Everyone deserves protection from COVID19, regardless of immigration status!
Yet many in our community are being excluded from emergency aid for basic necessities like rent. The Roaring Fork Latino Network is a collective of local Latina and Latino leaders from Parachute to Aspen. Just as the virus does not discriminate, neither should government aid. Currently, undocumented folks are excluded from federal and local aid. We believe that our local governments should support all of their residents, without consideration of immigration status. We are calling on Garfield County Commissioners Tom Jankovsky, Mike Samson, and John Martin to support all members of our community.
We want all communities in Garfield County to thrive after this pandemic. We know that communities all across our Valleys are resilient and can and will recover if given the opportunity.
We ask that the Garfield County commissioners treat the COVID-19 crisis as what it is, a public health emergency. All families deserve access to assistance in this time of crisis. For this reason, the Roaring Fork Latino Network has several requests of the Garfield County Commissioners:
Invest in culturally-appropriate translation services to ensure that all county information is published in Spanish at the same time as in English, especially during a crisis, and develop and implement culturally and linguistically effective outreach strategies to engage Latinos. This can start with a simple Facebook page to engage Latinos in Spanish.
Give access to relief funds to all families regardless of immigration status, including those who speak Spanish and have undocumented family members, to cover basic necessities like rent, utilities, and buying household essentials. We know that other Colorado counties are providing direct aid to all residents and Garfield County should as well.
Guarantee access to healthcare for the uninsured, many of whom are Latino, by increasing funding to community health centers. The cost of preventative care is less expensive than visits to the emergency room, the only other option for the uninsured.
Garfield County has the opportunity to be a leader in rural Colorado and to continue to build a trusting relationship with the Latino and immigrant community from Parachute to Carbondale, with lasting effects post-COVID-19. Our elected officials need to hear from us.