East Valley Residents Say Climate Change, Immigration are Top Priorities this Election Season

May 20, 2016 /

By: Naomi Carrion and Karla Martinez

Editor’s Note: There are only three days left to register online for the California presidential primary and close to five months left to register for the November 8th general election. Coachella Unincorporated recently spoke to eastern Coachella Valley residents gearing up for the California primary about what qualities they look for in a presidential candidate and about the issues most important to them this election season. Read their answers here:


Climate change would be one of the top issues, in my opinion. We need to stop arguing about political problems and start thinking about the effects of our actions on our environment. A world where we need to wear gas masks to go outside is what we are heading for if we do not address these issues.

Climate change affects everyone. Presidential candidates should not just worry about the people of the United States but humanity as whole. I’d vote for Bernie, because we need a president to become a diplomat to help by  preserving the environment.

— Mireya Luna, Coachella


Presidential candidates should be taking climate change seriously. It’s my top issue because the effects are huge and will hurt the planet. I’d vote for Bernie Sanders because he’s bringing much needed attention to the dangers of climate change.

— Jose Torres, Coachella


I would vote for someone who is conscious about what is happening in our environment and who cares about the world we will be leaving to our future generation, but my main priority would be immigration because we have 11 million undocumented people who want nothing more than to be American citizens.

I am more likely to vote for Hillary Clinton because over the course of the debates she has been speaking openly about her concerns about immigration and the environment.

— Edith Lopez, Thermal


The economy is important and global warming, but on my list of priorities, I’d put the economy first. From what I’ve seen on TV and from what I’ve hear from other people, Bernie Sanders seems like a good candidate. Trump is last. I wasn’t really thinking about voting at first but in this election I want to contribute to society.

— Melinda Garcia, Coachella


I think presidential candidates should focus on how the country interacts with the world. On my list of priorities for voting, immigration is on the top of the list.

— Francisco Garcia, Thermal


Climate change would have to be one of the biggest issues I’m concerned about at the moment; It’s something that needs to be discussed. Because of this, I’ve been following Bernie Sander for some time, and it’s definitely going to stay that way.

— Melissa Luna, Coachella


The most important issues we need to deal with are ISIS and the economy. However climate change is also an important issue, and I feel we need to make a plan for how to deal with climate change now. I could never vote for Hillary or Trump; I like Bernie.

— Isaac Arreola ,Coachella


Candidates need to pay more attention to climate change and stop criticizing each other over their immigration stance. I am very concerned about climate change because I’ve been in the United States for over 20 years and it wasn’t a big worry in the ’80s. I’m rooting for a candidate who is willing to protect the beautiful America I came to when I was younger. I’m voting for Hillary Clinton. I loved her husband and I feel like she will defend the environment.

— Carlos Eusebio Flores, Coachella


About the authors: 

Karla MartinezKarla Martinez has been a youth reporter with Coachella Unincorporated for four years, where she has produced numerous articles and reflections on issues like community violence prevention to voter registration. In April 2015, Karla won the Young Lady of the Year Award for Riverside County District 4 for her work with the Land Use Planning Awareness project. View Karla’s author page here.





Naomi Carrion is a senior at Nova Academy in Coachella, Calif. Naomi joined Coachella Uninc. last year and she is excited to make a difference in her community through her writing. Naomi also enjoys art and math. She hopes to attend college next year to major in math. View Naomi’s author page here.