Miguel Arias hopes his public service record will stand out in a field of seven candidates to succeed Oliver Baines in the Fresno City Council District 3 race.
The 40-year-old Arias, making his second bid for public office, serves on the State Center Community College District board of trustees and has been the top public information officer for the Fresno Unified School District.
“I will always put people before politics and will work hard every day to make this city that we love a little better,” Arias says on his campaign website. “Together we will build vibrant, safe, and thriving neighborhoods through innovation and neighborhood collaboration.”
The district, which stretches from just south of Central Avenue to Shields primarily on the west side of the city, includes downtown and chunk of the Tower Distrcit.
It has been represented by Oliver Baines, a Fresno police officer, for eight years. He is termed out.
What people underestimate is that our schools are a reflection of our community. They reflect the best potential we have and the most severe challenges.
Miguel Arias, Fresno City Council District 3 candidate
The field includes former councilmember and self-described “revitalization professional” Craig Scharton; Tate Hill, former president/CEO of the Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce; and, educator Daren Miller, a former principal in Fresno Unified and now a school counselor in Madera.
Other candidates are business owner Sean Sánchez; and, retired school librarian Kimberly Tapscott-Munson.
Arias has won the endorsements of former Fresno Mayor Alan Autry, gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa, former Assemblymember Juan Arámbula, and Dan Ronquillo, who represented the district on the city council for eight years.
Current mayor Lee Brand has endorsed Hill.
Unless a clear winner emerges with the majority of the votes on June 5, the top two will head to a run-off in November.
Arias, who has been walking the district knocking on doors, said his top priorities for the council are public safety, education and job development.
He told The Fresno Bee in February that his experience as a crisis manager for Fresno Unified prepares him for a council job.
“What people underestimate is that our schools are a reflection of our community. They reflect the best potential we have and the most severe challenges,” said Arias. “On a daily basis, we have a crisis in the district that we have to be able to respond to.”
Arias, who has two children, has also worked as chief of staff for then-Councilmember Blong Xiong. He has also worked for the Fresno County Economic Opportunities Commission and for former Congressman Cal Dooley.
Arias attended Fresno State.