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ONME Local Fresno: A neighborhood is developing, elected official on hot-seat, and sex victims speak

By ONME Newswire



In this episode of It's ONME Local - Fresno, producer host Julia Dudley Najieb reviews the latest headlines in Fresno County: Fresno Housing Boards of Commissioners appoint new CEO; Southwest Fresno college and housing development is moving forward; Residents of 93706 address Fresno County Supervisor Brian Pacheco in media briefing concerning his removal of social services from the community; Gov. Newsom signs bill, AB 262, introduced by Assemblymember Jim Patterson to help sex trafficking-victim survivors clear their names and restart their lives.



 

Fresno Housing Boards of Commissioners appoint new CEO at Tuesday’s board meeting

Fresno Housing Boards of Commissioners announced that Tyrone Roderick Williams has been named as the next Chief Executive Officer. Williams will begin on November 1st leading the organization in providing quality, affordable housing to nearly 50,000 residents throughout Fresno County.


Williams has more than 25 years of experience in urban revitalization. His development activities have been at the forefront of neighborhood transformation efforts in Boston, Houston, Atlanta, and Sacramento.



Southwest Fresno college and housing development is moving forward


At a community meeting held last month at the Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church, led by Pastor B. T. Lewis in Fresno, CA, attendees got to take a sneak-peek of the land developments surrounding the upcoming FCC: West Fresno Satellite Campus. West Fresno residents will have an opportunity to purchase plots of land starting in 2022.


Long-time resident and business owner Slyvesta M. Hall is one of the key real estate developers along with business partners, the Shehadey family. Hall, the president of land and real estate development company, Blue Ocean Development America, LLC , formed 2500 MLK, LLC to be a partnership between the Shehadey family and his company team.

As the houses, businesses and other developments will be constructed around the new State Center Community Collage campus, Hall and his partners' goal is to make sure residents have the first opportunity to be home owners. Hall said they are working with other community partners to outreach and teach free classes on home ownership, credit building and other subjects related to the process to get residents prepared for home ownership.


The ONME Network will keep you posted on this project as more news comes. Video from this community briefing will be available soon.




Residents of 93706 address Fresno County Supervisor Brian Pacheco in media briefing concerning removal of social services from the community


Another questionable act for West Fresno residents to worry about; between now and this past summer, many members of the Black and Brown communities went to the West Fresno Regional Center located on 142 E. California Ave, Fresno, CA to find the facility closed...

The West Fresno Regional Center under the Public Health Department, provides a plethora of social services for members of the community. The convenience of the location to house some of the most vulnerable groups in Fresno County is a must for this side of town; the option to travel by bus or car to a different facility in Clovis, CA--an over 23 min. ride by car, longer by bus--is unacceptable for many in the West Fresno community who have spoken out against the action made by Fresno County, especially when there was no public notice provided to residents in the area.


This is becoming a common, shortsighted mechanism in local governments who are using COVID-19 as an excuse to not follow due process. On the contrary, the notice left on the door to the West Fresno Regional Center facility instructed onlookers to drive to the Clovis, Ca building without explanation--stating the building was closed.


Golden Westside Planning Committee Chair, Debbie Darden, along with other outraged members of the community reached out to their local district 1 county supervisor representative, Brian Pacheco back in 2020. His words seem to mismatch the actions of Rousseau's office--Pacheco confirmed that the building would not be closing; yet, notices on the building facility said. "closed" when residents walked up to it, trying to open the doors.


Did Fresno County Supervisor Brian Pacheco, district one, snub communications with the Black community in Southwest Fresno? The obscure answer to this question is forming its own answers, unfortunately due to the missteps by the Fresno County Administrative Office headed by Jean Rousseau, who announced his retirement around the third week of September, which will take affect in December. Chief operating officer, Paul Nerland, will take his place.


So were all offices for Fresno County social services moving to Clovis, CA without the community being informed?


