Why Fresno Is on the Leading Edge of a ‘Wave’ of Political Change

A Progressive, Technocratic, and Majority-Latino City Council Points to a Larger Transformation in California

Looking for the biggest wave in California? Go to Fresno.

It’s not just that fast-growing Fresno is emerging as the Golden State’s next great city. Fresno is also undergoing dramatic—and overdue—changes that are opening up its small-town political culture. At the heart of this transformation story is the so-called “Brown Wave,” the emergence of local elected officials, who, like half of Fresno’s residents, are Latino.

Today Fresno, the state’s geographic center, finds itself at its political center. In fact, the most important race in California’s March 3 elections probably won’t end up …