Citing concerns about the spread of COVID-19, Fresno City Councilmember Esmeralda Soria wants Saturday’s Harvard Block Sale postponed by its organizers.

Esmeralda Soria

“I am asking people to be smart and not participate. When you have zero capacity at our hospitals, it’s not the time for a block sale. It should be postponed until it’s safe.” — Fresno City Councilmember Esmeralda Soria

The decades-old event that brings bargain hunters and sellers together near Fresno High School is in Soria’s council district.

In addition, City Hall issued a statement at 4:36 p.m. Friday saying it “does not support or encourage this event.”

In a news release, the city said that “while yard sales are considered an authorized activity, this particular event exceeds the recommendations for traditional yard sale activity.”

Fresno County had recorded 7,906 coronavirus cases and 87 deaths through 4 p.m. Friday.

City Now Says It Won’t Provide Masks for Event

Earlier, on Friday, city officials said they would provide 2,500 surgical masks for the block sale. That’s no longer the case.

“Individuals can have yard sales, but block sales are not allowed because the intent is to prevent mass gatherings,” Soria told GV Wire℠ late Friday afternoon.

“I am asking people to be smart and not participate. When you have zero capacity at our hospitals, it’s not the time for a block sale. It should be postponed until it’s safe.”

Soria also said that code enforcement officers will in the area Saturday enforcing the rules for individual yard sales.

Chart listing the COVID-19 protocols for conducting a yard sale in Fresno, California

(Source: city of Fresno)

8 Responses

  1. mgomez

    Did Ms. Soria issue a similar “warning” before the recent protests along Blackstone Avenue or in Downtown Fresno?

    I don’t recall seeing her warnings. Those were large groups of people.

    What happened, Esmeralda? Did you just “woke”?

  2. GodBlessClovis

    If Sandra Celedon tweets “Burn It Down” from the Harvard block sale, the entire event is validated and authorized.

  3. Bill

    Soria is trying to stop a 25+:year tradition the Harvard st block yard sale. The neighbors got mixed messages from Soria I rather doubt her threat of Code Enforcenent showing up to harass homeowners with fines is reasonable or justified. . Homeowners will have masks and gloves just like store employees with ENCLOSED walls.
    1) has cherry auction, farmers markets, Sunnyside flea market ceased?
    2) have you stopped furniture, hardware stores or only bars / restaurants that are enclosed?
    3) the illogical city council grants OUTSIDE patio dining but not OUTSIDE open air markets. HUH?
    Again, I think this is the most inept group of councilmembers who lack support for their districts businesses and financial stress people are under. Instead of supporting economic opportunity and more jobs created for people. Soria and her amigo Arias are about keeping business shuttered and grabbing for more public grants, government handouts making people weak and dependent makes them so much easier to control, and the mask requirements as a muzzle to control speech, take the churches and large gatherings to destroy unity ( except large protests that Soria & Arias attended)
    The job description for council members needs to change. We need to have people who advocate and have actually operated a business, know a balance sheet; understand payroll. City council leaders are suppose to be of service to their district not creating division, roadblocks and resentment. We have too many on city council who are using it as a springboard for furthering their political aspirations to advance themselves rather than serve or keep their promises to those that elected them in office.
    Hopefully their political career is over after their term is up . Fresno deserves people who will fight for them that are good for our town. Not 2 clowns who were raised/born in other towns and counties that aspire to be another AOC wanna be.
    Both of these clowns want to dismantle the police they care nothing about your health or safety its all about their selfish social justice pretzel logic ” Cancel culture” ” new green deal” ” Medicare for all” “systematic racism ” and the other gaggle of mantras the marxists are ranting as one big echo chamber across the USA .
    Soria had sent a confusing memo out earlier that she supported this event then backpedled asking the residents to CANCEL without proper lead time. Then instills fear that ” Hospitals have zero capacity” which is inaccurate what happened to the overflow emergeny beds at the convention center? Crickets …public health said its not been used and hospitals are scheduling in backlog of elective surgery they had to cancel for 6 weeks.
    The day Siria is willing to go without a paycheck is the day people might take her serious .

    • Steve

      I live in the district, more specifically I live in the Harvard Block Sale neighborhood, and I applaud her actions. Thank you Councilmember Soria, thank you.

      • Bill

        Sure you do “Steve” then you must know the neighbors discontent with Ms. Sorias illogical hypocrisy. BTW the wife and I went to the farmers market at the vineyard ( shaw and blacksone( vendors were there with their tables and items to sale,
        We went to the other open air market at Harvard St block yard sale , many residence still participated more spread out than the tables at vineyard outdoor market.
        Soria owns that screw up although I doubt she will own up to it..she never does she will blame Code Enforcement or some other flunky at city hall.
        Then we ate outdoors at a restaurant
        All this outdoor eating, shopping etc beats the hell out of interet shopping. We were going to eat at our favorite restaurant in the tower but didn’t realize it had been looted, robbed and vandalized by vagrant criminals. Sorias district shows the effects of her carelessness toward law enforcement and protecting private businesses. Luckily we found 1 sign of life at El Patio Restaurant in the Tower. Soria you and your protestors stay home you have no rights to tell anyone what to do.

  4. steve

    I live in District 1. More specifically, I live in the block sale neighborhood. I applaud Councilmember Soria’s actions. Now is not the time to throw community events which attract hundreds, if not thousands, of people to my neighborhood.


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