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Politics 101

Lawsuits Threatened Over District Boundaries Favored by Fresno Supes



Members of the Equitable Map Coalition stand up during a Fresno County redistricting hearing on Tuesday. (GV Wire/David Taub)
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Frowns were visible, even under masks. Supporters of a community-organized electoral map for the Fresno County Board of Supervisors left a Tuesday hearing disappointed and threatening legal action.

Photo of GV Wire's David Taub

David Taub

Politics 101

The supervisors did not make a final decision on the electoral lines for the next 10 years. But they whittled down the options to a map submitted by the conservative Fair Representation Coalition.

Tuesday’s meeting was more calm and civil than a redistricting meeting last month. Still, more than 40 speakers favored a rival plan from the Equitable Map Coalition.

That group, comprised of several organizations including the Dolores Huerta Foundation, argued that their map best represented the interests of Hispanic and farmworker groups.

Some supervisors disagreed.

Supervisor Buddy Mendes said the map would split up many smaller school and special districts in his rural district. And, Supervisor Steve Brandau noted that the proposal would divide Old Fig Garden.

“That’s a problem for me,” Brandau said.

The supervisors then instructed staff to write a resolution, choosing the boundaries submitted by the Fair Representation Coalition. Staff will also submit slight modifications to that map.

Also in Politics 101: 

  • Public concerned about proposed northwest Fresno Costco.
  • No Patterson vs. Arambula race. 
  • Did Fresno City Council follow its own rules? 

Two Groups Threaten Litigation Over Map

Getting passed over has led to multiple threats of lawsuits. In addition to the Equitable Map Coalition, a second group — the Inclusive Families Coalition — says it is considering litigation.

The group, which includes the Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce and the Jakara Movement, said the supervisor maps do not present “communities of interest.”

“The maps approved by Fresno County’s advisory redistricting commission violate the second of California’s state law criteria as they do not keep local neighborhoods and COI whole. The commission received dozens of public submissions, in oral and written formats, articulating where Fresno County’s COIs live. It willfully chose to ignore that public testimony and now proposes to split our communities,” Inclusive Families Coalition said in a news release.

“The County Board of Supervisors’ actions put the County’s map in legal jeopardy, create legal exposure for the County, and undermine faith in our local democracy,” the group said.

Residents Share Concerns Over Proposed Costco

Residents around a new Costco are concerned about the environmental impacts the retailer would bring to their northwest Fresno neighborhood.

The city of Fresno held a public meeting Tuesday night on Zoom to gauge public sentiment on the project. Eventually, the city council will vote on whether to approve the 178,223 square-foot facility.

The proposed location is near Highway 99 and the El Paseo shopping center at West Herndon Avenue and North Riverside Boulevard. The Costco would include a 32-pump gas station and an automated car wash — new for Costco in the Fresno/Clovis area.

Among the concerns cited on Tuesday: traffic, lights, idling cars at the gas station, and the fact the Costco would be near Riverside Golf Course.

One planner said that traffic is not an “impact” under CEQA, the state environmental planning law.

Comments can be submitted through Nov. 22. An email link is here.

A map of the proposed Costco in northwest Fresno (City of Fresno)

Patterson vs. Arambula, What Could Have Been

The state independent commission in charge of drawing electoral lines for Congress, the state Senate and the Assembly are updating maps weekly.

The first iteration of Assembly maps drew most of the city of Fresno as one district. That could have meant current Assemblymen Joaquin Arambula, a Democrat, and Jim Patterson, a Republican, running against each other.

But, that probably won’t happen. The next set of maps was closer to the current lines, save a neighborhood or two. That means the assemblymen are likely to run in separate races.

If Patterson wins in 2022, he couldn’t run in 2024 because of term limits.

So Much for Public Participation

The Fresno City Council held a special meeting on Wednesday to discuss hiring a new city clerk. While most of it was in closed session, all meetings start publicly.

As part of a resolution passed in September, all members of the public are supposed to have an electronic option to participate in meetings. One version of the agenda did not include the usual Zoom link or a phone number to call in (an updated version did have this information).

That didn’t stop council president Luis Chavez from asking if anyone was online to comment — the chambers for the 8 a.m. meeting were apparently empty. No one spoke up online or in person.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email