The Valley Votes – 2020 Elections Coverage

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. 

Clint Olivier, Jim Boren and Amanda Renteria

Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock speaks with Jim Boren, executive director of the Institute for Media and Public Trust at Fresno State, Amanda Renteria, CEO of Code for America and Clint Olivier, former Fresno City Council member and executive director of the Business Federation of the Central Valley about how California voters decided some key issues, and how political divisiveness is affecting local politics.

While voting has ended, the tabulation of ballots continues through the end of this month. County election clerks have until December 4 to send results to the Secretary of State, which means in some particularly close races, a winner may not be obvious for a few weeks. 

The Valley Public Radio team will continue to report on the latest, but you can also find this data on your own. 

Congressional Races 

You can check the results for congressional races in districts throughout the San Joaquin Valley in the tables below, courtesy of CalMatters. The tables are using data from the California Secretary of State's website. They will refresh every five minutes. 

Congressional District 4

 

On this week’s Valley Edition: Latinx voters are among the largest and most diverse voting blocks in California. We’ll ask our panel, how are campaigns connecting and mobilizing these voters in the final days of the election season? 

Plus we take a deeper look at proposition 23. It requires dialysis clinics to have a doctor on site at all times, but will it really improve patient care? 

We’ll also hear another segment from StoryCorps San Joaquin. 

Listen to those stories and more on the podcast above. 

Monica Velez / Valley Public Radio

With the election coming up next Tuesday, we wanted to delve into what brings voters to the polls. What do they want changed? What do they want candidates to address in their neighborhoods? 

We decided to ask residents using a survey we called “Valley Votes 2020.” We collected over 150 responses. Residents explained with short answers what worried them about their neighborhoods, and ranked their most salient issues. 

On this week’s Valley Edition: Election season is underway. As Valley voters cast their ballots, we discuss how a predicted high voter turnout could impact local congressional races. 

Plus, a community choir is figuring out a new way to sing together in the pandemic: in their cars with the help of an FM radio transmitter. 

We also speak with the Fresno poet who is a finalist for the National Book Award. 

Listen to those stories and more on the podcast above.

On this week’s Valley Edition: COVID-19 cases are soaring at Avenal State Prison, and inmates there say postponed visitations, rule changes, and constant bed moves are taking a psychological toll. 

Plus, honey bees have already been hit hard by disease, drought and development. Now, the Creek Fire has killed millions more. 

We also continue our election coverage, and delve into more propositions. 

Listen to those stories and more on the podcast above.

Sammy Caiola, Tom Holyoke and Tad Weber

The future of stem cell research, cash parole and kidney dialysis clinics are now in the hands of California voters. And those are just three of the 12 propositions on the November ballot. To better understand the impact these propositions could have on the state, Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock spoke to Tad Weber, Fresno Bee opinion editor; Tom Holyoke, Fresno State professor of political science; and Sammy Caiola, CapRadio health science reporter.

On this week’s Valley Edition: Kern County farmers talk about how President Trump’s immigration policies affect the industry.

Plus, we hear from young community organizers in Fresno and Bakersfield who say they’re fed up with the current political system and are working to bring about change. 

Later, we speak to the president of California State University, Bakersfield as the school celebrates 50 years of education.

Listen to those stories and more on the podcast above.

Joshua Slack Facebook, Riddhi S. Patel and Alexandria Benn

There’s a prevailing narrative that young people in America are not politically engaged and are unlikely to vote. But Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock recently spoke with three individuals who are actively challenging that assumption: Riddhi S. Patel, a 24-year-old coordinator for Sunrise Kern in Bakersfield, Alexandria Benn, a 25-year-old community advocate in Fresno, and Joshua Slack, a 25-year-old activist who co-organized a protest in downtown Fresno following the death of George Floyd.

Arballo for Congress

Voters in the 22nd Congressional District will decide next month between Republican Devin Nunes, who has represented the district since 2003, and Democrat Phil Arballo, who runs a small business in financial services. Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock posed questions to Arballo submitted from FM89 listeners on topics including COVID-19 economic recovery, education and racial divisions. Nunes' campaign did not respond to our request for an interview.

Scott Rodd, Alyssa Dykman, Ben Christopher and Ivy Cargile

Propositions 13 and 209 were some of the most impactful in California's history, but now their fates are back in the hands of voters, who come November will weigh in on whether to bring back affirmative action and potentially increase property taxes for some businesses.

Monica Velez / Valley Public Radio

The election is less than 40 days away and we want to make sure your vote gets counted. We checked in with registrars of voters throughout the San Joaquin Valley to ask what voters should do to make sure their ballot is cast properly.

On this week’s Valley Edition: We hear from one mom who’s helping her four kids with distance learning from their hotel room, all while dealing with the challenges of finding a real home. 

Plus, with elections around the corner, we take a look at some of the propositions before voters, the impact they could have on the state, and the consequences of voter turnout.

 

And we’ll hear from a Fresno Poet that won the American Book Award. 

Listen to those stories and more on the podcast above.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

Former Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer will be the city’s next mayor, according to Wednesday afternoon’s election results from Fresno County. In a press conference before City Hall Wednesday, Dyer reiterated his wish to unite the city, and create “One Fresno,” which was his campaign slogan.

In his remarks, Dyer highlighted the need to bring investment and business to the area. Dyer wasn’t specific about where he plans to prioritize development, but said the city can only be as prosperous and successful as its worst neighborhood.

 

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.

TJ Cox campaign and Kathleen Schock

David Valadao is fighting to win back the congressional seat he narrowly lost to Congressman TJ Cox in 2018. FM89's Kathleen Schock spoke with both candidates about some of the key issues facing the district. 

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