Swearengin Touts Legacy, Fresno’s Return From Brink

Swearengin (Chris Carlson : Associated Press)
Chris Carlson : Associated Press

Fresno’s Republican Mayor Ashley Swearengin delivered her annual State of the City address on Wednesday, accepting accolades for her role in leading the city out of socio-economic blight.

“The state of our city is stronger than ever,” Swearengin proclaimed. She reminded local leaders that under her mayorship, Fresno had recovered the worst recession it had suffered in 70 years, according to the Fresno Bee. She said the nation is buzzing about all the Fresno has accomplished.

“For all of us who have been in the trenches, fighting for every inch of recovery and believe, truly, madly, deeply, that we’re on the cusp of something epic happening right here in Fresno… it’s about damn time somebody noticed,” she said.

Swearengin also cited a recent series done by the Atlantic which chronicled Fresno’s comeback, among other, similar reports.

Homelessness is down in the city, and a new app called FresGo hopes to help make inroads towards solving the communication lapse citizens often have with public officials. It allows for residents to provide City Hall with feedback, including reporting on infrastructure and non-emergency public safety issues, using either a smartphone or a computer.

With just 19 months left in her term, Swearengin spoke of her legacy and the revitalized road ahead for the Golden State’s fifth-largest city. On a closing note, she reportedly said, “When I’m finished serving as the mayor of Fresno, I want it to be said of me that I was willing to make any personal or political sacrifice, do whatever it took to turnaround our downtown and inner city.”

This past November, Swearengin lost a bid for the position of state controller to Democratic opponent Betty Yee. In March, she opted not to run for Senate against Attorney General Kamala Harris for Democrat Barbara Boxer’s soon-to-be-vacated seat.

Still, as as the end of her term draws near, Swearengin appears to be weighing her next political options.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz