I live in District 6 (northeast Fresno) and attended Fresno City Councilmember Garry Bredefeld’s community meeting on Feb.7. This was my first time attending a community meeting and I could not help but feel concerned when the room of constituents in attendance was severely lacking representation from the diverse community in which I live.
The room of attendees did not represent my neighborhood in race, age or ethnicity. I believe a barrier to creating an inclusive, diverse community meeting is caused by Bredefeld’s divisive political views that cater to a very specific demographic.
I also lay part of the fault at the lack of community involvement at the local level. It would be a breath of fresh air to see a more diverse group attend meetings like these and speak for those of us misrepresented.
Most importantly, it is the responsibility of community leaders to identify this kind of problem and do their part to encourage participation from a cross-section of the society they represent. Good leadership is severely lacking these days, and I believe our councilmembers should be accountable and honest with ensuring they are working for the entire community and not just a privileged few.
Mary Sondheim, Fresno