Councilmember Miguel Arias is a community leader with extensive senior executive, public policy, advocacy, and communications experience. Miguel spent his youth as a farmworker on the west side of Fresno, working to pay his college tuition and learning first-hand the value of hard work. His determination guided him from the fields to the halls of Congress, where he served Central Valley families as a legislative aide to Congressman Cal Dooley. Due to the devastating drought in 2004, Miguel returned to Fresno to lead emergency relief efforts, repurpose retired farmland and advocate for more water storage and safer drinking water.
More recently, Miguel served as Chief Information Officer for Fresno Unified School District and as Trustee at State Center Community College District. Through these roles he worked to increase high school and college graduation rates, and led the establishment of Dream Centers at Fresno Unified School District and Fresno City College, to assist undocumented students. As College Trustee, Miguel led the effort to diversify and expand access to the nursing program, police and fire academies and career technical education. During his tenure as an educational leader, he helped secure $1 Billion to build new schools and colleges including Bud Gaston Jr. Middle School, Westside Institute of Technology, and two new Fresno City College Centers in southeast Fresno and West Fresno.
Miguel’s efforts have earned him numerous recognitions including Educator of the Year award by the Association of California School Administrators; Golden Bell Award from the California School Board Association; Community Leadership Award from Centro La Familia; and Community Leadership Award from the Fresno Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Committee.
Since November 2018, Miguel has represented City of Fresno District 3, which includes Downtown, Tower District, West Fresno, and Central Unified communities. Miguel and his family live in downtown Fresno.