Community leaders and residents are worried the real needs of the people will be left out of the city's plans for the future. They made their voices heard this windy Wednesday at city hall.
Rev. Sharon Stanley, Exec. Dir., FIRM: "What the wind is really blowing in is hope."
By voicing their concerns, hope is what community leaders are trying to give to Fresno residents.
Many are clinging to hope for a better Fresno for their children, and for them, fulfillment begins with the city's 2035 general plan.
Kendra Rogers, First 5 Fresno County: "Children in Fresno need neighborhoods that center around their schools that don't require parents to own a car to visit their teacher, that have parks, bike trails and things that accommodate mixed use and their needs."
There are five alternatives to the city's current general plan.
Plan A calls for investment into existing neighborhoods, provides support for public transportation, and was endorsed by the City of Fresno's planning commission last week.
Keith Bergthold, Fresno Planning Commission: "This couldn't work without you. You are the community. You are the end users of everything that we do."
Plan B provides for neighborhoods within walking distance of daily needs, like grocery stores, but only in new developments.
Plan C would allow more urban sprawl and ag land consumption.
Plan D expands the city into the southwest, and plan E is similar to plan C.
For this group, it's got to be plan A. They're just hoping the city's budget woes don't get in the way.
Christine Barker, Coordinator: "We know that there's not a lot of money, but we know that there's a little money and we think that if the priorities are changed a little bit, there could be more money for the things that are important to us."
Julie Vang says she'd like to see more affordable housing for the poor.
Ong Lee says street lights need to be on, roads need repairs, and more park space is needed.
The things you hear these people asking for may seem like ordinary things to include in any city plan, but one of the goals with today's demonstration is to get the city to invest in what it already has, rather than continued expansion.
City council will now hold a special meeting tomorrow at 5pm to review and select a preferred alternative for the preparation of the 2035 general plan.