Fresno Mayor Lee Brand has 18 months left in office and Wednesday, in his State of the City address, he repeated his commitment to the very issues that got him there. He also credited his accomplishments to collaboration, saying partnerships made it all possible.
Brand remained committed to economic development and job creation in front of the crowd at the Fresno Convention Center — even sticking to his goal of creating 10,000 jobs. That’s something he said he’d do in 10 years in 2017, now he’s got until the end of 2020.
“I told you last year that I will not be a caretaker mayor, that I will set the bar high,” he said. “I stand by that promise.”
Whether with the community, or other city departments like police, Brand said all the partnerships he’s been a part of has helped put a dent in the city’s issues.
“What unites us is much stronger than what divides us. When the truth is threatened, we must together defeat it,” Brand said.
One of the accomplishments he brought up was the recently created Motel Owners Association. Brand said it’s helped bring down violent crime on Parkway Drive by 25%.
Pastor B.T. Lewis, a community leader in west Fresno, said Brand has stepped it up in terms of community involvement.
“We have some differences in opinion about how policing ought to happen in our community and how administration ought to be done — but I like Mayor Brand because he’s always willing to listen,” Lewis said.
During his speech, Brand also announced the “Keep Fresno Beautiful” initiative. We don’t know too much yet — like funding and staffing — but he said it will develop partnerships in the city “with the goal of establishing sustainable year-to-year programs to effectively tackle trash in the city of Fresno.”
The fairly new non-profit Clean Fresno scans the city for trash to pick up. It’s ready to work with the city more.
“Our kids are gonna live here, and their kids, ” Steve Hernandez, vice president of Clean Fresno, said. “To have Fresno really nice is a big thing for us.”
To see Brand’s 2019 State of the City speech in full, click here for the PDF document.