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ONME Local: Newsom reveals drought plan; youth program to give jobs; Fresno eviction crisis looming

By ONME Newswire

In this episode of It's ONME Local - Central Valley, podcast show host Julia Dudley Najieb reviews Merced County press briefing at the quickly evaporating San Luis Reservoir with Governor Gavin Newsom, who has declared a state of emergency for several counties already experiencing drought conditions. Newsom significantly expanded his April 21 drought emergency proclamation to include Klamath River, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Tulare Lake Watershed counties. In total, 41 counties are now under a drought state of emergency, representing 30 percent of the state’s population.

He also announced a $5.1 billion plan to tackle California's chronic drought issue by upgrading the necessary infrastructure changes needed for long-term water resilience investments to address immediate, emergency needs, build regional capacity to endure drought and safeguard water supplies for communities, the economy and the environment. In addition to the $5.1 billion investment, the Governor is proposing $1 billion to help Californians pay their overdue water bills.

Meanwhile in Fresno county, a pilot youth,jobs program beginning in Southwest Fresno plans to expand its footprint across the entire city after an evaluation of operations of the current project locations. Students are able to work after school, getting paid to help beautify their community, starting with painting professional address numbers on the curbs of residents in District 3. Edison High School student, Jordan Jackson, who is a part of the program, saw it as the perfect opportunity to earn income and help clean up the community at the same time.

Finally, City of Fresno Council Vice-President District 7, Nelson Esparza, District 4 Councilperson Tyler Maxwell, and District 3 Councilperson Miguel Arias expressed their deep concerns at a press conference this week about the pending June 30 eviction moratorium lift, which would result in a tsunami of evictions throughout the city. Currently, 80 percent of Fresno County's eviction orders come from the city of Fresno, according to Councilman Arias.

At the press conference, Councilperson Esparza presented Fresno's Eviction Protection Program (EPP) to help tenants by providing them with eviction legal services, free mediation services between landlords and tenants, eviction workshops and other services, ala provided in multi-languages.

The three Fresno City Council members also presented changes they would like to propose to the other council members about the Rental Housing Improvement Act to give code enforcement more direction to prevent or fine slum lords.



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