Disadvantaged Communities Infrastructure Task Force Tackles Eastern Coachella Valley Infrastructure Needs with State Legislation

Friday, March 30, 2018

Stakeholder synergy, community-led efforts, and resident-driven solutions highlighted at press conference.

(Coachella, CA) – Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella), Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD), and Pueblo Unido CDC called together fellow Disadvantaged Communities Infrastructure Task Force (a.k.a. DAC Infrastructure Task Force, DACIC) members to announce AB 2060 (E. Garcia, 2018), locally crafted legislation to assist the Eastern Coachella Valley utilize state water infrastructure grant funding.

 

The DAC Infrastructure Task Force’s mission is to secure access to safe affordable drinking water, wastewater, and flood control services in historically disadvantaged Coachella Valley areas through strategic planning, funding procurement, and needs assessment.

 

Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife, commends CVWD, especially Board Vice President Cástulo Estrada, for establishing this task force. Garcia stated, “Over the past few years, there has been a concerted effort to address the Eastern Coachella Valley’s infrastructure shortfall. The task force has set in motion a formalized mechanism for resident-driven solutions. Now, we are in the execution phase. My job in Sacramento is to orchestrate our community’s vision, align these projects, the needs, and increase the accessibility of state dollars.”

 

“AB 2060 will alleviate the cash-flow burden for grant-eligible disadvantaged communities; equipping our area with the resources to move forward on critical water and wastewater improvements. This measure will cut through the red tape, eliminate barriers, and pave the way for local infrastructure priorities.”

 

The DAC Infrastructure Task Force consists of residents, non-profit corporations, local institutions and elected officials such as Assemblymember Garcia, Pueblo Unido CDC, Riverside County Supervisor Pérez, Building Healthy Communities and Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability. 

 

“DACIC was born from the initiative of Polanco mobile home parks, and it is the first committee ever created in California to address the infrastructure needs of our rural communities in the eastern Coachella Valley,” shared Sergio Carranza, Executive Director of Pueblo Unido CDC.  Pueblo Unido CDC, who has been at the forefront of these discussions and has a longstanding history of working with Garcia to improve the living conditions of Eastern Coachella Valley Polanco communities. 

 

“Working to solve Disadvantaged Community infrastructure needs has been a priority for us for many years. We formed this task force in 2016 to ensure that we could continue to build on the great progress we were making by having the right people at the table, setting goals and identifying what immediate action we could take. Together, we have identified obstacles and, more importantly, ways to solve them. By collaborating, we have advanced many solutions, and our work is just beginning,” said CVWD Vice President Cástulo Estrada. “AB 2060 is one more step in the right direction.”

 

AB 2060, Advanced Water Payments, would allow underserved areas increased financing resources and greater advanced funding flexibility by eliminating the less than $1 million project cost requirement that has obstructed local drinking water, sanitation, and stormwater control projects.