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Assemblymember Robert Rivas Applauds State’s Provision of 750K Masks for Agricultural Workers in Monterey County

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO - On May 8, 2020, Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) applauded news that California has agreed to supply Monterey County with 750,000 procedure masks specifically designated for agricultural workers. This follows weeks of persistent engagement by County and State Officials, and will benefit as many as 25,000 workers over the next 30 days.

Rivas said, “Over the last two months, since the Governor declared a state of emergency relating to the COVID-19 outbreak, I have been working closely with Monterey County to support and safeguard our most vulnerable populations – including in particular our agricultural workers. I have expressed the critical need of personal protective equipment (PPE) for these workers to the Governor and California’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) through numerous communications. This shipment of 750,000 masks is an important step in providing the necessary protection for farmworkers who do the hard work that puts food on our tables. We are glad to see CalOES respond to our repeated calls for assistance.”

Monterey County Supervisor Chris Lopez said, “I appreciate the efforts of Assemblymember Rivas in assisting Monterey County to obtain these masks for our agricultural workers who often work in close proximity. With these masks, we will be able to partner with local organizations that will get this PPE to the workers who need it most.”

According to Kim Stemler, Executive Director of the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association, “A diverse group of organizations came together with elected leaders to achieve the common goals of protecting our agricultural employees and protecting the food supply that nourishes the nation. This group included the County of Monterey, the Monterey County Health Officer, various local agricultural associations, and community-based organizations. We shared the urgent need for masks for agricultural employees with Assemblymember Rivas and the Governor’s office, and we’re grateful to now be distributing 750,000 masks to those who work every day on our farms. When we work together–we achieve great things.”

“I look forward to continuing this partnership with CalOES, the County, and local stakeholders to safeguard our District’s 100,000 agricultural workers, as well as the one million farmworkers throughout California,” said Rivas. “As vulnerable, essential workers who are continuing to feed our nation, they deserve our thanks and the PPE necessary to protect their health.”

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Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) represents California’s 30th Assembly District, which includes all or portions of the cities and towns of Aromas, Big Sur, Chualar, Gilroy, Greenfield, Gonzales, Hollister, King City, Morgan Hill, Salinas, San Martin, San Juan Bautista, Soledad, Spreckels, and Watsonville.