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Assemblymember Arambula Announces $2 Million State Allocation to Radio Bilingüe to Support Plans for a New Facility

For immediate release:
  • Felicia Matlosz
  • 559-304-9286

FRESNO – Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) on Wednesday, November 8, will present a $2 million check to Radio Bilingüe to support the historic Fresno-based public radio network’s plans for a much- needed new facility.

The check presentation and news conference will begin at 9:00 a.m. at Radio Bilingüe, 5005 E. Belmont Ave. in Fresno 93727.

Radio Bilingüe is a nonprofit public radio network that has developed to being the preeminent bilingual public radio producer in the United States. Assemblymember Arambula this year secured State General Funds in the State budget for the $2 million allocation.

Radio Bilingüe was founded in 1976 by its trailblazing leader Hugo Morales, with the support and work of volunteer farmworkers, activists, and community members. The first station – KSJV 91.5 in the Fresno region – established itself as an important voice for Spanish-speaking underserved and underrepresented communities, and Radio Bilingüe has since expanded to 25 stations across the Valley, California and the nation. It is also the leading Latino-issues-focused public radio producer in the United States, with offerings ranging from news to cultural programming used by stations nationwide, all originating from Radio Bilingüe’s studios on Belmont Avenue in South Fresno.

Assemblymember Arambula said: "For several decades now, Radio Bilingüe has shown that it is much more than one radio station. Under the leadership of Co-Founder and Executive Director Hugo Morales, it is a trusted messenger to our Latino and Indigenous communities in the San Joaquin Valley and beyond, and this was especially vital during the COVID-19 pandemic when important information needed to be communicated in Spanish and Mexican Indigenous languages to the underserved.

"Radio Bilingüe has long proven its importance in public service and advocacy for equity for marginalized communities, whether it's about education, health care, immigration, government, the arts, and more. The station is integral to the lives of many people, and it is my hope that this State allocation will help guarantee a new home that the network needs to continue its invaluable work in the years ahead, including a hoped-for space for training Fresno area youth in community media."

Assemblymember Arambula also wanted to recognize Morales for his achievements and influence in the Central Valley and beyond. He appreciates that his parents -- former Assemblymember Juan Arambula and community advocate Amy Arambula -- were part of the early development of Radio Bilingüe. Morales has been honored by numerous major institutions, including Harvard, The university this year bestowed an honorary doctorate on Morales, who is an alum.

Assemblymember Arambula said: "Hugo Morales has been the heart and soul of Radio Bilingüe. His groundbreaking vision and dedication to community has given a voice to those who are not always heard or seen or respected. Hugo has always been about making connections sharing information, with the aim of education and empowerment. He is the epitome of a leader who uplifts.”

Co-Founder and Executive Director Hugo Morales said of the allocation: “Radio Bilingüe is deeply grateful to Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula for his efforts to secure this unprecedented funding toward Radio Bilingüe’s future home base, and to the State of California for the honor and trust of this investment. With this seed money, we envision new or refurbished facilities that ensure Radio Bilingüe continues the highest quality production and broadcast of impactful news, information, music and cultural offerings far into the future. There is no other service in public media like Radio Bilingüe for our audience of farmworkers, Indigenous Mexicans and other Latino listeners in Fresno and throughout California and nation. We look forward to welcoming community members for events at the revamped space including training Fresno area youth in the art of community media production – to lift their voices and empower the next generation.”

Jerry Santillan, Chair of the Radio Bilingüe Board of Directors, said: “The board of directors of Radio Bilingüe is thankful to Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula for securing this crucial opportunity and also for the support of other state and local officials. This is an historic moment for Radio Bilingüe and all of us who have strived through the decades, believing in the power of our own Latino community producing programs that speak to our own truths, in our languages, on our own owned public media airwaves and spaces. There is still much work to be done to raise the funds needed to bring this new home to a reality, and today starts these efforts. We ask everyone who has ever understood the value of Radio Bilingüe to help us achieve this ambitious vision.”