FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer gave his first state of the city address on Friday, just a day after the city adopted a historic $1.4 billion dollar budget for the 2022 fiscal year.
It was a much more casual setting at this year’s state of the city address than in previous years. Around 1500 people showed up at Chukchansi Park. Dyer says he chose the outdoor venue to encourage the community to come out and celebrate getting through a difficult and tumultuous year.
The main theme was Dyer’s ‘One Fresno’ mantra; prior to his address, there were performances to highlight the city’s cultural diversity.
“Regardless of our political affiliation, color of our skin, our neighborhood in which we live, we are ‘One Fresno.”
The mayor was also joined by members of the Fresno City Council. Council President Luis Chavez thanked the mayor for productive negotiations on the most recent budget.
“I just want to thank the mayor for the work he’s done these past six months,” Chavez said. “Every single neighborhood was reflected in that budget and i want to thank the mayor for that.”
In his address, Dyer said he has listened to his fellow residents and is delivering on a variety of issues.
“Housing our homeless, beautifying our city, focusing on inclusive economic development, restoring pride in our downtown, supporting our youth, and keeping people safe,” Dyer said.
Dyer emphasized his efforts to combat homelessness, recognizing a man in the crowd who has benefited from Project Off-Ramp. This initiative, which began in February, is aimed at housing those experiencing homelessness on Fresno’s freeways. Dyer said the program has impacted about 400 individuals so far.
Dyer also made a bold promise about ending homelessness in Fresno.
“With multi-year state and federal funding on the horizon combined with our current strategies and partnerships, we are poised to be homeless-free by the end of 2024,” Dyer said. “And I am committed along with the council to achieving that goal.”
Dyer also affirmed his commitment to public safety, announcing in his address that there will be 120 police officers added over 15 months, along with 40 support staff members. There will also be 42 new firefighters added by May 2022.