Francisco Martinez

Announcer/Reporter/Host of Citizen Sound

Francisco Martinez joined KCBX in January 2021 as a substitute announcer for on-air programming. You can hear him host regularly during KCBX midday programs, and also occasionally on Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Francisco also hosts the alternative music show Citizen Sound each Sunday night at 11:00 on KCBX. In addition, Francisco contributes reporting to KCBX News. He graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in June 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in journalism and a minor in history.

Francisco's radio story began in 2018 with Cal Poly's student-run station KCPR, where he was both a disc jockey for music programming, and an anchor and reporter for news. His anchoring was part of a first place-winning duo for Best Radio Newscast at the 2019 College Media Association’s Pinnacle Awards.

Francisco's roots are in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he spent some time working at sports radio station KNBR before coming to KCBX. When not working, he’s on a never-ending quest for the Central Coast’s best food and looking for amazing music, new and old. He’s always ready to be heartbroken by his beloved sports teams, and sends his warm regards to the San Francisco Giants, Vancouver Canucks, and (especially) Tottenham Hotspur.

Ways to Connect

As part of the KCBX Arts Beat, we're taking a look at how three local music organizations survived the pandemic: Festival Mozaic, the SLO Symphony, and Infinite Music. In our 3rd episode of KCBX's 12 part series 'Beyond the Furrows" reporter Francisco Martinez explores how labor trafficking affects farmworkers and what’s being done locally. The Land Conservancy of SLO County is starting to assess usage potential for the Santa Rita Ranch along Highway 46. You’ll hear from Around Downtown's Bettina Swigger as she speaks with Erica Crawford of the Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce. Finally, we’ll join Fr. Ian Dellinger as he explores sheep milk ice cream on Playing With Food.

Francisco Martinez | KCBX

During the COVID-19 pandemic, essential workers helped the rest of us keep some semblance of order during the initial wave of uncertainty.

And farmworkers are included in that workforce; they're how we get our food on the table.

So when the pandemic hit, Andrea Rojas saw an increase in calls from agricultural workers to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. She knew that increase made sense, because calls from other industries like hospitality and restaurants went down, while there was sustained demand for farmworkers.

On this episode of Issues & Ideas, hear the second part of "Beyond the Furrows", our 12 part series on farmworkers in Santa Barbara County. Also, learn more about the health risks of smoke from wildfires and get some advice on how we can prepare for this wildfire season. And, during the pandemic lockdown, restaurants had to scramble to adopt digital technology in order to keep their businesses open. We’ll visit with the Makela family at their Santa Barbara County olive ranch. And finally, RISE and Stand Strong, two local nonprofits providing services for sexual and intimate partner violence, have merged to create the Lumina Alliance.

Courtesy of Cristina Macedo

Santa Barbara County had just over 32,000 migratory and seasonal agricultural workers in 2017 — the most recent year for data — according to estimates from the National Center for Farmworker Health.

And the National Center for Farmworker Health lists four health centers as Migrant Health Centers in four Santa Barbara County locations: Guadalupe, Santa Maria, New Cuyama and Los Alamos. But not everyone can make it out to these locations to get the treatment they need, or even have the time to get there.

The Women and Infants Mobile Health, or WIMH, is attempting to address that barrier.

photo: Healthy People Healthy Trails

On Issues & Ideas we're exploring the history of farmworkers' rights in California, and how that history affects people on the Central Coast. We're also taking a look at redistricting on the Central Coast, and some of the challenges being faced. And, we explore the possibility of wind turbines in Morro Bay, and the reaction of some in the fishing industry. We’re checking in with Healthy People Healthy Trails is a community initiative in Santa Barbara County to promote health and well-being through the use and enjoyment of nature. Meteorologist John Lindsey reports that a serious decline in the sea star population has led to a massive die-off of the kelp forests along the Northern California coastline. And finally, the San Luis Obispo City manager Derek Johnson talks about job strategies and city projects.

Francisco Martinez | KCBX

To tell the story of farmworkers in this country, let alone the Central Coast, Cesar Chavez needs to be mentioned.

In a 1984 speech to the Commonwealth Club of California, Chavez outlined the mission of his work.

"All my life, I have been driven by one dream, one goal, one vision: to overthrow a farm labor system in this nation that treats farm workers as if they were not important human beings," Chavez said.

His work has been recognized in California with a state holiday in his honor.

Francisco Martinez / KCBX

Strawberry field workers in San Luis Obispo County striked for a second day July 2, demanding better wages.

Workers are demanding West Coast Berry Farms pay them $14 hourly wages, $1.25 per strawberry box and $2 per unit of juice.

The strike was organized by the farm workers and received a publicity boost on Instagram from the Mixteco Indígena Community Organizing Project.

Francisco Martinez

As the season changes and the college baseball season comes to a close, the Central Coast's summer baseball clubs are preparing for this year's season with the pandemic still looming over them.