Fresno County, CA November 7, 2000 Election
Smart Voter


By Daniel K. Whitehurst

Candidate for Mayor; City of Fresno

This information is provided by the candidate
More Jobs, Better Jobs

More Jobs, Better Jobs

While the rest of the nation is enjoying unprecedented prosperity, Fresno has had double digit unemployment for 20 years. Yet we've done little to address the problem. Many of our leaders have been afraid to take political risks and to make the kind of investments a dynamic local economy will require. For instance, we desperately need new industry, but the City has virtually no ready-to-go industrial land to offer to major employers.

I consider the situation to be a community emergency and believe dramatic action is required, including consistent investment in industrial land assembly, infrastructure, education and community amenities. I support the appropriate use of eminent domain and bond financing for economic development projects which benefit the greater community. Creating jobs will be my highest priority as Mayor.

Some steps to pursue:

  • Adopt a new General Plan, including an economic development strategy, in concert with Clovis and Fresno County
  • Lobby for state and federal government support, along with foundation assistance, for Valley economic development
  • Maintain an ample inventory of ready-to-go industrial land (pre-zoned, infrastructure and amenities installed, environmental issues addressed, financing tools in place
  • Create an entrepreneur-friendly atmosphere
  • Establish partnerships with education (including the new UC in Merced) and job training providers to raise the skill levels of local workers and attract better jobs
  • Support joint marketing efforts with other Valley communities
  • Invest in telecommunications infrastructure as recommended in the Great Valley Center's New Connexions project.

Interstate and Intrastate Transportation

A key component to economic vitality is transportation, the linkages to the rest of the world. However, Fresno is the largest city in the country not on the Interstate Highway System. Our air service is limited, expensive and lacking in amenities. Amtrak service is now more frequent, but it does not connect us directly with Los Angeles and San Francisco.

We've got work to do: improved air service, improved rail service and a completed metropolitan freeway system with better links to the rest of California. As Mayor, I will work to:

  • Renew Measure C. Complete the freeway system and work for freeway connections to I-5 and 101 and inclusion of 99 in the Interstate Highway System
  • Complete airport expansion and arrange increased jet service
  • Support the high speed rail initiative

Next Page: Position Paper 2

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