Rural Forum on Sustainable Communities meets tonight

Guidance for the farmworkers and low-income families in the East Valley looking for improvements

POSTED: 08:24 AM PDT Oct 04, 2012 
Farming Crops Farm
THERMAL, Calif. -

Pueblo Unido CDC, a nonprofit that advocates on behalf of farmworkers and low-income families, will hold a forum today about improving living conditions in the eastern Coachella Valley.
   The Rural Forum on Sustainable Communities is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. at Desert Mirage High School in Thermal, at 86-150 66th Ave.
   The agricultural labor force in the eastern Coachella Valley has generated more than $430 million a year in revenue for the last decade but makes up the ``largest disfranchised and environmentally at-risk population in Riverside County,'' according to Pueblo Unido Executive Director Sergio Carranza.
   Workers contend with a lack of affordable housing and infrastructure, including sewer systems, potable water and flood control, and illegal toxic dumpsites are a concern, he said.
   ``The forum is a comprehensive approach that empowers residents to be civically engaged in addressing infrastructure and environmental health issues. It will establish collaborative efforts among nonprofit organizations, public entities and elected officials to protect the public health and improve the quality of life of our rural communities,'' Carranza said.