One of the more interesting occurrences within the final election week is the “4th quarter” supporters and critics that seemingly spring into action for or against a cause.
In the Valley, this appears to be the norm for some headline-grabbers and media-movers to cause political sway right before individuals cast their ballots.
Somehow, this political chess move has found its way targeting Measure E.
My primary issue with a lot of these arguments is how elementary they are.
There will be a citizen’s oversight committee appointed by the Fresno County Board of Supervisors to review all requests from the university.
These committee meetings will be held open to the public. Athletics is a pivotal part of the university (and community) culture and pride.
These “4th quarter” opportunists should look at running more stories supporting athletics and how they provide more scholarships and opportunities to black and brown individuals than any other organizations on campus.
The athletics program here changed my life. I went from a first-generation Tongan-American from a rough area in Northern Sacramento, to a diehard Fresno community member. In my adolescence, college seemed distant, just like for many kids in our community. Fresno State gave me an opportunity to earn three-degrees and set me on a path for future success. Measure E can expand upon that opportunity for more valley kids.
We must think of the big picture.
If you are disassociated with Fresno State or asking yourself “Why should I support Fresno State?” you should think how you and your family will benefit by investing into the future. 80% of all teachers in Fresno County earned their degree from Fresno State.
As this community grows, our education system will need to grow with it. If you are a homeowner, the Number 1 economic driver for home value appreciation are the local schools and the quality of education they provide. Most of our local nurses earned their degree from Fresno State. The Valley is currently short 1000 nurses. If we have learned anything since 2020, it’s that we need more nurses for shorter wait-times and a higher quality of healthcare.
Asm. Jim Patterson, Rep. Jim Costa, Mayor Jerry Dyer, CSU Employees Union and a multitude of other educators, doctors, nurses, representatives, and elected officials all agree that a better Fresno State is part of the answer for a better community.
Crumbling infrastructure, non-ADA compliant facilities and impacted majors are all issues we can find at our university. The state should take care of these issues, but time and time again has shown that the State’s concern for the Valley is not there. Measure E presents us an opportunity to invest into the future of Fresno County.
Here are my top 5 arguments for Measure E and why this is a one time opportunity for the Valley:
1. 80% of Fresno State graduates stay in the area and contribute to our community in myriad ways.
2. Measure E is expected to generate 1,000 local jobs a year for the next 20 years totaling 20,000 new jobs.
3. Expanding our local Ag, Criminology, Nursing, and STEM departments is vital to the future of Fresno County. Innovations in agriculture science will ensure advancements in farm practices and procedures. Expansion of our Criminology department will develop more highly-qualified public safety officers and staff recruits.
4. In 2022, Fresno State nursing program received 280 4.0 GPA applications. Fresno State currently has the capacity to accept 65 a year. That means Fresno State is currently turning away 220 best of the best applicants because there simply is not enough room.
5. This Measure is perfectly planned out with 2/3rd (estimated 24 million a year) allocated to support academics and 1/3rd (estimated 12 million max) to athletics. Academics and athletics at universities rise together. State of the art academic facilities at an affordable rate guarantees a quality education for all students regardless of status. A strong athletic program is the national marketing and branding arm of the university and is vital to growing name recognition and community engagement. This allocation procedure ensures no facility or program is left out of consideration.
Fresno State may be a part of the CSU system, but this school belongs to the residents right here in Fresno County. This school is part of our local pride and tradition.
Support Fresno County residents, support the effort and choose to invest into the future by casting a YES vote. Measure E will create a world class university right here in the heart of the Valley and hopefully after November 8, that dream transitions into reality.