EJ Hinojosa may be the least-known candidate running for Fresno County Supervisor. But he envisions his grassroots campaign as a lane to victory.
“I think that the three guys are good guys who are trying to serve their community. But I think that as a musician, as an educator, I’m a creative thinker … our local agencies could use some imagination and some creative thinking to … address some of the issues,” Hinojosa said.
Holding a fundraiser last Friday at the Fresno Music Academy & Arts, Hinojosa kicked off his campaign for Fresno County Supervisor District 3.
Hinojosa, a 34-year-old Democrat, teaches music at Gaston Middle School. This will be his first run for public office, taking on incumbent Sal Quintero, and Fresno city councilmen Miguel Arias and Luis Chavez, who are also Democrats.
“I think about the future a lot. I follow politics in the news as closely as I can. I love people, and I want to help create a community in the San Joaquin Valley where everyone can thrive, where the economy works for everybody,” Hinojosa said at the fundraiser.
He conducted the interview while holding his 10-month-old daughter, one of three young girls he and his wife Erin Hinojosa — also a teacher — are raising.
The primary is March 5, 2024. If no candidate wins a majority, the top two advance to the November general election.
About 75 people came out for tacos, Modelos, and entertainment — including a jazz band and drag performer. Hinojosa’s campaign did not have an immediate amount of how much money the event raised. The next campaign fundraising reports are due at the end of July.
Hinojosa on Street Vendors, CEMEX
Hinojosa wants the supervisors to provide more support for street vendors. He calls them “our great hidden treasures.”
“I would like to see the county Board of Supervisors maybe spend a little from capital projects to build infrastructure for those vendors … more like a public market,” Hinojosa said.
He says such a market would improve safety.
“We can create space for a lot of commerce in a very small amount of space, and that will give aspiring entrepreneurs and our community a leg up to get started where they may be otherwise would not have been able to. I think it can bring our community together,” Hinojosa said.
Regarding CEMEX, the Fresno County mining plant undergoing permit renewals, Hinojosa said the county should update environmental reports.
“We welcome industry. We welcome commerce and business in Fresno County. We want to grow that. CEMEX does have a responsibility if they are generating revenue and, you know, extracting their product from earth in Fresno County, then they have a responsibility, I think, to ensure that they’re doing that in a responsible way,” Hinojosa said.
Cesar Chavez Boulevard
The renaming of Cesar Chavez Boulevard split the three other men running for the supervisor seat.
The city voted to change nearly 11 miles of road in the southern portion of Fresno for the late labor leader. Both Arias and Chavez (no relation) strongly supported the change.
However, part of the road is within county jurisdiction. The Fresno County Board of Supervisors rejected the name change, with Quintero part of the 5-0 majority to say no.
Hinojosa said he hasn’t “thought much about that” issue.
“I think it’s good to name a street after Cesar Chavez. I just wonder if that is going to do very much to bring an economic revival to that street, (from) Kings Canyon to Cesar Chavez. I would like to see the county and the city do more to just make business and living on that street better,” Hinojosa said.