Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Chavez Boulevard Opponents Say Lawsuit Is an Option
gvw_david_taub
By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 12 months ago on
April 27, 2023

Share

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

A new community group wants the Fresno City Council to reconsider its decision to rename 10 miles of roads in honor of late labor leader Cesar Chavez.

But their request drew a sharp rebuke from Councilmember Miguel Arias, who said the city engaged in robust outreach before voting to honor Chavez.

“This is simply an attempt to set a new standard when recognizing a Latino hero in our community. And I don’t think that is fair, just, or equitable in a city this diverse,” Arias said.

Last month, the Fresno City Council voted 6-1 to rename portions of California Avenue, Ventura Street, King Canyon Road to Cesar Chavez Boulevard. The body also set aside $1 million to help businesses and residents to adjust to the change.

Opponents Voice Their Criticisms

“Our city council has the power to unring this bell and begin the healing process in our city. Democracy should never be manipulated or molded to fit our personal agendas,” said Pastor B.T. Lewis of Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church said. “Governance should never be based on 30-year-old grudges.”

Calling itself a coalition of businesses and residents in south Fresno, 1 Community Compact wants the city council to bring the Cesar Chavez Boulevard resolution back for discussion.

Lewis and other speakers said the city did not conduct enough public outreach, nor did it consider the history of the names replaced.

“You don’t destroy history to start another one,” said Ara Jerian, with Holy Trinity Armenian Church.

Councilman Garry Bredefeld, the only elected leader to appear at the news conference, said it would take “courage” for another councilmember to return the renaming to the agenda. He voted no on the renaming.

Pastor B.T. Lewis calls for the Fresno City Council to reverse its Cesar Chavez Boulevard vote. (GV Wire/David Taub)

Lawsuit a Possibility

If the city does not reconsider, litigation is an option, said those opposed to the name change.

Karen Musson, a member of the coalition and Sunnyside-area resident, prefers the city council “to do the right thing.”

“A courtroom is not the place to have a community conversation. Due diligence wasn’t followed, process wasn’t followed, promises were made and not kept. You know, it’s our hope that they will realize that doing things, you know, in a closet in the dead of night is not probably the best public interest,” Musson said.

But, yes she said, they are prepared to file a lawsuit.

Arias: We Listened

Lewis and another news conference speaker, Cruz Gonzales, repeated their objections inside council chambers during the council meeting.

Arias, with a mock “Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard” sign at the dais, responded by saying that most of the claims from the name-change opponents were false.

“You claim that we didn’t provide opportunity for engagement. False. There were several council meetings held and several hours of public input was received — far more than the one meeting and the 15 minutes the Board of Supervisors provide for this conversation,” Arias said.

Arias said that holding stakeholder meetings was not a requirement and not used for other renaming resolutions. However, the Feb. 17, 2022 vote to start the process called for “the formation of a resident, business owner, and stakeholder committee to engage the public and receive input, recommendations.”

The Fresno County Board of Supervisors voted not to rename the portion of the new Cesar Chavez Boulevard under its control. Those roads will remain California Avenue and Kings Canyon Road.

With a Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard sign, Fresno City Councilman Miguel Arias responds to complaints. (GV Wire/David Taub)

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

DON'T MISS

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

DON'T MISS

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

DON'T MISS

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

DON'T MISS

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

DON'T MISS

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

DON'T MISS

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

DON'T MISS

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

DON'T MISS

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have Execute It’: FUSD Board President

DON'T MISS

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

UP NEXT

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

UP NEXT

Get a 3D First Look at Merced’s High-Speed Rail Station Design

UP NEXT

California Court to Decide on Transgender Ballot Measure Wording

UP NEXT

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

UP NEXT

Full Jury and 6 Alternates Seated in Trump’s Hush Money Trial

UP NEXT

How 4/20 Grew From Humble Roots to Marijuana’s High Holiday

UP NEXT

Jury Selection Could Be Nearing a Close in Donald Trump’s Hush Money Trial in New York

UP NEXT

Abandoned Pup LB Finds Hope and Healing. He’s Available for Adoption at Mell’s Mutts.

UP NEXT

Who Owns Businesses in California? A Lawmaker Wants the Public to Know

UP NEXT

$11M State Grant Will Help Fresno’s Emergency Shelter Beds, Mental Health Services

David Taub,
Senior Reporter
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

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

4 hours ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

16 hours ago

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

17 hours ago

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

17 hours ago

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

18 hours ago

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have Execute It’: FUSD Board President

18 hours ago

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

19 hours ago

Get a 3D First Look at Merced’s High-Speed Rail Station Design

20 hours ago

California Court to Decide on Transgender Ballot Measure Wording

20 hours ago

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

22 hours ago

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

You might have noticed that the tangy taste of pickles has taken over more than just the condiment aisle. From pickle-flavored popcorn to pi...

4 hours ago

4 hours ago

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

4 hours ago

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

4 hours ago

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

4 hours ago

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

16 hours ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

17 hours ago

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

17 hours ago

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

18 hours ago

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend