FRESNO, California (KSEE/KGPE) – Fresno City Mayor Jerry Dyer spoke with the public during the “State of the City” address on Friday at Chukchansi Park, emphasizing his vision for a “One Fresno. ”
Unlike traditional State of the City addresses, Mayor Dyer says 2021’s event was held in a more casual setting than usual in hopes of uniting the city together following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dyer began the address by handing out multiple awards to celebrate Fresno citizens who the mayor says helped the City of Fresno grow.
A total of seven different awards were given to those who Dyer said contributed to his vision of “One Fresno,” those of which included:
- Bob Smittcamp – Key of the City
- Oliver Baines III – Heart of Service Award
- Booker T. Lewis – Inaugural One Fresno Award
- Sara Mirhadi and Jody Ketcheside – Homeless Hero Award
- Kit Hannah and Steve Hernandez – Beautify Fresno Award
- Will Dyke – Downtown Champion Award
- Pete Santellano – Youth Leader Award
Dyer’s State of the City address shortly took place after the awards ceremony.
Key points in his address included his ‘One Fresno’ vision, addressing homelessness in the city, the Beautify Fresno project and much more.
Here are the key initiatives Dyer addressed in his speech:
Dyer has promised that the City of Fresno will be homeless-free by 2024 saying that grant contributions from the state and federal government will play a role in making this happen.
He also addressed his focus on completing “Project Off-Ramp” by the end of summer 2021.
Dyer highlighted the accomplishments of the Beautify Fresno project saying a total of 42,000 pounds of trash and 7,500 square feet of graffiti have been removed from the city.
He also said the project has planted over 300 trees in Fresno, and that a city-wide clean-up would be taking place on August 7.
Dyer says to sustain nightlife in downtown Fresno, the creation of more units for residents to live in is currently underway.
He says almost 106 units downtown are under construction, almost 300 are ready to break ground and 400 are in the approval stages.
Dyer says this will result in more than 500 new units created, increasing the population between 3,000-10,000 people in downtown Fresno.
City Police and Firefighters
Dyer reaffirmed that the city would be committed to hiring 120 new police officers and 40 more support staff for the Fresno Police Department, which was reflected in the City of Fresno’s new budget.
He also committed to adding 42 new firefighters to the Fresno Fire Department by May 2022.
Dyer says this would increase the staffing level to around 90 or more firefighters on duty each day.
Dyer addressed the creation of Camp Fresno and its accomplishments since opening in early June.
He says supporting youth through efforts like Camp Fresno helps them emotionally and physically, following the COVID-19 pandemic.
He encouraged the public to learn more about these efforts on the One Fresno Foundation website.
In Dyer’s address, he also briefly spoke on economic development, the production of water in the city, the expansion of the Fresno-Yosemite International Airport and tax revenue.
Dyer ended his address by saying he will, “do all I can to unite this city as One Fresno,” and reiterated his commitment to his vision for the city.