Political Notebook

2018-03-13 | The Fresno Bee

March 12--Anti-Trump protesters called off events planned for Wednesday, saying a visit to Fresno this week is not likely on the president's California tour.

"As of this moment, it doesn't appear that Trump will be coming to town. We're keeping this event page up on the off chance he swoops into town clandestinely," a group called The Fresno Resistance posted to its event page Monday. Fresno activist Shannon Kurtz, leader of the planned protest, said that she decided Monday to call off the event following her own investigation.

Fresno's top officials say they have received no notice that President Trump will visit the city despite speculation by some last week that he would make an appearance alongside Tulare Republican Rep. Devin Nunes to speak out against California's sanctuary state policies. A Nunes spokesman denied any such plans.

"We have not been provided with any information from Secret Service regarding a presidential visit to Fresno," said Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer, who led security efforts in downtown Fresno when Trump visited Selland Arena during his campaign in 2016. "Generally, Secret Service will notify us in advance of a presidential visit so that we can plan accordingly with our resources."

Fresno Mayor Lee Brand's office had also not been notified of a presidential visit as of Monday. "We have no word from the White House about a visit to Fresno during President Trump's trip to California this week," city spokesman Mark Standriff said in an email.

On Monday, Gov. Jerry Brown invited Trump to visit the Central Valley to see high-speed rail sites, saying "in California we are focusing on bridges, not walls. And that's more than just a figure of speech."

"After you've examined your wall prototypes on the border, I invite you to head north to the Central Valley -- the heart of California. Here in cities like Fresno and Madera more than a dozen bridges are being built for the nation's first and only High-Speed Rail line," Brown says in a letter to Trump.

Madera Mayor Andy Medellin said there was no word on visits to his area, either. "I have not heard that President Trump or anybody from his staff will be visiting Madera or even the Central Valley," Medellin said.

Trump is expected in San Diego on Tuesday to eye prospective border wall plans, and officials have confirmed a private fundraiser planned Tuesday evening in Beverly Hills. This is Trump's first visit to California since becoming president.

Fresno City Council President Esmeralda Soria said that "as a daughter of immigrants," she would welcome a Trump visit.

"I welcome the opportunity to educate our president about contributions that our immigrant community, including thousands of Dreamers, make to our local economy ..." Soria said. "In addition, I'd like the opportunity to talk about the real problems that aren't yet being addressed by his administration like water, housing, homelessness (including our veterans) and school safety."

Mackenzie Mays: 559-441-6412, @MackenzieMays