CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER
CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER

Dear Government, Be Careful How You Help the Central Valley

DIY Fresno-Area Communities Need Public Support—Without Strings Attached

While Central Valley communities are creating their own solutions to stubborn problems neglected by county, state, and federal government, they also need government to offer more support for successful local efforts—without hamstringing them.That message was conveyed by three panelists, each deeply immersed in community-based organizations, at a Zócalo Public Square/The California Wellness Foundation event at Frank’s Place at Warnors Center in downtown Fresno. The discussion, in front of an engaged crowd from across the valley, toggled between criticism of government as limiting more responsive and nimble community efforts, and calls for the government—the only institution big enough to counter societal inequities—to do more for communities.“Government systems need to catch up to people systems,” said panelist Rey Leon, founder and executive director of the San Joaquin Valley Latino Environmental Advancement and Policy Project (Valley LEAP), which focuses on environmental justice.The evening …