By Christie Smith • Published May 20, 2023 • Updated on May 20, 2023 at 6:11 pm
People came out for a summit in Half Moon Bay Saturday to discuss issues affecting the farmworker community. Christie Smith reports.
People came out for a summit in Half Moon Bay Saturday to discuss issues affecting the farmworker community.
Elected leaders, community groups and workers were invited to talk about some key issues that are critical to the community.
“We are addressing a few main things housing for essential workers, farmworkers, health insurance for the farm workers and clean water,” said Half Moon Bay Vice Mayor Joaquin Jimenez.
Liber Gonzalezz’s husband is a farmworker. While her husband was at work today, she was at the summit. NBC Bay Area spoke with her about her concerns through a translator.
“In house, there are three families and I alone have five kids. Its’ expensive. We can’t make it with one salary, housing is expensive, food is expensive,” she said.
The summit was held at the Boys and Girls Club of the Coastside Event Center, which included state and local leaders as well as community-based organizations.
It follows a roundtable last year and comes just months after the deadly mass shooting in January, which also brought to light long-standing inequities in the lives of farmworkers.
“After the shooting, when people were looking at conditions that people were living in and they were horrible conditions. But if we red tagged and get rid of all those we don’t have affordable housing,” said State Sen. Josh Becker. “So, we are building affordable housing for farm workers and working with groups like alas that are pursuing permanent affordable housing.”
Leaders said there is work ahead but they’re hopeful a grant could offer more help.
“The Joe Cerna grant that would provide funds to establish a community for farmworker housing and the best thing about this, is the farmworkers would have the opportunity to own the modular home,” Jimenez said.