Rural Area Lawmakers Say Immediate Action Required to Ensure Equitable Distribution of Vaccines for Farmworkers
(SACRAMENTO, CA) – As part of their ongoing efforts to prioritize public health resources and strengthen safeguards for farmworker communities, Assemblymembers Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) and Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) have sent a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom imploring his administration to take immediate action to ensure equitable COVID-19 vaccine distribution for farmworkers.
“As California executes its vaccination plan, we cannot lose sight of our frontline farmworkers. Equity must remain the guiding principle moving forward to ensure these vulnerable populations of essential workers are indeed prioritized to receive vaccinations,” said Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia.
“Time is of the essence, lives are on the line, and we need to double down on efforts to serve our vulnerable farmworker populations. Assemblymember Rivas and I implore the Governor and his administration to reinforce their commitment to California farmworkers with immediate and strategic actions that utilize the expertise of trusted community-based partners and advocates to overcome barriers to delivering vaccinations and other pandemic resources directly to hard-to-reach, agricultural communities.”
“In our district, we have some incredible community partners on the ground, working every day to deliver critical health and safety resources directly to our farmworkers. Expanding direct delivery and our ability to bring testing and vaccination directly to agricultural workers is crucial.”
“I especially want to recognize the leadership of the Desert Healthcare District and the COVID-19 testing and vaccination efforts underway by our Coachella Valley Equity Collaborative, who have mobilized grassroots, nonprofits, growers, and local health organizations to serve our farmworkers. Our state must come in and support these community-driven efforts that can be used as a model to build off across California,” emphasized Garcia, who proudly authored AB 2414 (2016), authorizing the expansion of the Desert Healthcare District service boundary to include the medically underserved, rural, Eastern Coachella Valley areas.
These community-driven efforts can be used as a model to build off across California,” emphasized Garcia, who proudly authored AB 2414 (2016), authorizing the expansion of the Desert Healthcare District service boundary to include the medically underserved, rural, Eastern Coachella Valley areas.
After passing a California farmworker COVID-19 relief package in 2020, this year, Garcia and Rivas have jointly authored AB 93, which would prioritize food supply workers, including farmworkers and grocery store workers, for vaccine distribution and access to rapid testing during a pandemic.