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Pajaro River at Watsonville, California. (Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and the Pajaro Flood

How do DEI Democrats treat the residents of Pajaro and Watsonville, which have lower Race/Ethnicity Diversity scores than the ‘Whitest city in California?’

By Steven Aunan, March 24, 2023 6:25 am

If you want to see a microcosm of Leftist government and communities that vote for Leftists, look no further than Pajaro, California, where a levee break two weeks ago forced hundreds of families to evacuate their homes in the middle of the night; where Democrat-controlled government promised “immediate” aid; and where poor Latino families are now literally begging the government for aid that may never arrive.

The unincorporated area is at the intersection Santa Cruz and Monterey counties, where voters in 2022 pulled the lever for Gov. Gavin Newsom by wide margins (76% and 64%, respectively). After the levee broke, that same governor told residents he had spoken with Joe Biden and that help was on the way; that there would be an “‘immediate response’ to the state’s request for a major disaster declaration” and “a range of federal assistance money, including individual financial aid.”

Voters in 2022 also approved a local tax assessment to cover ongoing maintenance of the $400 million Pajaro River Flood Risk Management Project. That project is 100% funded by the state and federal government. Once the levee is rebuilt, local taxpayers will pay for operations and maintenance.

“For 70 years, generations of residents in the Pajaro Valley waited for the day when strong flood protection would be a reality,” Santa Cruz County Supervisor Zach Friend said on election day 2022. “With this vote and the monumental efforts to secure funding at the state and federal levels, we have reached that day.”

A few months later the levee broke, and now residents are demanding help from the people they voted for. Unfortunately for them, and less than a week after Newsom’s visit, the state had not requested aid from the Biden Administration, and “both FEMA and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services said the damage to hundreds of homes in Pajaro alone would not qualify the state for FEMA assistance.”

On March 23, Monterey County lifted the evacuation order, allowing residents to go home. But, according to the Santa Cruz Sentinel, there is no drinking water, the sewer system still doesn’t work, and toilets can’t be flushed. “It isn’t recommended that residents stay until sewer and water are restored. Those entering the area do so at their own risk.”

Even without the flooding, a quick glance at the interactive map of the California Healthy Places Index (HPI) shows that Watsonville and Pajaro are both unhealthy places to live. Both rank near the bottom of the index, with scores of 13.5 and 7.1, respectively. The Santa Cruz County average is 83.9, and Monterey County’s is 46.4.

The HPI Score says Watsonville has “healthier community conditions than 13.5%” of other California locales.

The HPI also indexes the Racial Justice and Health Equity of every zip code in the state. Watsonville is one of the least diverse cities in all of California, with a Race/Ethnicity Diversity Index of 12.1%. (Latinos represent 93.6% of the population, 5.3% White, 0.6% Asian, 0.1% Black, and 0.3% two or more races.)

Monterey County Tract 101.01, where Pajaro is located, is slightly more diverse with an Index of 21%. (88.6% Latino, 6.7% White, 2.5% American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.8% Asian, 0.7% Native Hawaiian or Asian Pacific Islander, 0.4% Black, and 0.2% two or more races.)

Watsonville’s Race/Ethnicity Diversity score ranks near the very bottom of the index, with a lower score than the “Whitest city in California.”

For comparison, the city of Paradise — the so-called “Whitest city in California” which was almost totally destroyed by the Camp Fire of 2018 — is more diverse than Watsonville or Pajaro. Paradise is 85.6% White, and has a Diversity Index of 27.8%.

According to California.com (owned by One Planet and “fueled by the power of California love”), Los Angeles is the “most diverse city” in the state, with Oakland, Long Beach, Sacramento, and San Jose rounding out the top 5.

If those cities have anything in common with Watsonville and Pajaro, it’s that they’ve been let down by the governments they voted into office.

“They let us down,” said Monterey County spokesperson Nicholas Pasculli about the Democrats who run his county, state, and national governments. “We’re still waiting on the presidential emergency declaration that was promised to us over a week ago. Governor, please pick up the phone and call the president and ask him to have empathy for the suffering of people in Pajaro. Ask him to sign the declaration.”

Pasculli, named Monterey County’s communications director in 2021, works for the Democrat-controlled Board of Supervisors. For instance, Luis Alejo, who represents District 1, is a former state legislator ranked the “2013 Most Effective Democratic Assemblymember” and was awarded as “2015 Legislator of the Year.”

Democrat Glenn Church, who represents Pajaro as Supervisor of District 2, said in 2021 that he was running for election because housing, fire safety, roads, social services, animal control, public safety and water all suffered “long-term neglect” in North Monterey County.

“People are frustrated that the county government is not taking care of their problems,” Church said at the time. “New leadership is required to bring the change that is needed.”

A few months after Church was elected, the levee collapsed in one of the least diverse communities in the State of California, and Latinos who make up 90% of the population are begging for crumbs from politicians who promise diversity, equity, inclusion, and — much like Bernie Sanders says — “a government that truly works for the people.”

A few complete paragraphs from the Mercury News story are instructive.

“So far, the only financial assistance available to residents is the $300,000 the state allocated to the Monterey County United Way in COVID-19 farmworker relief funds three years ago. Some of that money can now go to Pajaro evacuees — but only if they are actually farmworkers. And even that money — a single payment of $600 — hasn’t been disbursed.

“One Pajaro resident, a farmworker, said she was told the $600 debit card won’t come for another two or three weeks despite the ‘immediate needs’ of her family.

“For those who don’t qualify as farmworkers impacted by COVID, there is currently no plan for financial help.

“’They’re only giving help to those who identify that they work in the field, and if you don’t work in the field, they’re not offering help,’ said Jose Hernandez, who spoke at Tuesday’s meeting. ‘It’s not right. We’ve all been hurt the same, not just those who work in the fields. The help should be equal.’”

And where was Glenn Church during all this? At that chaotic meeting described by the Mercury News, “Monterey County Supervisor Glenn Church, who represents Pajaro, could be seen leaving through a back door as bewildered residents surrounded public officials to ask for any updates.”

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3 thoughts on “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and the Pajaro Flood

  1. Did voters really elect these Democrats into office who failed their constituents…or did the Democrat cabal install them into office with voter fraud and rigged voting machines?

    1. Wake up people – you’re being PLAYED by lying, cheating Democrats…
      They promise you the world to get elected, then they take a dump on you and then”leave through a back door”…
      You’re being played for SUCKERS!!!!
      And if you’re actually NOT voting for them, then rise up and demand election integrity in CA, which we haven’t had in DECADES!!!

  2. Will these, and other people now see that Democrats DON’T have their best interests at heart? Apparently not, since things like this have gone on for decades, and they never learn. They vote D because they’re told to, or because Republicans have been demonized, or because it’s habit.
    It’s people like this who are suffering through no fault of their own, who should be helped. So much money floating around during the “covid” hoax, given to people who didn’t need it and in many cases didn’t want it; now there’s none for the truly suffering? This is outrageous!

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