Madi Bolanos

Reporter

Madi Bolanos is the immigration and underserved communities reporter at Valley Public Radio. Before joining the station, she interned for POLITCO in Washington D.C. where she reported on US trade and agriculture as well as indigenous women’s issues during the Canadian election. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in anthropology from San Francisco State University. Madi spent a semester studying at the Danish Media and Journalism School where she covered EU policies in Brussels and alleged police brutality at the Croatian-Serbian border. Originally from Fresno, she is happy to be back reporting on important issues in the San Joaquin Valley. 

Ezra David Romero / KVPR

The spread of COVID-19 is forcing many people to work from home, but for farmworkers that’s not an option.  

Take Eucebia and Alejandro; the couple asked to go by their first names only. They have three kids and no savings. In the past two weeks, they’ve been asked to leave two picking jobs, first in almonds, then in grapes. The second job at Fowler Packing only lasted two days before the contractor told them to leave.

“She said that there wasn't going to be any work, that everything had been canceled,” Eucebia said. 

Mayor Lee Brand announced a State of Emergency for the city of Fresno today in an effort to help the city receive state and federal funding.  

 

“I believe this is a sensible step to ensure the city of Fresno is in the best position to protect the people of Fresno,“ said Mayor Brand.

In compliance with Governor Gavin Newsom’s announcement last week, the Mayor advised people 65 years or older to remain indoors. Hoping to lead by example, Brand said he will begin working from home as “much as possible.” 

 

 

The McFarland City Council appointed a new mayor Thursday to replace former Mayor Manuel Cantu. Cantu quit in February after the city declined a proposal that would allow The GEO Group, Inc. to turn two state prisons into immigration detention centers. GEO has since appealed that decision.

Council member Sally Gonzalez was appointed mayor, but most of the residents who attended the meeting were more concerned about the appeals case. 

This week on Valley Edition: COVID-19 cases are on the rise in California, but what does that mean for the San Joaquin Valley? We learn how the disease is affecting our healthcare system, education and the economy and we get some advice on how not to panic. 

We also interview an author whose latest book was inspired by murders in the 1980s committed by the so-called “Lords of Bakersfield.”

And, we check in with StoryCorp San Joaquin. You’ll hear the first of many segments  coming straight from the Valley.

 

Madi Bolanos

A Sikh church in the small town of San Joaquin is now a historical landmark. The Fresno County Board of Supervisors made it official Tuesday. It’s the third Sikh historical landmark in California, but the first in Fresno County. 

The San Joaquin Gurdwara was created in the early 1980s. Members of the Sikh community put together their earnings in order to purchase the building that is now their place of worship. 

 

On this week’s Valley Edition: A new exhibit celebrates a 1970s-era magazine that highlighted the achievements of African Americans in Fresno. We speak with one of its founders about why he started it.

Plus, we delve into the history of Yemeni farm workers in the San Joaquin Valley, and how the death of Nagi Daifallah and Arab nationalism complicated a multicultural movement in the UFW.

We also take a look at what’s new this year at Fresno’s Rogue Festival. 

Listen to those stories and more on the podcast above.

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