Feb. 21, 2023 — Clovis City Council

Documented by Rachel Youdelman

What happened: At the Feb. 21 Clovis City Council meeting, the African-American Historical and Cultural Museum of the San Joaquin Valley was recognized with a proclamation for its 30th anniversary. But later Councilmember Diane Pearce took issue with the word “equity” being included in the proclamation.

A group of staff members from the museum were present, including CEO Nafesha Ruth Yisra’el. She said that she appreciated the opportunity to “stand here before you and be recognized” despite the perception of “racial friction in Fresno and Clovis.” She asked, “How can we repair these relationships?”

Councilmember Vong Mouanoutoua said that speaking as “another minority,” “the African-Americans” have “paved the road” for other minorities. “Many of us look to you” and “follow in your footsteps,” he said.

Later in the meeting, Councilmember Diane Pearce said that she had not had an opportunity to read the proclamation before it was published, and she strongly objected to the use of the word “equity” in it because, she said that the word was “socialist.”

The proclamation in question refers to, “a continued journey of equality, equity, and inclusion.” The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines equity as “justice.”

And also: General Services Manager Amy Hance gave a presentation and sought council feedback on the the required conversion of the Clovis transit fleet to zero-emission vehicles, which she estimated would cost $41 million.

During a lengthy discussion that followed, Councilmember Mouanoutoua commented on the low ridership of the Clovis transit and suggested that perhaps Clovis could be “the city with no transit.”

To which, Hance said that she is always working to improve ridership and that instead of shrinking availability, they would need to improve bus routes and provide more frequent service, every 15 minutes instead of every 30.

Ultimately, the council agreed for the city to move forward with a non-binding transit plan that is hybrid and includes some internal-combustion vehicles, some electric, and some hydrogen-powered.

Up next: The Clovis City Council is scheduled to meet again at 6 p.m. on March 6.

An eminent domain claim discussed during this meeting was continued to the March 6 meeting. It is for two properties located between Locan and DeWolf Avenues, for the purpose of widening Herndon Ave.

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The Fresno Documenters are a group of local residents who are trained and paid to attend and take notes at local public meetings where officials decide how to spend public money and make important decisions...

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