There Isn’t One Answer to Ending Poverty

Mid-Sized Cities Like Fresno Should Better Capitalize on Resources and Improve Existing Opportunities to Help the Poor


In 1984, Dan Whitehurst, then-mayor of Fresno, California, appeared on Late Night With David Letterman to discuss a depressing distinction: his city had been ranked the least livable in America by Places Rated Almanac. During the discussion, Letterman asked if there’s even anything to like about Fresno. “It seldom gets over 120 [degrees],” Whitehurst said.

Fresno has been the butt of jokes for decades—for a recent example, see Monsters vs. Aliens’ swipe at America’s 55th largest television market—but the teasing touches on some grim realities about the city. Despite years …

More In: Up For Discussion