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This year, Valley Public Radio is doing elections coverage differently. We’re asking listeners and residents, what do you want candidates to talk about? Are you concerned about healthcare, housing, or homelessness?We put out a survey from July through October to find out. More than 150 residents throughout the San Joaquin Valley took the survey.The most concerning issue for many is how the economy will recover from COVID-19. Others identified housing and homelessness in local communities as a major issue; others were most concerned for the environment. As we interview candidates and continue our election coverage, we’ll keep these responses in mind. You can keep up with our coverage on this page, or send questions about our process to Laura Tsutsui at ltsutsui@kvpr.org.

Presidential Candidate Pete Buttigieg Says Being Mayor Isn't That Different From Being President

Laura Tsutsui
Valley Public Radio
Democratic presidential candidate and Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg spent his morning at a meet-and-greet in Fresno. That afternoon Buttigieg participated in a live-taping of MSNBC's "Hardball with Chris Matthews."

  After a weekend in San Francisco for the California Democratic Party State Convention, Indiana-native and presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg  is in Fresno today. The Fresno County Democratic Party, Fresno County Young Democrats, and Fresno Stonewall Democrats hosted the 37-year-old for a meet-and-greet this morning at Tuolumne Hall downtown.

A crowd of around 200 listened to Buttigieg speak about healthcare for all, pay equity, and his hope to move the presidential election to a popular vote. Buttigieg also took questions about his union support, and if he would recognize the Armenian Genocide - something no sitting president has done.

“The U.S. needs to stand up for human rights,” he said. “Sometimes something as simple as recognizing the truth, that helps create human rights diplomacy. That makes countries want to do the right thing and have to explain themselves if they fail to do the right thing, and that is part of how foreign policy will work on my watch.”

As mayor of South Bend, Indiana, he said the challenges of running a city aren’t that different from running a country, and he compared South Bend to Fresno.

“Our poverty rate is about the same as Fresno so we know what one another’s communities are up against. But our city is living proof that there’s no such thing as honest politics that revolves around the idea of ‘again’.”

That was a jab at President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.

As part of his visit, Buttigieg also participated in a live-taping of MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews.” The sold-out event took place on Fresno State’s campus this afternoon.

Laura Tsutsui was a reporter and producer for Valley Public Radio. She joined the station in 2017 as a news intern, and later worked as a production assistant and weekend host. Laura covered local issues ranging from politics to housing, and produced the weekly news program Valley Edition. She left the station in November 2020.