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Honorary community council member is remembered for her guts to speak out

FRESNO, CA - Barbara Ann Hunt, a concerned citizen, community activist and spokesperson for the community representing Fresno District 3 residents for over 40 years, died of cancer on July 27 at age 71, (born January 23, 1947.)

Known for her political outspokenness, very blunt, Hunt would attend every city council meeting to challenge the elected council representatives, knowing the ins and outs of what was taking place at City Hall at all times, after evaluating mountains of city of Fresno documents.

The Fresno Bee reported that Hunt would review the agenda items thoroughly, spelling out the details she wanted to debate about, speak three solid minutes on the item, and do the same with the next item. Sometimes the city council representatives would be there all day until she was done; she wanted to make sure she held council members accountable for their votes, actions and lack of in-depth research concerning matters of her district.

Her biggest complaints concerned the council's tendency to ignore the needs of west Fresno. From unfair zoning laws to the lack of infrastructure and development in her area, the passionate Hunt would fight boldly against city leaders, especially concerning the lack of jobs and opportunities in her district. She bumped heads many times with current council representative, Oliver Baines, calling him out and other city council members on the different issues. Hunt was very passionate about enhancing education, serving on the West Fresno School District Board for several years with the same tenacity.

In fact, in the 2008 elections, she made a bid to be a "write-in" candidate for the Fresno mayoral seat. She also ran for the district three city council seat, once against Baines in the 2014 primary election.

Hunt suffered terrible tragedies in her life, but always seemed to bounce back; dropping out of Edison High School to take care of her children, where a few of them died in a house fire, would be troubling to any mother. That same mother surpassed tragedy, eventually receiving her high school diploma from a local adult school, thereafter, receiving her associate’s degree in human services from Fresno City College.

The community and the city of Fresno will always remember Ms. Barbara Hunt as the honorary "eighth" council member.

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