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Years of dedicated advocacy overcame this last-minute obstacle – with a big win.

It started when California Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) made a one-time state budget request for $1 million to support medical equipment and service expansion at Fresno’s Planned Parenthood Mar Monte (PPMM) health centers. Because the state funding was designed to “pass through” to the Fresno budget, the city council members needed to approve it at their August 18 meeting.

After hours of public comment from PPMM staff and supporters -- and the opposition showing outrageously inaccurate videos about abortion care -- the council overwhelmingly passed the $1 million budget allocation.

Then, Mayor Dyer vetoed it. His extremist politics threatened to deny Fresno residents this vitally needed funding to expand the health care they need and deserve.

 But the mayor proved no match for the health care advocacy that PPMM has done for years, championing patients’ needs with community leaders.

Fresno City Council member Miguel Arias, a stalwart supporter of the $1 million pass-through funding, brought the issue back to council on September 1.  With a strongly supportive, veto-proof majority,  the council stood with patients and providers and voted to override Mayor Dyer’s veto.

We say it all the time: Local elections matter! Those who represent us on the school board, city council, county boards and commissions, have the power to deny or expand essential services in our communities.

Victories like this do not happen overnight. It takes strategic investment in candidates and our movement, year over year, to build the political environment to support patients and providers.

Help keep this momentum going to the election and donate -- in honor of Mayor Dyer. For each donation in his honor, we’ll send him a special thank you!

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