The following is an excerpt:
Flores and Brudenell are members of the AB 617 South Central Fresno Community steering committee, whose purpose is to help guide the Valley Air District on how to best spend $80 million in state money designated to curb air pollution.
Both were dissatisfied with the air district’s manner of discourse. Flores aired her frustrations at a recent meeting, which I scribbled down and included in a column read by officials with the California Air Resources Board. Brudenell drove to Sacramento to speak before an Assembly Natural Resources Committee oversight hearing.
“We cannot proceed if the district doesn’t play by the rules for effective discussion that they themselves laid down,” Brudenell said at the hearing. “We cannot achieve the goal of a plan informed by the community if the district disregards the will of the community.”
On this occasion, the people’s will won out. When the boundaries of the South Central Fresno Community were released, they contained most of the neighborhoods the steering committee overwhelmingly wanted.
Power to the people: How Fresno community spoke out and helped sway two policy decisions, by Marek Warszawski, The Fresno Bee, March 27, 2019.