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 …

Creating a Center for Culture, Tradition—and Mental Health Care

Why Treating Mental Illness Is Crucial to the American Dream

I came to Perris, a small town in Riverside County, more than two decades ago from the island province of Bohol in the Philippines. As much as I would have …

The Ghosts of Mexico in Merced

My Grandfather's Disappearance Inspired My Film About the Dark Side of Immigration

I live in a forgotten region. Most Californians, if they know the Central Valley exists, forget it when they think of the state as a whole. Those that have been …

The California City Where Ideals Are Punched in the Face by Reality

My Hometown, Where the Bay Area and the Central Valley Collide, Gave Us the Mexican Mafia, Rock ’n’ Roll’s Worst Day, and a Troubled Version of the Suburban Dream

You might know Tracy, California, if you’ve traveled along Interstates 5 and 580, and had to decide if you want to head towards the Bay Area or Sacramento. What we …

The Forgotten Middle Child of California

My Small Town in the Central Valley Needs a lot of Help, but Doesn't Get Any Attention

As mayor of Farmersville, I’ve had to do a lot of thinking recently about what qualities make a community truly healthy.

Farmersville, population 10,500, is right outside Visalia. Farmersville’s problems …