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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.

Parents Of Joaquin Arambula Donate $100,000 To Group Opposing Dyer Mayoral Campaign

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Monica Velez
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Valley Public Radio
Former Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer announced his candidacy for mayor in May 2019.

The family of a local legislator has made significant donations to a committee formed to oppose the mayoral campaign of former Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer.

Campaign filings show that between October and November, Juan and Amy Arambula, the parents of Fresno County Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula, donated nearly $100,000 to a political action committee called “Rising Together, No on Dyer for Mayor 2020,” which has created a Facebook group with hundreds of followers and published at least one video attack ad against the former police chief.

“The contribution was motivated by the desire for a mayor that we can be proud of, and a mayor who will support our city,” Juan Arambula said, pointing to an excessive use of force lawsuit filed against the police department earlier this year and a video that recently surfaced showing an officer shooting a teenager while running away from police as well as many other high-profile incidents that occurred under Dyer’s watch. “My overwhelming desire is to not see Jerry Dyer as mayor,” Arambula said, adding that he isn’t throwing his support behind any particular candidate just yet.

Dyer had also been instrumental in bringing child abuse charges against Joaquin Arambula late last year, for which the legislator was later found not guilty. The elder Arambula acknowledged that connection wasn’t lost on him. “That was one instance out of many that convinced us to be involved in this effort,” he said.

In an email statement, Dyer said he was disappointed to learn about this committee. “After 18 years of making tough decisions to keep Fresno safe as your police chief, I knew that some people would oppose me,” he wrote. “But wouldn't this money be better spent resolving our community's challenges rather than waging petty personal vendettas?” He suggested the community come together to solve homelessness, improve parks, and assist children and seniors.