Fresno · Politics

Fresno lawmakers pitch ballot measure for veterans facilities, services

A trio of Fresno City Council members announced plans to introduce a tax initiative to support Central Valley veterans in the mold of Clovis’ Veterans Memorial District.

Fresno Council President Nelson Esparza, along with Councilmembers Miguel Arias and Luis Chavez, held a press conference at the Fresno Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Downtown Fresno on Wednesday afternoon to announce a ballot measure for the city’s veterans and veterans’ facilities.

The Fresno Veterans Support Ballot Initiative, or Measure V, aims to improve services for veterans and fund improvements to the Fresno Memorial Auditorium and other veteran facilities. It was scheduled to be introduced to the Fresno City Council Thursday and will be subject to input from local veteran leaders and organizations, the councilmembers said.

The goal is to include Measure V on the November ballot.

Measure V is anticipated generate approximately $9.8 million dollars a year through a 1/8th of a cent increment for city residents.

Esparza said there are nearly 40,000 veterans living in Fresno County, with more than 19,300 of them residing in the City of Fresno.

“Many veterans, especially homeless veterans who have been relegated to our streets, struggle to find a way back to a productive life,” Esparza said. “These men and women have sacrificed for us. It’s time to develop solutions to ensure that they have services and resources to live a peaceful and thriving life as civilians.”

Thursday, Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer and Fresno City Council member Garry Bredfeld, a Navy veteran, endorsed the measure as it continues to take shape.

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Staff reports from The San Joaquin Valley Sun staff.