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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.

On Iowa Caucus Day, Presidential Candidate Michael Bloomberg Campaigns In Fresno

Laura Tsutsui
Valley Public Radio
Businessman and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg spent Monday campaigning in California instead of at the Iowa Caucuses.

On the same day as the Iowa Caucuses, presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg took a different tactic and instead, campaigned in the Golden State. The former New York City mayor told a modest crowd at Fresno City College  that he would do a better job than President Donald Trump representing the San Joaquin Valley’s prominent Latino community. 

“A president who demonizes immigrants from Mexico and Central America, it's just unacceptable,” said Bloomberg. “The Central Valley issues are Latino issues, and Latino issues are American issues.”

Bloomberg said he will prioritize gun safety, higher wages, and health insurance. However, PG Scruggs, a Modesto resident who drove an hour and a half to see him, said she was disappointed Bloomberg didn’t mention the state’s housing crisis. 

  “The homelessness, it's not just grubby old men, it’s families out there, young families with children,” said Scruggs. “That's not addressed and the issues are not taken care of.”

A year ago, Modesto set up a tent community for homeless folks to get shelter and services, but it closed in December. Scruggs says people need affordable housing.

Credit Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio
Valley Public Radio
PJ Scruggs, left, and Rosalind Honnes drove together from Modesto to see Micheal Bloomberg speak in Fresno Monday. While both say they support his policies, Scruggs noted that she would have liked to hear him discuss housing more.

  The rally in Fresno was Bloomberg’s second event in the state Monday. 

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.
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