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This week on Valley Edition: Our Thanksgiving show! We serve up some of our favorite stories from the past year including a profile of a young mariachi singer from Delano, who at the age of 18 released her first album. She's at Harvard now.

Monica Velez / Valley Public Radio

When Lewanne Osborn moved to the foothill community of Springville 53 years ago, the population was around 900, she said. Flip to the year 2000, and the population went up to 1,092, according to census bureau data. But 10 years later the population declined to 934. 

“In my own mind I just don’t feel like it’s an accurate number,” Obourne said. “I have seen incredible growth, houses going up everywhere, new communities that used to be just nothing but hillside and grassland.”

 

When it comes to the 2020 census, why are some San Joaquin Valley communities among the country’s hardest to count? We explore what some advocates are doing to reach those who may have never been counted before.

Volunteers also share how they’re working to improve the quality of life for the 2,600 foster kids in Fresno and Madera Counties.

Plus, we speak with doctors trying to improve health care for the LGBTQ+ community, and we hear from a panel of water leaders about the latest in a statewide attempt to better manage groundwater.

U.S. Census Bureau

It was announced Monday that the 2020 Census would include a question about immigration status, and this has raised concerns with local advocacy groups.

Sam Molina is the California State Director of Mi Familia Vota. Molina says this question would dissuade the immigrant community from participating in the census. He also says the state will lose resources that are allocated by population if that happens.

Cindy Quezada / Central Valley Immigrant Integration Collaborative

The 2020 U.S. census is just around the corner, and a new project shows a significant number of Fresno’s residents could be overlooked.

The U.S. Census Bureau maintains a Master Address File of every registered postal address in the country. Don’t have a registered address? You probably won’t be counted.

A new pilot project found 600 housing units in low-income areas of Fresno that weren't listed in the Master Address File—representing 6 percent of residences in those areas.

Ezra David Romero
Valley Public Radio

Understanding the information on a voting ballot can be tough even for English speakers. For many second language learners the voting process can be so intimidating that they don’t vote, in part because of the lack of materials in their own language.

Now a group of Punjabi people in Fresno want to change that experience.

Almost every afternoon older Indian-American men from the province of Punjab gather under the shade and play cards in Victoria West Community Park in West Fresno. Deep Singh says it’s a chance to get out of the house.