By Hannah Brandt

The final presidential candidate, Julián Castro, speaks at the California Democrats State Convention (CADEM) in San Francisco on Sunday, June 2, 2019. Photo by Peter Maiden. Castro served as mayor of San Antonio, Tex. before he was Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under President Obama. Castro spent much of his speech talking about immigrant rights and expanding Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) to address poverty and increase housing. He spoke after his speech to the press and to members of the audience from the San Joaquin Valley. To his left is California Democratic Party acting chair, Alexandra “Alex” Gallardo-Rooker. To his right is California Democratic Party (CDP) secretary Jenny Bach. Both women spoke at the end of the convention about the status of the California Democratic Party. Gallardo-Rooker drew ire from the audience when she chastised those who booed candidates and complained that there is “hate from within.” Bach talked passionately about how her experience as a child of refugees from the Vietnam War influenced her decision to enter politics. You can watch the full video of all the general session speeches on CADEM’s website here: https://www.cadem.org/news/press-releases/2019/video-of-general-session-speakers-from-california-democratic-party-2019-organizing-convention-now-available

by Hannah Brandt

Floyd Harris III with many of his cheerleading awards in 2019. Photo by Hannah Brandt.


By Emily Brandt and Hannah Brandt

March 31, 2019

On Monday, April 8, 2019, residents of the City of Fresno and the rest of the Central San Joaquin Valley are invited to a revival of the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign and March on Washington. The assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968 — a mere 18 days before the momentous occurrence was scheduled to happen — forced organizers to move it from April 22, 1968, to May 12, 1968. …


20 songs to beat the heat

If you’ve been here before or read my articles in Community Alliance newspaper, you know that I usually write about pretty serious stuff. After frying my brain voting in the California primary, I needed a fun break. So I made a summer playlist. Thinking not about what songs I love most (though some of these are), but which ones make me think most of the summer. Bumping it up from 16 to 20 songs, I got the idea for this from PBS Newshour’s list here: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/arts/16-songs-that-never-leave-our-summer-playlists

  1. Doo-Wop (That Thing) by Lauryn Hill (1998): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6QKqFPRZSA

From Fresno Pacific Peace Club to Randa Jarrar

My father (left) leads the Fresno Pacific Peace Club at the citywide Moratorium Day protest of the Vietnam War on October 15, 1969. Students walked 4 miles from then-Fresno Pacific College (now Fresno Pacific University) down Maple Ave to Kings Canyon Rd, past the Fresno Fairgrounds, then along Cedar Ave to Courthouse Park in downtown Fresno. Details thanks to Paula Lloyd of the Fresno Bee. Photo from the October edition of Pacific College Viking newspaper.

It has been four months since I wrote my last From the Editor. After two and a half years, I stepped down as editor of Community Alliance newspaper. It is my pleasure to pass the reins to Elsa Mejía on her first official month as editor. I know she will do a great job. As for me, I will continue to do journalism and am in the early stages of research for a book I hope to publish about the history of activism in Fresno.

It will be a long time before…


Hannah Brandt working on the November edition with executive director Michael Evans (right), layout designer Joel Perez (left)

This month, it is hard to write this. That is not only because I happen to be sick as a dog as I do so, but as many of you know, this is my last month as editor. Even when one realizes passing the torch is necessary, moving on is often hard to do.

I have enjoyed putting this paper together line by line, page by page, month by month. It has been wonderful to collaborate with so many passionate and thoughtful people on so many important issues. I have been fortunate to meet individuals and have experiences I would…


Photo of the vigil at the Transgender Night of Remembrance by Peter Maiden

“Your attendance is your support,” says Zoyer Zyndel, Trans-E-motion chair and emcee at the Trans Day of Remembrance (TDOR) at Fresno State on Nov. 20. Trans-E-motion is a local organization that works to provide support and education to transgender persons, their families, and their friends. Later, Zyndel said that “the goal would be to have a day when we no longer need a TDOR again. To have equality when ignorance is finally dead.”

A Fresno State student named Arias told us that 2017 was the deadliest year on record for trans lives lost, with at least 25 deaths. Trans kids…


A single white flowering plant grows in Dina’s window box with the partially reconstructed Gaza skyline behind it. Much of Gaza was destroyed in 2014. Dina’s flower and her pet turtle feeding on lettuce remind her that while death is a constant in Gaza, so is life. Photo by Dina Samir and shared on her Instagram.

In July 2014, just a month before Americans were confronted with images of 17-year-old Michael Brown lying dead from police gunshots on the street in Ferguson, Mo., television screens were filled with brutal carnage on the other side of the world in Gaza. Similar to footage of the conflict in Syria, images of the Gaza War were absolutely devastating.

The Gaza Strip is home to almost two million Palestinians and Gaza City’s population is 500,000, the size of Fresno. Gaza City neighborhoods like Shuja’iyya and Beit Hanoun were nearly completely destroyed by Israeli shelling. …


Press conference on July 18, 2017. Photo by Hannah Brandt

On July 18, Mi Familia Vota held a press conference on healthcare in coordination with several other groups including Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network (SIREN), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Centro Binacional para el Desarollo Indígena Oaxaqueño (CBDIO), Planned Parenthood, the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno, the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California and Fresno Immigration Coalition. The urgency was palpable.

Pedro Elias of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte (Fresno) led the discussion describing the impact on the Valley of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as Obamacare) and implementing the GOP plan for healthcare (often called Trumpcare)…


Hannah Brandt speaking at the 2017 Community Alliance fundraiser at the Unitarian Universalist church of Fresno. Photo by Richard D. Iyall, Cowlitz.

Three years ago, the hashtag #YesAllWomen went viral on social media as women confronted the world with their stories of sexual abuse and assault. The aim was to make people listen to and take seriously women’s lived experiences, which have for so long been dismissed, mocked and even turned on the women themselves to blame the victim. It was also to make clear that all women have faced sexual assault in one form or another, that we all live with a backdrop of fear that moves to the foreground all too often.

It was eye-opening primarily for women who realized…

Hannah BP

Editor of Fresno Free Press (on hiatus) | Former Editor of fresnoalliance.com | Alum of @TheRHSRiders, @ucsantabarbara, @SFSU | Lifelong Redhead | She/her

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