Fresno Bee Newsroom Blog

Political Notebook: Honored by Swearengin, council in the morning, Stanley turns foe in the evening

Fresno City Council members this morning honored the Rev. Sharon Stanley, giving her a plaque, reading a proclamation and naming the day in her honor.

Mayor Ashley Swearengin was present, stood with Stanley and gave her a hug. A standing ovation followed.

In the evening, however, the hugs and tears will turn to gritty determination for Stanley, who is a leading opponent of Swearengin’s controversial proposal to outsource the city’s residential trash service.

It will likely be Stanley’s final Fresno battle.

For the past 23 years, she’s been in Fresno. The past 18 as executive director of the Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministry, which helps refugees — many from Southeast Asia — transition to life in America.

But now she’s headed to Washington, D.C., for a new job.

That was the reason for today’s honors.

Stanley, however, is also a force in local progressive politics, and she isn’t a fan of Swearengin’s proposal, which has several supporters on the council — likely a majority.

Stanley said local residents need more information, more debate and more time before a decision is made.