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Fresno lawmakers propose ballot measure for veterans facilities and services

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

Fresno Council Speaker Nelson Esparza, along with Council Members 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 city ​​veterans and veterans facilities.

The Fresno Veterans Support Vote initiative, or Measure V, aims to improve services for veterans and fund improvements to the Fresno Memorial Auditorium and other facilities for veterans. It was due to be presented to the Fresno City Council on Thursday and will be subject to input from leaders and local veterans’ organizations, council members said.

The objective is to include measure V in the November election.

Measure V is expected to generate about $9.8 million a year through an 1/8th-cent increase for city residents.

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

“Many veterans, especially homeless veterans who have been relegated to our streets, are struggling to find their way back to productive lives,” Esparza said. “These men and women sacrificed themselves for us. It is time to develop solutions to ensure they have the services and resources to live peaceful and prosperous lives as civilians.

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

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