The $38 million delegated to change southwest Fresno will only make a positive impact if those Fresnans specifically spearhead the movement. They will know the best way to prevent families from being forgotten in the effort to increase local economy and improve the infrastructure of an area that’s been lost in the undertow of government policies previously.
This triage, defined sociologically, means that the socially weaker are sacrificed for the sake of others; that is, our lower-income, underemployed Fresnans don’t receive the funding their community needs to survive, like money for community centers, while other funding goes to things like new shopping areas in north Fresno.
Community transformation itself is dependent entirely on the community members. Our job shouldn’t be to go in, change everything and walk away patting our backs. That won’t create lasting change. That will create a system of dependency which will eventually fail and that $38 million just gets lost somewhere under graffiti and a lack of sustainable programs.
We need to trust the community leaders in southwest Fresno who have hope and a plan for their community.
Ashley Norton, Fresno