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Leader of group helping Half Moon Bay farmworkers after mass shooting to attend State of the Union

Author: Gloria Rodriguez, ABC7

Published: Tuesday, February 7, 2023

The founder of Half Moon Bay farmworker advocacy group ALAS hopes to "continue to highlight the narrative of human rights for farmworkers," as she travels to Washington.

WASHINGTON (KGO) -- The founder of the farmworker advocacy group ALAS will attend the President's State of the Union address Tuesday night.

Dr. Belinda Hernandez-Arriaga tells ABC7 it's an honor to be in Washington and that she's excited.

She said she hopes the President will include a call to action to improve the lives of farmworkers.

Dr Hernandez-Arriaga will be the guest of Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, who represents Half Moon Bay.

Several farmworkers say they're back working at the farms where the mass shootings happened, but they've been frightened, nervous, and uneasy since returning.

Dr. Hernandez-Arriaga is the founder and executive director of ALAS, the farmworker advocacy group based in Half Moon Bay.

ALAS has been helping farm workers find housing and deal with the trauma of the recent mass shooting that left seven people dead and injured one.

Dr. Hernandez-Arriaga hopes to take this message to leaders in DC:

"I think the main message is to really focus in on our farmworker community, that we don't leave them behind again, that we continue to highlight the narrative of human rights for farmworkers, that they deserve the best. They deserve good housing. They deserve equitable wages. They deserve good conditions to work in, for themselves and their families and that we need to continue to honor them for all that they contribute to the United States, to America, and to the food that nourishes all of us."

ALAS has been working with farmworkers on the San Mateo County Coast for about 10 years, helping provide food and other outreach to them.

Other special guests who will be a tonight's State of the Union address include Brandon Tsay, the man who disarmed the Monterey park gunman, the parents of Tyre Nichols, who was beaten to death by Memphis police and Paul Pelosi, following the violent attack on him last year.



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