According to KFSN online news article, the Pelco building located in Clovis, CA which touts a 150,000 square-foot of office space, was bought and approved in 2017 by the Fresno County Board of Supervisors as a new location to house all of the social services under one roof; the locations for social services in West and East Fresno were to remain open. The Pelco project was to be about a 2 1/2 year process (from the 2018 date) to consolidate the building space.


In an October 1, 2021 Valley Edition audio podcast with host, Kathleen Schock, FresnoLand’s Danielle Bergstrom, who reported on this situation for the Fresno Bee, joined the conversation were Fresno County Chief Administrative Officer Jean Rousseau, and West Fresno community activists Bob Mitchell and Debbie Darden. Rousseau confirmed during the show that the West Fresno Regional Center was currently not closed; staffing may have gone to the other location in Clovis for logistic reasons, but the facility, itself, will continue to provide social services for residents.


 
Here is how to contact elected official,
Fresno County Supervisor, Brian Pacheco

 

Gov. Newsom signs bill, AB 262, introduced by Assemblyman Jim Patterson to help sex trafficking-victim survivors restart their lives


Assemblyman Jim Patterson of the 23rd district introduced AB 262 to address several common problems faced by sex-trafficking survivors seeking to begin their new lives. Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill into law on Sept. 22, 2021.


Here is how the legislation will make it faster and easier for human trafficking survivors to clear their record of nonviolent offenses:


1. RECORDS RULING

OLD WAY: Local law enforcement agencies and the CA Department of Justice had one year from the court ruling to purge a survivor’s records. For a survivor unable to pass a background check to get a job, one year is an eternity.

AB 262 SOLUTION: Survivors will have their records purged with local law enforcement and CA Department of Justice within 90 days of a judge’s order.



2. ELIMINATES REQUIREMENT TO PAY FEES BEFORE COURT HEARING

OLD WAY: Survivors had to pay all fines and meet all probation requirements before they could ask a court to clear their criminal record of nonviolent offenses.


Without a clear record, employment is almost impossible today. Without employment, paying a fee to the court was a barrier that prevented many survivors from even trying to clear their records.

AB 262 SOLUTION: AB 262 will prevent a court from refusing to hear a human trafficking victim’s petition to clear their record due to fines owed and/or probation requirements not met.


3. CLARIFIES WHEN SURVIVORS CAN ASK TO CLEAR RECORDS

OLD WAY: Before, survivors could ask to have their records cleared of non-violent offences “within a reasonable amount of time” after escaping the life.

AB 262 SOLUTION: Survivors will be able to ask the court at any time after leaving the life to clear their record.


Last month when Assemblyman Patterson came to Fresno, The ONME Network interviewed three sex trafficking survivors who tell how this bill will help change their lives: Jamelia Hinds, Rebecca Rodriguez-Brown and Dominique Brown.


 

Listen to audio podcast interview below with Pastor Tobaise Brookins of The Bethesda Churches in and throughout Fresno County:


Keeping It Honest and Real on COVID-19 : An In-depth Interview with a Pastor on the COVID-19 Vaccine Experience


About Brookins:

Pastor Tobaise Bookins serves the spiritual community as pastor of large, diverse congregation, The Bethesda Churches. Bookins, originally from Los Angeles County, moved to the San Joaquin Valley with the encouragement of his mentor, the late senior pastor of Bethesda, Bishop Henry L. Johnson, founder of the Bethesda Church. By 2014, Bookins was able to quickly establish two locations for the church congregation: Bethesda Southeast and Bethesda River Park.


Bookins has also been an educator for over 20+ years: he holds master’s degrees in education and special education, teaching special education students in the Los Angeles Unified School District for 12 years and also in the New York Public School District.


Bookins is also the father of three daughters and husband to wife, Dr. Antionette Bookins, who is a licensed marriage and family therapist who owns her own practice called Destination Hope Counseling and Enrichment Center, which specializes in Christian counseling.




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