SACRAMENTO — As part of their ongoing efforts to prioritize public health resources and strengthen safeguards for farmworker communities, Assembly members Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) and Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) have sent a letter to Gov. 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,” Garcia stated in a Tuesday, Feb. 2, press release.
The letter was sent to Newsom on Jan. 29.
“Time is of the essence, lives are on the line, and we need to double down on efforts to serve our vulnerable farmworker populations. Assembly member 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,” Garcia stated in the release.
After passing a California farmworker COVID-19 relief package in 2020, Garcia and Rivas have jointly authored Assembly Bill 93 in 2021, which would prioritize food supply workers, including farmworkers and grocery store workers, for vaccine distribution and access to rapid testing during a pandemic.