FRESNO, California (KGPE) — The only contested city council race in Fresno for the upcoming primary sits in District 4. The seat — which oversees parts of northeast, southeast, and central Fresno — is currently held by Paul Caprioglio, who is terming out.
Nathan Alonzo and Tyler Maxwell have been campaigning hard for the seat. Both express love for Fresno, as well as a desire to bring much-needed attention to District 4.
We met up with Nathan Alonzo one morning at Vinland Park. He describes it as a place that brings all kinds of families together. He laments, though, that the park is a prime example of lacking infrastructure investment in the district — with graffiti a common sight and aging equipment.
Alonzo said that’s a trend in the district and because of that, it’s helped exacerbate the city’s homeless problem. Solutions to this issue that he’s brought up in his campaign: create more educational training opportunities and recruit more employers to the area.
“We’re centrally located, that makes us quite special because we can attract businesses that would want to be in the Bay Area or Los Angeles,” he said. “[If they came] here in the valley, it would help us create some great paying jobs.”
Alonzo argues job investment helps curb poverty, and in a district, that’s home to California State University, Fresno, Fresno Yosemite International Airport and Blackbeard’s Family Entertainment Center — he knows bringing an even more diverse number of employers can happen.
“Being able to have the kinds of jobs that help people like you and I want to stay here when we graduate from college — and not go to a Los Angeles or a San Francisco — is extremely important,” Alonzo said.
Alonzo is also prioritizing public safety, which is the cornerstone of Tyler Maxwell’s campaign. Maxwell’s family has lived in District 4 for generations. He, too, is familiar with the district’s infrastructure issues.
“It invites a lot of vagrancy, a lot of blight, a lot of litter,” Maxwell said. “The infrastructure then starts to look bad. The homeless start to move in and the public safety starts to get worse. All of those things are connected.”
Maxwell has nearly a decade in public safety experience — helping domestic violence victims with the Fresno County Probation Department and as a crime scene investigator with Fresno Police.
He currently is the public safety director for councilman Nelson Esparza. So, he feels there will be no learning curve if he gets the seat.
“I’ve helped pass a billion-dollar budget. I have built personal relations with the directors of all the departments and council members. I’ve helped pass legislation,” Maxwell said.