Voters exit Bethel AME Church in Fontana after voting on November 8, 2022. Voters in Fontana are voting to decide whether to re-elect mayor Acquanetta Warren who has served since 2010.
Voters exit Bethel AME Church in Fontana after voting on November 8, 2022. Voters in Fontana are voting to decide whether to re-elect mayor Acquanetta Warren who has served since 2010. Credit: Aryana Noroozi, Black Voice News Newsroom / CatchLight Local

Story by Breanna Reeves and Photos by Aryana Noroozi

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for the several cities across San Bernardino County as heavy rains and winds pick up on Election Day. Many voters have opted to drop their ballots off at local ballot boxes across the county. Bethel AME Church in Fontana, CA is open for in-person voting and for voters to drop off their ballots.

Voters in Fontana are voting to decide whether to re-elect mayor Acquanetta Warren or replace her with either Shannon O’Brien, a member of the Fontana City Council, or Jesus “Jesse” Sandoval, a former Fontana Unified School District board member.

A voter drops her ballot into a ballot drop box in Bloomington as rain storms continue on November 8, 2022. The National Weather Service issued  flash flood warnings in several cities across San Bernardino County. Rainstorms are currently stretching across the West, Northwest, and Wetern Great Plains regions, with parts of California experiencing record low temperatures and heavy snow and rainfall. (Aryana Noroozi, Black Voice News Newsroom / CatchLight Local).

Warren has served as the mayor of Fontana since 2010 and was recently featured in the new Civil Rights Institute of California.

Warren has faced opposition from some residents and opponents for her support of warehouse development in the city. In July 2022, California Attorney General Rob Bonta filed a lawsuit against the City of Fontana in response to the city’s approval of the Slover and Oleander Warehouse Project. Bonta asserted that the city had failed to appropriately “analyze, disclose, and mitigate” the project’s environmental impacts.

Electioneering signs for various San Bernardino County candidates are displayed on a lot in Bloomington.  (Aryana Noroozi, Black Voice News Newsroom / CatchLight Local)

San Bernardino County voters braved the rain to cast their ballots at drop boxes on election day. In California, at least 4,703,295 voters cast early ballots in the 2022 election, according to data from TargetEarly, a data dashboard that reports early in-person and absentee voting trends. Voters have until 8 p.m. to cast their votes or drop their ballots off before polls close.

There are more than a dozen city council races taking place across districts in San Bernardino County including in the cities of Rialto, Yucaipa, Upland, Victorville, Rancho Cucamonga and Ontario. In Ontario alone there are six candidates running to claim the two city council seats. The candidates are incumbents Alan Wapner and Jim Bowman who are facing Aaron Bratton, Norberto Corona, Celina Lopez and Michael Duenas.

Rain falls windows of the cars parked at Bethel AME Church, a polling site in Fontana. (Aryana Noroozi, Black Voice News Newsroom / CatchLight Local)

Ontario voters are also electing a mayor from three candidates including current mayor Paul Leon who is up against council member Ruben Valencia and candidate Christian Garcia.

Authors

  • Black Voice News photojournalist Aryana Noroozi was born in San Diego, California and graduated with a master’s degree from The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Her love for visual storytelling led her to document immigrant and deportee communities and those struggling with addiction. She was a 2020 Pulitzer Center Crisis Reporting Fellow and a GroundTruth Project Migration Fellow. She is currently a CatchLight/Report for America corps member employed by Black Voice News. You can learn more about her at aryananoroozi.com. You can email her at aryana@blackvoicenews.com.

  • Breanna Reeves is a reporter in Riverside, California, and uses data-driven reporting to cover issues that affect the lives of Black Californians. Breanna joins Black Voice News as a Report for America Corps member. Previously, Breanna reported on activism and social inequality in San Francisco and Los Angeles, her hometown. Breanna graduated from San Francisco State University with a bachelor’s degree in Print & Online Journalism. She received her master’s degree in Politics and Communication from the London School of Economics. Contact Breanna with tips, comments or concerns at breanna@voicemediaventures.com or via twitter @_breereeves.

Aryana Noroozi

Black Voice News photojournalist Aryana Noroozi was born in San Diego, California and graduated with a master’s degree from The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Her love for visual storytelling led her to document immigrant and deportee communities and those struggling with addiction. She was a 2020 Pulitzer Center Crisis Reporting Fellow and a GroundTruth Project Migration Fellow. She is currently a CatchLight/Report for America corps member employed by Black Voice News. You can learn more about her at aryananoroozi.com. You can email her at aryana@blackvoicenews.com.

Breanna Reeves

Breanna Reeves is a reporter in Riverside, California, and uses data-driven reporting to cover issues that affect the lives of Black Californians. Breanna joins Black Voice News as a Report for America Corps member. Previously, Breanna reported on activism and social inequality in San Francisco and Los Angeles, her hometown. Breanna graduated from San Francisco State University with a bachelor’s degree in Print & Online Journalism. She received her master’s degree in Politics and Communication from the London School of Economics. Contact Breanna with tips, comments or concerns at breanna@voicemediaventures.com or via twitter @_breereeves.