Government & Politics

News about government and politics

United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service

Farmers gathered in Downtown Fresno today to discuss a trade agreement  that could benefit Valley producers. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports.

At Thunder Road Adolescent Treatment Centers in Oakland, 16-year-old Eric enjoys tending roses in a small patio.

“It don’t got a lot of roses yet but they’re growing,” he says. It could be a metaphor for his own life.

He just completed 60 days of residential addiction and mental health therapy instead of serving time at juvenile hall. We’re calling him “Eric” to protect his identity.

A year and half ago, he robbed a woman for her purse and phone.

Voters in California’s 31st Assembly district head to the polls tomorrow to vote in a special election to fill the seat for the rest of the year. But do voters even know its election day? Who actually turns out to vote could play a significant role in who winds up winning.

On a beautiful clear day in the town of Selma, in the heart of the 31st district, I stood in the town square to ask people this question: Do you know who is running in the special election?

Most reactions I got went something like this.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Autopsy results have been released in the case of a Fresno law enforcement activist who died earlier this year, shortly after posting online that he feared for his life.

John Lang’s body was found barricaded in a burning house on Van Ness Avenue in late January.

His body also had stab wounds.

Today, the Fresno County Coroner officially ruled his death a suicide, saying that the stab wounds were self-inflicted, and that the actual cause of death was smoke inhalation.

Local Elections Yield Results, But Receive Few Votes

Mar 30, 2016
Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Presidential elections receive by far the most attention, but it’s also the race where individual voters have the least direct effect. The undercard races for local offices, such as city council and board of supervisors, offer the greatest opportunity for residents to exert influence and directly engage with elected officials, yet they receive some of the least attention, engagement and votes. 

Will Cannady recalls his first success influencing local government. Cannady is a high school history teacher in the Pocket neighborhood of Sacramento.

Trump Fuels Citizenship Drive Among Immigrants

Mar 30, 2016
Jean Guerrero / KPBS

It’s been almost half a century since Concepción Álvarez, a 75-year-old Mexican immigrant who lives in northern San Diego county, became eligible for U.S. citizenship.

But it wasn’t until this year that she decided to undergo the naturalization process. The reason? She points to Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump.

“I think we are all waking up, because we’ve never heard things so ugly as what that man says,” Álvarez said.

Kerry Klein / KQED

When we last visited the Central Valley farm town of Lindsay, Amy Huerta and her brother, Luis, were in the middle of a pretty intense dinnertime conversation about voting.

“I mean, these are things that matter,” says Luis, who can’t vote because he’s undocumented. Amy is 18, and she could be the first in her family to vote, so he’s putting a lot of pressure on her.

Valley Public Radio

Election day in California is still 10 weeks away, unless you live in the 31st Assembly District. That's because voters there go to the polls on April 5th in a special election to fill the vacant seat once held by Henry T. Perea. Joining us on Valley Edition to talk about the race between Republican Clint Olivier and Democrats Joaquin Arambula and Ted Miller is John Ellis of The Fresno Bee. Among our topics:

Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

With California's June primary looking more consequential every day, a new PPIC poll shows Donald Trump with a commanding lead among the remaining Republicans running for president.

Trump is preferred by 38 percent of likely voters, followed by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz with 19 percent. The poll was finished just before Florida Sen. Marco Rubio exited the race, and both he and Ohio Gov. John Kasich registered 12 percent in the poll.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

A Fresno police sergeant has filed a lawsuit against the city, saying he was the subject of discrimination because he is Hispanic. In court documents, Sergeant Paul Cervantes claims that he has been demoted, targeted for workplace harassment, investigation and criminal prosecution because of his race. 

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