October 20, 2020

Fresno Speaks 2020

Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Fresno Registered Voters  

and their Positions on Major Issues 


Fresno, CA—Fresno Speaks, the first large-scale random sample survey of Fresno registered voters in the COVID-19 era, finds that half of Fresno households suffered income reduction during the pandemic, and that strong support exists for COVID-19 mitigation, police reform, and electoral and civic participation. 

On October 14, the UC Merced Community and Labor Center and the Fresno County Civic Engagement Table will hold a joint press conference zoom webinar for the release of research brief “Fresno Voices 2020: The Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Registered Voters and their Positions on Major Issues.”  

The study found that pandemic job loss or hours reduction impacted half (50.0%) of Fresno registered voters’ households—and that more than half of Latina/o/x (57.0%), African American (54.6%), and Asian American (54.5%) households experienced pandemic income reduction. The study also found that a solid majority of Fresno registered voters support public health behavior mitigating COVID-19 spread (from 85.6% to 92%), and that most support civic participation to address racism (54.8%), public education (52.0%), and police reform (50.4%). 

Results capture public opinion on major issues in Fresno—California’s fifth largest city—and inform critical and essential projects, initiatives, and commissions formed since the onset of the pandemic, such as the Fresno Police Commission and the Fresno COVID-19 Equity Project. An overwhelming number of Fresno registered voters said they would support elected officials who support police reform (77.9%), and a majority support pro-active gang solutions including: jobs initiatives for people with records or youth, or public social programs. Only a minority (15.6%) support more funding for law enforcement.                                                               

The Fresno Voices 2020 study was based on a random sample of 2,397 registered voters with phones in the City of Fresno, between August 18, 2020 and September 15, 2020. The data had a margin of error of +/- 2.5 at the city level and +/- 6 at the district level. 

 “The Fresno Speaks research brief plainly confirms that the voter consensus for achieving safer neighborhoods is through public program investment—not police.” Pablo Rodriguez, Executive Director, Communities for a New California 

“COVID-19 has been devastating for Fresno families. Members of our community shared stories of lost income, callous employers, and long-term effects for their families. While the City and County have placed some safeguards, the Fresno Voices study allows the public to hear community needs directly and gives us a better idea of what programs are most critical.” Kamaljit Kaur, Director of Development, Jakara Movement 

“These survey results reinforce what we already know: a vast majority of Fresnans of all backgrounds support real commitments to parks and programs--not the status quo of reactive policing. If we had acted on these understandings a year ago, we could have saved lives. Now is truly our time to reimagine public safety in Fresno.” Marcel Woodruff, Lead Organizer, Faith in the Valley-Fresno 


Fresno Voices 2020 Research Brief Press Conference 


The UC Merced Community and Labor Center and Fresno Advocates Discuss Findings from the First Large-Scale Random Sample Survey of Fresno Registered Voters in the COVID-19 era.  


Date: Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Time: 10:00 – 10:50am (Pacific)


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