Public Statement: Response to Delayed Vote

On Thursday, December 8, 2016 we expected to hear Fresno City Council finally take action on Mayor Ashley Swearengin’s rental inspection ordinance. Community leaders and residents were also present to witness this occasion. Unfortunately, to the dismay of everyone, City Council voted to delay the discussion and vote until next year. It is now scheduled for February 2, 2017. Many in the community expressed their disappointment and outrage at this last minute decision. We are reaching out to our city council representatives to understand why they decided to delay the vote.

We believe that a rental inspection ordinance is necessary to dismantle Fresno’s slumlord industry. The Summerset Village Apartment crisis highlighted the urgency and immediate need to address the systemic injustice that many families face in our city. The community was expecting our city to act by the end of this year. Everything that the Mayor and the Code Enforcement Task Force worked on was leading up to Thursday’s City Council meeting. The community was ready, we were ready, but City Council was not.

We want to make it clear to our supporters that we do not believe that our Mayor or City Council desire to see families living in substandard housing. We believe that they care for the well-being of all residents. We also want to make it clear that the outrage and frustration by the community is justified. The community has dealt with this issue for decades and they were always ignored. When we started four years ago and reached out to our city council representatives, we were also initially ignored. At this very moment hundreds of families are suffering. Delays are unacceptable.

Next year we will have a new mayor and new city council representatives. Our hope is that we can continue to work with the new mayor and the new city council representatives. They have to prove to us that they are serious about tackling Fresno’s slumlord industry. City Council has stated that the rental inspection ordinance will come before them on February 2, 2017. We will hold them to their word.