CIRS Blog about Rural California


Press Conference:          June 12, 2013, 10:00am, COLLEGE OF THE DESERT (MECCA CAMPUS) 61-120 BUCHANAN STREET, MECCA CA 92254

Community Forum:         June 12, 2013, 5:30pm, College of the Desert (Mecca Campus) 

Contact:             Elizabeth Toledo, Building Healthy Communities:760-578-9605

                              Megan Beaman, Pueblo Unido CDC: 760-406-8900


The report is expected to be a tremendous asset to ongoing work toward the improvement of Eastern Coachella Valley conditions.  “The lack of consolidated and unbiased data documenting the inequities of our region has been one of the greatest challenges we face in our work for better infrastructure, water quality, housing, and environmental health.  It has been incredibly frustrating to us at times to have decision-makers and policy-makers say or imply that we are exaggerating about our community experiences, or that they need to see science before they can help.  This data will assist us greatly in demonstrating that our experiences are based in hard facts and statistics,” said Megan Beaman of Pueblo Unido CDC.

The group will present the report briefly by press conference on June 12, 2013, and the whole report and in-depth analysis will be presented at a community forum that same evening. 

Non-profit organizations contributing to the production and release of this report are:  Pueblo Unido Community Development Corporation; California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc.; Inland Congregations United for Change; and Comité Cívico del Valle.



Elizabeth R. Toledo

Building Healthy Communities (BHC) Eastern Coachella Valley

P: 760.972.4628 | C: 760.578.9605 | F: 760.674.9923

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By Daniel Weintraub

It’s fair to say that California is the richest state in the nation. We have more millionaires than any other state, and mansions dot our coastal bluffs and inland canyons.

But California is also, arguably, the poorest state in the nation. We have more people in poverty — 6.1 million — and more children in poverty than any other state.

Even more ominously, a new measure of poverty shows that California has the highest percentage of its population living below the poverty line.

By the traditional measure, California’s poverty rate is 16.6 percent, 20th in the nation. But the new, supplemental measure released last year by the Census Bureau puts California at the top of the list with a poverty rate of 23.5 percent.

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in Rural California 1968 0

Merced County officials lobbying Washington this week know, in theory, the secret of getting things done on Capitol Hill.

“The process takes a long time,” Dos Palos Mayor Johnny Mays said Wednesday. “We have to keep nudging, and nudging, and nudging.”

Exhibit A: The Los Banos Bypass.

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FEB 25, 2013

The House Committee on Agriculture

Tamara Hinton, 202.225.0184

WASHINGTON – Today, Chairman Frank Lucas and Ranking Member Collin Peterson issued the following statement in response to the recent release of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) report on the various definitions of rural used in programs administered by the agency. The 2008 Farm Bill required USDA to complete this report by June 18, 2010 to assess how the various definitions have impacted rural development programs and to make recommendations on ways to better target funds.


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in Rural California 2250 0

In many people's experience, California consists of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, and the highways that connect them. In reality these urban centers make up only a fraction of the whole; according to the 2010 Census, geographically the state of California is more than 94 percent rural. Surprise Valley, Lost Hills, Raisin City, Mecca—these are the communities that make up "the rest" of California.


(Curtis Silk Farms, Gathering Mulberry Leaves, Curtis Silk Farms, Los Angeles, California, ca. 1907 Courtesy of the California Historical Society)

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