A Sea of Orange

Posted by Jessann Stymans

I did not know what to expect in attending the City Council meeting that would either approve or disapprove the opening of vehicular traffic to Fulton Street. I figured there would be 50 or so people there, mostly business owners currently on Fulton Mall. Actually Fresno City Hall was packed! People were lined up outside of the meeting hoping to get a peek inside. When you went inside the council meeting it was a sea of orange. The majority of the people inside were wearing the orange t-shirts that I passed out along with a couple of my fellow interns.

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Our job was passing out the orange t-shirts that read “Fulton Street Openfor Business” to anybody and everybody that supported Fulton Street. We encouraged people to speak during public comment and gave out key points about Fulton Street to help people find something to talk about. The stack of public comment cards was pretty big. I was surprised that many people were willing to get in front of the City Council and say why they supported Fulton Street. It was truly amazing to see how many people were there to support downtown Fresno.

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I volunteered myself to speak as well but, unfortunately did not stay until public comment. If I did speak I would have given the council members a college student’s point of view. I would have told them that Downtown has so much hidden culture but college students are rarely found in downtown. Many consider it to be empty and dangerous. Opening up Fulton Street could be a new hangout spot for college students. A place where people can pull up to a restaurant or store and not have to walk up and down the mall looking for the designated location.

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It will be exciting to watch the construction and see the new opening of Fulton Street after the approval from the City Council late last night.

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It was a new experience for me being so involved in something that has such a huge impact on downtown Fresno. The employees of Downtown Partnership have welcomed me with open arms and encouraged me to be involved. Volunteering for the I Believe project has been very exciting for me and I am sure it will continue to be.

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