Fresno City Council member Garry Bredefeld is on the war path once again, fighting to reopen businesses in the city from the COVID-19 lockdown.
It exposed an open contrast between reopening approaches at Fresno City Hall.
The Northeast Fresno council member is submitting four resolutions to the council Thursday: the Open City Hall to the Public Act, the End the Snitch Hotline Act, the Anti-Oppressive Government Act and the Business Freedom Act.
“The acquiescing to a tyrannical governor – and it is tyranny – who has imposed destructive, idiotic policies on our communities has to be challenged,” Bredefeld said Wednesday. “It’s six months now. Local politicians and bureaucrats who simply mimic his orders and bow before his authoritarian mandates must be held accountable, as does he, and my four resolutions do just that.”
Bredefeld’s press conference ran headlong into plans by Fresno Mayor Lee Brand to send an open letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom pressing for expedited reopening.
Originally slated to be rolled Wednesday, too, Brand’s announcement was shelved due to other regional mayors wanting to sign-on, Brand’s spokesman told The Fresno Business Journal.
Back in May, Bredefeld introduced similar legislation to the council in an attempt to lift the lockdown and reopen businesses.
However, given the council’s opposition to his efforts in May, Bredefeld does not think any of the four bills will pass.
“It is my hope the council will address it seriously,” Bredefeld said. “I suspect though that if any history is a way to tell what will be the future, that will be a difficult task, but we’re going to continue to push forward. That’s what my constituents expect of me. That’s what I expect of me.”
The Open City Hall to the Public Act is as simple as it sounds. The Fresno City Council has been holding meetings online through Zoom since April, and Bredefeld is asking the council to return to City Hall to hold the meetings in person.
“I’ve been asking for it for months,” Bredefeld said. “The Fresno Board of Supervisors meet at the Fresno County building. It’s open to the public. Do they care less than the city of Fresno? Clovis City Hall is open to the public. Do they care less than everyone else? This building needs to be open. It belongs to the people, and frankly I would love to see people who are making these rules and imposing these edicts and mandates on people take a pay cut, because they’re costing people money. But as we see from these progressive politicians, they’re never impacted by their decisions.”
The End the Snitch Hotline Act is also as it sounds: Bredefeld wants to terminate the hotline where customers or employees can report businesses for violating the COVID-19 related orders.
With the Anti-Oppressive Government Act, Bredefeld wants the city to take legal action against the State and Governor Gavin Newsom to repeal and terminate all state emergency orders related to COVID-19 that close business, schools and houses of worship.
Bredefeld called the orders unconstitutional and pointed to a federal judge’s ruling Monday which struck down Pennsylvania’s coronavirus orders for being unconstitutional.
Lastly, the Business Freedom Act would repeal all of Fresno’s COVID-19 orders that have limited or shut down business operations.
Businesses would be asked to follow the guidance put forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding COVID-19 safety.
“I want to open up all businesses following the CDC guidelines,” Bredefeld said. “There is no reason why they can’t.”
Even though Bredefeld doesn’t expect the rest of the council to side with him, why is proposing this legislation? Simply put, he’s fed up with the status quo.
“I said I’m going to be a voice for the people that I represent,” Bredefeld said. “I’m going to be. I’m not going to be silent as we continue to destroy people’s lives, livelihoods and, frankly, destroy our children.”