Clovis: still best place to live

2018 statistics from Niche.com states Clovis, CA is no. 1 in ‘Best Places To Live’ in Fresno County. Its overall grade also puts Clovis ahead of dozens of other cities when it comes to safety, school district, and diversity. (Ron Sundquist/Clovis Roundup)

In response to some of the comments (both positive and negative) received in last months issue concerning the article about the “Clovis Way of Life,” we wanted to address the fact that though times are a’changin and the city is a’growin…

Clovis is still the SAFEST, most DIVERSE and BEST overall city to live in within Fresno County.

Clovis, long considered a bedroom community to Fresno, is no longer — our city is expanding, and not even negative Facebook comments can stop that growth.

We have become a great community with everything a larger city has to offer.

We aren’t just Fresno/Clovis.

We aren’t just a city that lazily follows a backslash as an afterthought to Fresno.

WE ARE CLOVIS.

We live the “Clovis Way of Life.”

We are here to remind the community what that really means.

…….

2018 statistics from Niche.com, a website that provides “grades” and rankings to cities, state that Clovis has the highest overall “grade” of A-, the highest in all of Fresno County.

According to the website, the process of obtaining these grades is achieved by gathering data and reviews, performing rigorous analysis, combining user insights with industry standards and then finally producing its grades to “capture what schools and neighborhoods are really like.”

Niche.com provides not only “grades” for individual cities, but rankings as well.

“The goal of our ‘Best Places to Live’ rankings is to provide accurate, comparable and thorough evaluations of places,” according to Niche.com. “To do so, we’ve collected and analyzed dozens of rankings factors from federal and local government datasets. We’ve combined those with proprietary Niche data and community reviews from each area.”

Niche.com ranked Clovis not only #1 in “Best Places to Live” in Fresno County but our community scored higher than dozens of other Valley cities in safety, public schools, diversity and even as a great place to live for retirees AND millenials!

Here is how Clovis ranked:

#1  “Best for Families”

#3  “Safest”

#1  “Best Public Schools”

#2  “Most Diverse”

#2  “Best Place for Millenials”

#3  “Best Place for Retirees”

Clovis fell short in “Cost of Living” ranking #22 with a grade of C along with Kerman, Del Rey and Fresno.

However, Niche.com gives all of the statistics for a reason — for example, Clovis lost in the “Cost of Living” category to: #1 Malaga, #2 Firebaugh, and #3 Coalinga — but these cities only have overall grades of C, C- and C+ respectively.

So, you may pay a little more to live in Clovis, but you are paying for great public schools, diversity, safety and all of the other variables that give the city such a high grade.

To really understand this A- grade and #1 ranking, take a closer look at statistics about crime and our public schools.

According to Niche.com, the violent crime rate in Clovis was 39.34 percent — which is not only lower than the national average — but lower than all of California by 45 percent.

Clovis Unified School District has an overall grade of A, according to the website.

This might explain the 41,000 student population and the fact that, interestingly, less than half of CUSD students actually live in Clovis — 47 percent coming from Clovis and 44 percent from Fresno.

But here is the real kicker — the percentage of people who pass the High School exit exam (in math specifically) is higher in CUSD than in than ALL of Fresno County and the entire State of California.

These statistics are great, they can make you feel proud to be a Clovis resident, we are a great city for a number of reasons…

Don’t you think that maybe this is why people want to live here? Why businesses want to move here? And why out-of-district students want to attend school here?

…….

My goal was to find a way, with hard evidence, to remind our readers that the “Clovis Way of Life” is about community, plain and simple.

The “Clovis Way of Life” isn’t about rejecting change, it’s about adapting to it — and being excited about it!

Change is good! Just ask the “old-timer” Clovis residents who didn’t want to HAVE to drive to Fresno for doctor visits, hair appointments, specialty shopping, grocery shopping or Christmas shopping.

The “Clovis Way of Life” is about celebrating small businesses, shopping local and keeping our money in our community.

Thanks to the Business Organization of Old Town, the Clovis Chamber and all of the other entities that host a plethora of events that bring people to our city to spend money — Clovis has grown to the point where these long-time residents no longer HAVE to travel farther than their backyard for everything they need! 

The “Clovis Way of Life” is about accepting new members into the community, not telling them to go back to where they came from.

Where would I be if this was the attitude I received from residents when I moved here in September of 2018?

I’ll remind you of one of the first pieces I wrote for the Roundup titled, “A Tale of Two Cities,”

Here is what I had to say, “In Old Town Clovis, I feel a connectivity that is so ambiguous, it’s hard to put into words. Walking from the house to the coffee shop is convenient, yes, because it’s a block away – but that’s not what I find myself thinking about during the walk. I find myself thinking about how connected I feel – to the people, the nature, the buildings, the air. The unexplainable calm allows me to detach from ideas and just feel. And what I feel is an awareness that is intrinsically pleasant. It’s not like a big city awareness where you are constantly looking over your shoulder and waiting for something bad to happen – but the awareness allows me to take a deep breath and appreciate my surroundings.

This is how I feel moving from San Jose to Clovis. I feel as if I can finally breathe.”

So, for me, the “Clovis Way of Life” is about maintaining the community pride that makes others want to live here, work here, open a business here, go to school here, raise a family here, begin their life here, or retire here.

It’s about a woman who found her place in Clovis in weeks, maybe even days after moving here — all thanks to the open arms of “Clovis-ites.”

So let’s not tarnish the name, instead I say we start 2019 off right, my neighborhood “Clovis-ites” —

And hold strong to what it really means to live the “Clovis Way of Life.”

…….

Readers, what does the clovis way of life mean to you? Let us know through social media, email, or write us a letter.

Our address: Clovis Roundup, 55 Shaw Ave #106, Clovis, CA 93612. Email: info@clovisroundup.com or follow us on social media, @ClovisRoundup

Kelsey Lester-Perry
Kelsey is an award-winning reporter from San Jose who recently moved to Clovis. Her previous work experiences includes the Spartan Daily, La Voz Weekly, and the Gilroy Patch.