By Aurora Saldivar, Coachella Unincorporated
THERMAL, Calif. – Eastern Coachella Valley residents, leaders, organizations, and officials will gather tomorrow to discuss key issues surrounding their rural community at the Rural Forum on Sustainable Communities.
The forum will be held Thursday, October 4, at Desert Mirage High School, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. The event is sponsored by Pueblo Unido Community Development Corporation and San Jose Community and Bea Main Learning Center.
“The forum is a comprehensive approach that empowers residents to be civically engaged in addressing infrastructure and environmental health issues. It will establish collaborative efforts among non-profit organizations, public entities and elected officials to protect the public health and improve the quality of life of our rural communities,” said Sergio Carranza, executive director of Pueblo Unido.
The public is encouraged to lend their voice and ideas to the collaborative discussion. The primary goal of the forum is to raise awareness, identify community concerns and set priorities.
In the wake of the recent flooding of Eastern Coachella Valley trailer parks, event organizers say it’s important to come together as a united front to address needs of residents.
“If we take care of our own needs, then no one needs to come and save us,” said Rodolfo Piñon, also with Pueblo Unido.
According to Pueblo Unido, the Eastern Coachella Valley farmworker labor force has generated over $430,000,000 in revenue per year over the past decade, making them key contributors to both local and regional agriculture system. Despite their economic importance, this community is largely underrepresented. Many live in mobile home communities that lack basic infrastructure and are facing issues, including: sanitary sewer collection systems; domestic potable water and flood control; illegal toxic dumpsites; and limited innovative affordable housing opportunities.
For more information, contact Rodolfo Piñon at (760) 777-7550 or via email at [email protected]