SACRAMENTO — The California Latino Legislative Caucus hosted an informational briefing on COVID-19 in the Latino community Wednesday, November 18, bringing together elected officials, community leaders and experts to shed light on and explore solutions relating to tragic health disparities and workplace inequities Latinos have endured during the global pandemic, according to a press release.
“Though Latinos only total 38.9 percent of our State’s population they account for 60.1 percent of cases and 48.5 percent of all deaths. That equates to 442,903 cases and 8,814 deaths. Latino families are overwhelmed by this pandemic, and the current safety net does not include all Californians,” said Senator Maria Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles), chair of the Latino Caucus. “Latinos pay taxes and are instrumental in keeping our economy running as essential workers, and too many do not qualify for unemployment benefits or federal aid because of their undocumented status. And to make matters worse, nearly 60 percent of Latinos in this State are uninsured. We brought together members of the administration, policy experts and community-based organizations who can provide data, life experiences and research to drive policy solutions. California’s economy can remain strong if we can effectively protect all of our communities and essential workers.”
The briefing covered an array of issues including:
- Research findings on the current state of affairs in the Latino community and factors that contribute to Latino health disparities.
- Real-life impact the pandemic is having on Latinos from those on the front lines.
- Current needs of and efforts to protect essential workers in various industries.
- Administration’s efforts to identify Latino health disparities and enforce workplace health standards.
- Policy and budget recommendations to mitigate health and workplace inequities.
“Data, research, and facts are critical for our legislative response to the unprecedented issues that COVID-19 has prompted,” said Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister), vice-chair of the Latino Caucus. “It is evident that Latinos and essential workers are being disproportionately hit by the health and economic challenges of COVID-19. This is personal to me, coming from a predominately farmworker and agricultural community, where our agricultural workers are facing the brunt of this global pandemic while continuing to feed the Nation.”