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East Salinas Community

The East Salinas neighborhood , popularly known as Alisal, is a working class, vibrant neighborhood of relatively underprivileged immigrant families. With a population of approximately 59,000, the vast majority of workers are employed in the agricultural, food processing and hospitality industries. Nearly one-third of all residents in the community are school-aged children and with the high cost of housing in Monterey County many of these families are forced to live in cramped, unhealthy conditions making this neighborhood one of the densest in the state.

Separated from the rest of Salinas by the 101 freeway, Alisal has a strong identity with local residents - both positive and negative. Challenges include high rates of unemployment, low educational attainment, crime and blight, which have been balanced by a growing sense of community pride and a desire to improve the social and economic conditions in the neighborhood.

This sense of community pride combined with a strong and committed political leadership in Monterey County and Salinas concerned about improving the conditions within Alisal make this a community poised for change. Furthermore, Monterey County is a recipient of a CDC STEPS five-year grant in the amount of $8.5 million to create a broad-based coalition of the Health Department, schools, nonprofit organizations, law enforcement, and resident-based organizations that resulted in the development of a comprehensive approach to reduce the threats of obesity, asthma, diabetes and ultimately cardiovascular disease with a primary focus on East Salinas.

Though this community has the fifth highest number of uninsured residents in the state, the level of opportunity within this region far outweighs the challenges, making it an ideal candidate to reinvent itself as a healthy community.


Mayor: Joe Gunter

City Council:
José Castañeda District 1
Tony Barrera District 2
Gloria De La Rosa District 4

Governor: Edmund G. Brown Jr. (R)

State Senate: Anthony Cannella (R-12)

State Assembly: Paul Fong (D-28)

U.S. Senators:

Dianne Feinstein (D)
Barbara Boxer (D)

U.S. Representatives: Sam Farr (D-17)