On Thursday, the Fresno City Council will discuss and vote upon a newly revised ordinance to address blighted buildings in our neighborhoods. As a member of the Mayor’s Code Enforcement Task Force, I have been encouraged by months of discussion and to see this issue being given attention by both the administration and council.
I am encouraged because it represents the alignment of decision makers at City Hall on the issue of concentrated poverty which plagues our great city. However, many in our community feel the bar is not being raised high enough. In the last decade, New Orleans moved from being ranked second in concentrated poverty to 14th. In this same time period, Fresno moved from first to second. Fresno has not done enough in the past 10 years to address the single most negative driving force in our city, and this ordinance is a significant key to changing this and improving the quality of life for every Fresnan.
Thursday the City Council and the administration must not only embrace a higher standard than we currently have concerning vacant, blighted buildings but it must commit to properly resource and remove any barriers to the enforcement of this ordinance.