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ECV Coachella Community

The Coachella Valley, located in the eastern part of Riverside County, is a center of agriculture and tourism, as well as one of the poorest areas in the United States. More than one in ten families lives below the Federal Poverty Level. The towns of Coachella and Thermal - with populations of 35,000 and 10, 000, respectively - are home to many farm workers and Native Americans who live in substandard conditions with contaminated drinking water, leaving families with young children exposed to high levels of carcinogens and other pollutants. Per capita income in some of these communities is $7,000 and below. Chronic health conditions such as diabetes, asthma, hypertension and cancer are widespread, with the majority of farm workers and other residents unable to access a regular source of health care. In addition, there is a distinct lack of dental care available to farm worker families and most go without or go to Mexicali where treatments are less expensive.

Despite these challenges, Coachella and Thermal are growing with many vital community-based organizations and a new, progressive leadership. Because of this emerging political will and increased community support, a movement to improve conditions for these farm worker communities is growing. The California Endowment has made significant investments in community organizing and advocacy in this community, which has helped strengthen the voice of the farm worker community. Other foundations have made significant investments in health, environment, education, disease prevention, and dental services in the region as well.

With their growing list of assets, Coachella and Thermal are ready to move toward improved health for its families and the community as a whole.

Leadership

Mayor: Eduardo Garcia

City Council:
Emmanuel Martinez
Arturo Aviles
Steven Hernandez
Gilbert Ramirez

County Supervisors:
John Benoit 4th District

Governor: Jerry Brown (D)

State Senate: Juan Vargas (D-45)

State Assembly:
Victor Manuel Perez  (D-80)

U.S. Senators:
Dianne Feinstein (D)
Barbara Boxer (D)

U.S. Representatives: Mary Bono
 (D-45)