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November 30, 2020

Support California’s essential workers

Safety nets for California farmworkers

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Like health care workers on the front lines of coronavirus battle,  California farmworkers are on the front lines of our state’s $54 billion food supply chain, yet have few safety nets and protections. Governor Newsom has rightly designated them as essential workers. Assemblymember Robert Rivas of Hollister said, “But as we ask our farmworkers to continue working through the COVID-19 pandemic, we must take action to protect their health, safety, and economic security.”

On April 9, Rivas & co-sponsor Eduardo Garcia (Coachella) introduced a five-bill “California Farmworker COVID-19 Relief Package.” This package proposes to expand paid sick leave for farmworkers, provide supplemental hazard pay, extend a tax credit to farmers who offer overtime work to their workers, fund an outreach campaign to educate workers on personal protection practices, and fast track temporary housing to lessen overcrowding and allow for social distancing. The California Department of Food and Agriculture, members of the agricultural industry, and the farmworker community were consulted in the drafting of the bill.   

Rivas grew up in farmworker housing and his grandfather was a farmworker. “Protecting farmworkers is not just our moral duty, it is also critical for preventing disruptions to our food supply,” Rivas said. “Farmworkers often lack access to adequate healthcare, and they live and work in crowded conditions that can leave them vulnerable to contracting COVID-19.” In addition, many farmworker families suffer from food scarcity, meaning that they cannot afford to eat what they grow.

I urge you to support the Rivas/Garcia California Farmworker COVID-19 Relief Package. This will protect farmworker families on the front lines of food production and ensure a reliable food supply chain to stock our grocery shelves while sheltering in place.

Woody Rehanek, Watsonville

Does the President meet your standards?

In response to Judy Doering Nielsen’s letter decrying “verbal attacks” on our current president in your opinion page, let me offer these thoughts.

First, I am taken back to first grade: “He started it.” No president has been so vicious in his criticism of others as this one. Is calling the governor of Washington State a “snake” not a “verbal attack”?

Here are a few FACTS that are not “verbal attacks.”

1.  Mr. Trump has been deemed by the American Psychiatric Association to be “delusional” and “lacking empathy.”

2.  Mr. Trump has been impeached for obstructing Congress and abuse of power.

3.  Senator Lindsay Graham called Mr. Trump “…a disgrace, a nut job, and one of the dumbest human beings….”

4.  More than 1000 former federal prosecutors have repeatedly called for his indictment on obstruction of justice charges.

5.  Mr. Trump clearly does not believe in science, as evidenced by his disregard for epidemiologists’ advice in this pandemic and his even worse disregard for climatologists about the Climate Crisis.  We will all pay for his arrogance.

6.  Mr. Trump says he knows more than anyone else about foreign policy, ISIS, the courts, renewable energy, infrastructure, borders, technology, drones, the visa system, lawsuits, and nuclear arms.  His obvious conclusion “I have a very good brain.”

Ms. Doering Nielsen, when you say “I believe it is time for all of us to become more curious and kind….”, does that include Mr. Trump?

Don Eggleston, Aptos

Respect is earned, never given

Regarding the letter from Judy Doering Nielsen where she questions the lack of respect to our so-called President, then may I ask, how can a person be respected when he himself is so disrespectful? He constantly belittles people, insults and uses name-calling.

This is part of his policies and if you agree with him then you should be ashamed to be part of his insulting matter.

Amador Valdez, Watsonville

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The Pajaronian welcomes letters. Letters and columns may be dropped off or mailed to The Pajaronian, 21 Brennan St, Suite 14, Watsonville, CA 95076. Letters and columns may also be sent via email to [email protected] Letters should be less than 300 words, and columns are no more than 700 words. All letters and columns must be signed and have an address and phone number for confirmation purposes. We reserve the right to edit and condense all submissions.

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