suggested a more inclusive phrase such as “E Pluribus Unum” (a Latin phrase that means, “from many, one” that also was the de facto national motto until Congress adopted “In God We Trust” in 1956) or “And Justice for All.”
“I think when people come into the chamber, it will give them a positive, good feeling,” Bredefeld said Tuesday. “I think it says something positive about our city.”
The council’s vote made Fresno the latest and largest city in California to approve displaying the motto in its halls of government. The motto will be officially unveiled at 1 p.m. Thursday, just before the City Council’s regular meeting.
Donors who contributed to cover the $1,736.42 cost to install the national motto “In God We Trust” in the City Council chamber at Fresno City Hall are:
▪ Stuart Chandler
▪ Farid Assemi
▪ Betty and the Rev. Ron Shirley
▪ Mickey Kaitangian
▪ Roger Leach
Source: Office of District 6 Councilman Garry Bredefeld