FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The City of Fresno might become the first city in the county to formally safeguard indigenous communities against discrimination following amendments being made to the Municipal Code, officials announced on Thursday.

Officials say the City of Fresno amending sections of Fresno’s Municipal Code to address caste and indigeneity discrimination. The city will explicitly incorporate caste and indigeneity as protected categories.

“Our collective responsibility to our community requires us to stand beside those who have bravely illuminated these pressing concerns, impacting marginalized communities across employment, education, and housing. This ordinance represents our unequivocal acknowledgment of the discrimination that exists, and our unwavering commitment to confront it head-on,” said Councilmember Miguel Arias.

“I’m proud of our City for once again, raising the bar on civil rights protections. While we acknowledge that discrimination won’t end overnight, our City took bold action by passing this anti-discrimination policy to strengthen civil rights protections against caste discrimination,” said Council Vice President Annalisa Perea.

Officials say by passing this resolution, the City of Fresno will be the first city in the county to formally safeguard indigenous communities from discrimination, and following the city of Seattle, become the second city to address anti-caste discrimination as a policy measure.

“I am wholeheartedly in support of the Fresno City Council’s resolution making Fresno the first major city in California to safeguard individuals against discrimination based on caste and indigeneity. The Council’s approval of this resolution will reflect the steadfast dedication to creating an inclusive and fair environment for all members of the community in the City of Fresno,” said Councilmember Karbassi.

Officials say the Jakara Movement and the Centro Binacional para el Desarrollo Indígena Oaxaqueño (CBDIO) have been key instrumental community partners in advocating and bringing forth this change. Progress regarding this situation is also being made at the Assembly and State Senate level with bill SB403.