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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
Local

City of FresnoCandidate for City Council, Council District 5

Photo of Jose Barraza

Jose Barraza

Business Development Counselor
3,395 votes (24.42%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • IMPROVE PUBLIC SAFETY Residents in District 5 continue to state that high-crime and improving public safety is an important concern, including issues with the homeless and speeding cars in neighborhoods.
  • ECONOMIC PROSPERITY There is a need for more job training and employment opportunities in District 5. Fresno continues to be one of the cities with highest concentration of poverty in the State and Nation. Fresno needs to be more business friendly.
  • BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE. According to the Trust for Public Land Park Survey, Fresno ranks at the bottom of National Park Surveys as compared to 94 cities in our nation. South Fresno and District 5 need more parks and soccer fields.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Chief Executive Officer of the Southeast Fresno Regional Park and Soccer Complex Authority
Chief Execuive Office, Southeast Fresno Regional Park and Soccer Complex Authority (2016–current)
Chief Executive Officer, Southeast Fresno Community Economic Development Association (2000–2016)
Director of Economic Development, Fresno County Administrative Office — Appointed position (2003–2009)
Principal Administrative Analyst, Fresno County Administrative Office — Appointed position (1974–2002)

Education

California State University, Fresno Master of Public Administration, Public Administration (1978)
California Sate University, Fresno Bachelor of Science, Business Administration (1974)
Fresno City College Associate of Science, General Business (1968)

Community Activities

ViceChair , Fresno City District 5 Implementation Committee (2012–2016)
Member, Southeast Fresno Police Advisory Committee (2015–2016)
Chairman, Fresno County Blue Ribbon Business Committee (2009–2010)
Chairman, Fresno County Enterprise Zone Board (2008–2009)
Foreman , Federal Grand Jury (2001–2002)

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Robert Vieira

Organizations (1)

  • Roosevelt Youth Soccer League

Elected Officials (2)

  • Valerie Davis, Fresno Unified School District Board
  • John Leal, President State Center Community College District

Individuals (4)

  • Emerson Estrada
  • Charlie Vang
  • Doctor Katherine Florez
  • Michael Chico

Political Beliefs

Position Papers

IMPROVE PUBLIC SAFETY

Summary

Residents in District 5 continue to state that high-crime and  improving public safety is an important concern, including  issues with the homeless and speeding cars in neighborhoods.

My proposed actions:

I have been participating on  the Southeast Fresno Police Advisory Committee and have reviewed crime data with the Police Commander for this area.  I believe that in all cases we need to encourage more community-based policing and greater communication between the Police Department and the Community. Our organization, the Southeast Fresno Economic Community Economic Development Association (SEFCEDA) where I was the CEO for six years, has worked with the Police Department in providing workshops to merchants during the holiday season to reduce crime.  We also need to increase the use of technology like security cameras around businesses and in neighborhoods  with previous authorization by business owners and residents.  For example, neighbors complain about high speed vehicles running through their communities. Portable cameras can be temporarily set until the problem is addressed. The Police already does a good job in working with families that are victims of crimes. We need to do more crime prevention discussions with residents.  More afterschool programs and parks are need  for our youth, to engage them in constructive activities. 

ECONOMIC PROSPERITY

Summary

There is a need for more job training and employment opportunities in District 5. Fresno continues to be one of the cities with highest of poverty in the State and the Nation. Fresno needs to be more business friendly.

I will continue to work with educational institutions to improve the availability of training and educational resources to its residents to improve their earning power. I will interact with nonprofit organizations in our community to get their assistance and participation in this process.

The Fresno Unified School District needs to do a better job of preparing students for the job market and college. The level of skills and knowledge of graduating students needs to improve. In Fresno we have jobs that go unfilled because Fresno residents do not have the skills necessary to fill those jobs, that is the reason we created SEFCEDA to connect residents with training and employment opportunities available and to prepare them for those available jobs. The City of Fresno should advocate for the expansion of those programs. I received recognition awards from the City of Clovis and Selma, the 15 cities in Fresno County, including the City and County of Fresno, the Economic Development Corporation Serving Fresno County and the State Assembly for my work as Fresno County Director of Economic development and for creating thousands of jobs and forming a Countywide Enterprise Zone that gave tax incentives to small businesses.

During the last six years, as the CEO of SEFCEDA, we have provided services to small businesses and residents as follows: Technical assistance for small businesses and providing information on job training and employment opportunities to resident.

As a Council Member for District 5, I intend to continue to apply my economic development experience in the attraction, retention and expansion of businesses in our City. I will continue to help improve the local economy and bring more resources to City government and increase the revenues of the General Fund to address our needs for improving our public safety and making more parks and soccer fields available in District 5.

I also intend to implement several community-initiated recommendations to increase commerce and pedestrian safety along the Ventura/Kings Canyon Corridor, ignored by the District 5 Council Member and his staff when it was delivered to them last year. These recommendations were prepared by PlaceWorks, an urban planning consultant, with the participation of SEFCEDA, Centro La Familia, Center for New Americans, and the Ventura/Kings Canyon Merchant Association, supervised by the Fresno Council of Governments and Fresno City staff and funded by Caltrans.

BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE.

Summary

According to the Trust for Public Land Park Survey, Fresno ranks at the bottom of National Park Surveys as compared to 94 cities in our nation. Within Fresno, the majority of parks are concentrated in North Fresno. South Fresno and District 5 need more parks and soccer fields.

Ten years ago the City of Fresno received 49 acres of land on Peach Avenue donated by the US National Park Service. As part of the City's application to receive this land, the City promised to build a park and recreational facilities on that site. Despite the fact that South Fresno has an acute need for more parks and this land has been available, the current council member for District 5 and his staff have shown no leadership in starting a park project on that site and have not planted a single tree on that park site, while other parks continue to be built in North Fresno. Even when funding has been available the City has done nothing to fund this project. The City received $1.3 million from an insurance claim when a building burned on that site. According to the Memorandum of Understanding with the National Park Service all revenues generated by that site are supposed to be used for improvements of that site. Those funds were used to fund other City projects.

As a Council Member I intend to make the funding of a regional park and soccer fields on this site a high priority. I will continue my work in seeking funds from state and federal sources, corporate sponsors, volunteers from community partners and soccer leagues to make this project a reality.

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