With less than two weeks until Election day and early voting well underway, President Trump rallied supporters at back-to-back events in Tucson and Prescott this week. Most polls show him slightly behind former Vice President Joe Biden in Arizona. Part of the president’s strategy to narrow the gap in the battleground stage has focused on engaging Latino voters.
Tony Paniagua looked into some of the reasons driving decisions in this growing voting bloc. He heard from Jorge Rivas, owner of Sammy’s Mexican Grill in Catalina, whose support for Trump led to backlash online and a supportive Tweet from the president himself. Rivas, who immigrated to the U.S. from El Salvador, said he shares the president’s law and order stance.
“I know there are injustices still in this country, but breaking someone’s windows, breaking into their property, stealing anything that you can find and running away, running away with it and saying that that’s justice, that’s not justice, that’s looting,” Rivas said.
Paniagua also spoke to Tucson Mayor Regina Romero, who discussed her ties to the Democratic party and criticized the president for previously referring to immigrants from Mexico as rapists and criminals in 2016. Romero’s parents are from Mexico.
“My parents moved to the United States and immigrated all of the family with the great hope of having a better life for their kids,” Romero said.
Both Rivas and Romero agree that neither political party should take the Latino vote for granted. According to the Pew Research Center, Hispanic voters make up nearly a quarter of eligible voters in Arizona.
The University of Arizona-led mission to bring an asteroid sample to Earth crossed another milestone this week. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft successfully made contact with the asteroid Bennu in a brief maneuver to collect its sample. Soon after the event, Christopher Conover spoke to principal investigator Dante Lauretta about the mission’s next steps.
Collection for the 2020 census ended this month. Early on the state worked with the U.S. Census Bureau to encourage participation. That included creating the Arizona Complete County Committee. Tony Paniagua spoke to Alec Thomson, the committee’s executive director, about the state’s participation rate and its efforts to target traditionally undercounted communities.
Several months into the pandemic, organizations serving the public like the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona has seen a sustained demand for assistance. Food bank CEO Michael McDonald discussed with Tony Paniagua how the nonprofit has provided for those in need and what it indicates about the pandemic’s greater impact on peoples’ livelihoods.
In 30 years, the Earth’s population is expected to balloon to 10 billion people and traditional sources of protein can no longer keep up with demand. That’s according to Goggy Davidowitz, a professor at the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences who areas of expertise include evolutionary biology and insect physiology. Davidowitz is developing what he sees as an obvious alternative to those traditional sources: insects. Tony Paniagua reports on what makes the professor’s approach unique and also aims to address other issues impacting the environment.