FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – Representatives from the Fresno City Council said Thursday night that they drafted a map based on public hearings and community members, but when the final vote to recommend Map 111 came through, not everyone felt like they had been heard.
It was a decision that left Fresno resident Imelda Cruz almost in tears.
“I’m so sad and I’m so frustrated I hope that everything is different, not like this decision.”
A 6-0 vote to move forward with the recommendation for redistricting Map 111, is not what she or anyone else who attended tonight’s city council meeting hoped would be the outcome.
“I hope they can sleep tonight,” said Fresno Resident Pedro Navarro. “The community showed up and really poured their hearts out in support of a map, two maps but especially the inclusive families map that we submitted.”
Navarro was one of the many Fresno residents who spoke up to the council regarding their map recommendation Thursday evening.
“My first thought was it’s the status quo and it’s disappointing,” he said. “I’ve been engaged in this work for almost two years. I was the co-chair for the complete count committee across the county making sure that black folks were counted in the census. To see this [map] be the recommendation it was disappointing.”
The council chambers were packed, with plenty of public comment from a variety of ethnic backgrounds; many with the same message sharing the same disappointment.
Fresno resident Naindeep Singh was another voice in the crowd who was disappointed with the city councilmember’s 6-0 vote.
“I understand it’s a difficult process that some of them shared. There’s no perfect map, I think the more you listened to the public the more we get closer to that.”
A consultant for the city addressed the amount of time they had in coming up with a rough draft for the redistricting maps and said it all came down to time and deadlines.
“I felt like they did hear us, but I felt like they had their minds made up before the meeting and we just didn’t matter,” said Navarro.
The deadline for the council’s final vote regarding the redistricting map will be on Dec. 15.