Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Yes on Measure E: It's Our Path to Inclusive Prosperity and Well-Being
Opinion
By Opinion
Published 2 months ago on
February 17, 2024

Share

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

We must plant the seeds of prosperity by investing in ourselves.

Passage of Measure E will transform Fresno State into a world-class university.

It is critical that supporting our communities becomes part of our DNA.


As I have friends and colleagues on both sides of Measure E, I took time to drill down and reflect.

Deborah Nankivell

Deborah Nankivell

Opinion

While there are valid arguments to be made against it, I realized my commitment is and always has been the common good. This stems from growing up in a state where the civic DNA was communal, and I led Common Cause Minnesota for a decade when the Legislature was dominated by civic stewards.

Our approach wasn’t just to advocate for a solution, it was to urge the electeds to do what they thought was right, to do what was in the best interests of the whole state.

As Common Cause is national, I was keenly aware California has unique assets and influence. Yet, its politics were fragmented and polarized, systems were over-regulated, and leaders had a hard time getting anything done.

The civic DNA was more like wild, wild west; get rich quick; don’t fence me in; and survival of the fittest. What I didn’t realize until I moved to Fresno is an entire region suffered with extreme, chronic poverty for decades in the so-called Golden State. Many who lived here had accepted this as inevitable and simply adapted, treating symptoms but not getting to the roots.

Education Is Key to Our Region’s Success

In 1993, I had the privilege of joining a small group of bold leaders willing to risk social, financial, and political relationships to find another way to conduct the community business. They were determined to delve deeply into the issues many preferred to avoid; understand the roots of poverty, wealth, and opportunity gaps; and figure out a new approach. A number of the key leaders fought in World War II or Vietnam. They understood the responsibility side of citizenship. They knew a better future for others and freedom were worth fighting for.

Back then, our region was largely off the radar. When I joined part of a statewide network, I was surprised to find out most had limited knowledge about the Central Valley. We changed that. For many reasons, our region is now center stage. Some believe it is where the future of our state is rising. Ag tech, advanced manufacturing, clean energy, supportive supply chains, and services are where quality and essential jobs are emerging.

We can become a region where helping and supporting people in our communities, wherever they are, is our civic DNA. Where businesses thrive and fuel innovation and prosperity. Where parents see a path for their children to have a better life. Education is the key to inner and outer agency. It fuels a passion for learning, belonging, and contributing. Small acts, when multiplied by many and compounded over time can transform our world.

We have that opportunity with Measure E.

Measure E Is a Bold Move

Children have no shelf life. Time is of the essence. Rather than hope the state will act, the way education is funded and given the history of our region, this is unlikely anytime soon. The levels of education have been set up to compete rather than work together to design the best system possible customized by region. Measure E doesn’t have to be perfect to be transformative.

Our opportunity is a world-class university, a testament to our belief in ourselves and our future. We are the heart of California, a place where the love of place and community still matter.

Measure E will renew the infrastructure, enable the hiring of high-quality professors and staff, attract students committed to career paths, and develop leaders who can advance inclusive prosperity and well-being.

Measure E is a bold move at a time when education is in flux. Fresno State is the backbone of our civic infrastructure impacting every business, nonprofit, government function, and our identity as a community.

Dick Johanson, a lifelong steward of Fresno with a passion for education, wisely said, “If everyone did a little, no one would have to do a lot.” Education is both a personal and collective responsibility. It is the path to confident, life-ready citizenship.

Plant the Seeds to Prosperity by Investing in Ourselves

In these polarized times, we have a choice. Listen to one side, acknowledge the valid points of both and remain confused, or step back and realize Measure E is planting the seeds for a future of possibility our region will earn by investing in itself.

Did you know it costs $132,860 a year to house an inmate? Yearly tuition at the most expensive private university, USC, is $66,640.

Fresno State is a powerhouse for the prevention of social problems and the fuel for economic prosperity. Annual tuition: $6,663. Its graduates become our K-12 teachers, healthcare and social workers, and business owners. It takes aim at building the middle, those committed to the common good.

These are the people most likely to embrace the principles of barn-raising where when a community needs something, they step up together to get it done. This is your invitation to build a better future for you, your family, and those you care about. To learn the specifics, go to https://yesonmeasuree.com/documents/

About the Author

Deborah Nankivell is the CEO of the Fresno Stewardship Foundation.

Make Your Voice Heard

GV Wire encourages vigorous debate from people and organizations on local, state, and national issues. Submit your op-ed to bmcewen@gvwire.com for consideration. 

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

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

UP NEXT

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

UP NEXT

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

UP NEXT

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

UP NEXT

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

UP NEXT

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

UP NEXT

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

UP NEXT

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

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

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

10 hours ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

22 hours ago

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

23 hours ago

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

23 hours ago

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

1 day ago

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

1 day ago

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

1 day ago

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

1 day ago

California Court to Decide on Transgender Ballot Measure Wording

1 day ago

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

1 day 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...

10 hours ago

10 hours ago

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

10 hours ago

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

10 hours ago

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

10 hours ago

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

22 hours ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

23 hours ago

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

23 hours ago

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

1 day ago

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend