San Joaquin Valley

an engine of California’s agricultural industry


  • Majority Latino population

  • Uneven distribution of resources between urban and suburban areas

  • In some locations, local politicians may not reflect the ethnic diversity of the population

The San Joaquin Valley region spans from San Joaquin County in the north to Kern County in the south. With large swaths of rural farmland and mid-sized cities like Modesto, Fresno, and Bakersfield, we heard both urban and rural challenges.

The listening sessions reached participants in and around the city of Fresno. We heard a lot about fear related to immigration status and the difficulty of obtaining the right skills to get better jobs.

Some communities struggle with high unemployment and low high-school graduation rates. The extensive agricultural industry employs both documented and undocumented migrant workers.

Some residents in rural areas struggle to access healthcare, education, and jobs. There is an established nonprofit infrastructure in urban areas but very little in rural communities. Many smaller organizations struggle to keep their doors open and arent always able to think creatively about new ways to help their communities.

Community Listening Advisors and partners

Community Listening Advisor
Luis Santana, Executive Director

Reading and Beyond

Community Listening Partner
Phil Meyer,
President & CEO

Valley PBS

Community listening session venues


October 22, 2016
Mosqueda Center
4647 E Butler Ave., Fresno, CA
Hosted by Reading and Beyond


October 22, 2016
Lowell Elementary School
171 N Poplar Ave., Fresno, CA
Hosted by Reading and Beyond