voices

FirstPerson.AllensworthCommunityCenter
42

All of my uncles are lechugueros, lettuce pickers...

Our street was the first street to get evacuated...

28

Ducor

FirstPerson.CottonWithHarvester

Grayson

62
68

Allensworth

We’re a very small community but with many problems...

FirstPerson.AtWell

Sometimes you get the feeling that just because it’s a rural area and Allensworth is a black and brown community that the people of the upper class seem to see us as nobody...

FirstPerson.CutlerStreetScene
FirstPerson.Trucks

There's not a whole lot of respect for this region...

The bees have buffers and we don’t?! ...

FirstPerson.ButtonwillowSign
FirstPerson.Interview

Those in charge of the water said that everything was alright, and the water was not contaminated, we would only have a problem if blue children were being born...

Meds

It almost felt like saying "Oh, thank you for just letting us be here"...

FirstPerson.DowntownLindsey
FirstPerson.WaterShirt2

We would sit under a tree and tally all the trucks going by and what they were carrying...

Fresno

The water from the faucet comes out mornings looking yellowish...

Arvin

They said, "If you don’t like it, why don’t you move out?"...

FirstPerson.MountainCuldeSac

After 9/11, there’s been a lot of hate crimes against Sikhs...

They'll say “Oh, it's mass hysteria, you're hung over," or, "It's just something you ate that's making you nauseous.” No, it's the pesticides, and don't doubt it...

VecinosUnidos
FirstPerson.Hearing
30
64

Regardless of doing my medicine, my lungs are still deteriorating anyways because of what's in the air...

PoplarPark
45
FirstPerson.FoodFactory

The supervisors would say “Well, you don't know technology..."

It looked like London fog out there, and in here it looked like San Francisco fog...

Every time that people appeared at meetings, they would call the police...

On the corner, it was barricaded. It's called a stop and freeze, or freeze and keep whatever is contaminated in. They were telling people “Go back, go back, you can't come out.” And they're like “No, we're sick, and need our kids to get to the doctor. We're going to drive them ourselves..."

Then, the Ku Klux Klan was standing on the corner of a gay pride parade; now, in 2007, we have Rally in the Valley, which is like a peace march...

I don’t think I’ll ever stop working for community issues...

You can't just sit back and wait for somebody else to do it, because maybe there is nobody else to do it...

FirstPerson.PesticidePlane

Orosi

Earlimart

Alpaugh

27
ButtonwillowLittleLeague
FirstPerson.WaterShirt

If all the pesticides you used in this area would just fall on you in one day, then you would think about the impact...

48

At first, you are so ignorant that it's easy to say, "put it in the desert," but you start meeting people and you start understanding that there is no place to put an incinerator...

Seville

There’s got to be a way to educate people...

We wanted a healthier, cleaner environment...

FirstPerson.GustavoDesk
FirstPerson.SandraMeraz
43

Visalia

FirstPerson.WomanWithBooklet
FirstPerson.LoneTrailer
70

Those who work the land are lifting and making California stronger, but how does the governor of California help the field workers? How, when they work for a wage that is not enough to live on? California has grown because of the cheap labor of Hispanic people, but when one needs help there is nothing.

75

The Water Board says that we needn’t do anything, that we can use the water...

Part of the problem that we have here in the Valley is supposed Democrats are actually Valleycrats...

91

I had no idea what an activist was. Now I know there's a name to it, not just a “troublemaker.”

FirstPerson.Highway99

There is one that thanks me for what I’m doing here. That is God...

FirstPerson.TomFrantzFence
FirstPerson.DeniseK.

When the woman combed her hair bunches of it would come out...

Along the way, we got insulted a lot about not having education and not knowing what we're talking about...

Whether you're rich or poor, or wherever you're at, you need water...

Wasco

I'm not a tree hugger, and I never saw myself as an environmentalist...

59

Buttonwillow

60

Lindsay

FirstPerson.ProtestAgBackground
FirstPerson.TruckDust
FirstPerson.TalkingOverLunch

Looking at a problem firsthand is very different from just hearing about it...

FirstPerson.Canal
FirstPerson.Benefactors
FirstPerson.Inhaler

In Mexico each little town has a municipal office where you go to log your complaint. Then you go to another office and so on until you reach the office of the President. We didn’t have water there either, I remember...

I think the Central Valley and Mexico have a lot in common in terms of water...

I think my first part of activism was in high school, and I probably didn’t even realize it...

My daughter is almost always by my side at meetings...

FirstPerson.AgMuseum
FirstPerson.KCDump

I remember reading the articles and hearing them say that the probability of cancer was one in a million. I didn't want to be that one in a million...

Delano

29

I’m not saying anything different from what they’re saying, but the fact that I have a degree, it’s recognized and it has some status...

31

The anger in me was what drove me for a lot of years...

FirstPerson.SunsetRoad
FirstPerson.WaterSamples2
FirstPerson.CuidadoSign
47

Shafter

FirstPerson.BienvenidosAlpaugh

They have all these regulations to make you want to give up, get tired of it or whatever, but you have to be persistent. You have to let them know you are there...

Kettleman City

I felt a lot of my activist work to be very redemptive...

FirstPerson.Soccer

Allensworth was the first black state historic park...

The air district governing board has historically been a problem...

Cutler

FirstPerson.Cows
100
FirstPerson.AvisoPublicoNitrato

"At least your kid doesn't have to be here defending his life. Mine does..."

East Orosi

FirstPerson.ToDoList
FirstPerson.FactoryTrees
FirstPerson.TrailersBikes
KettlemanCitySign
FirstPerson.RosendaIncinerator
FirstPerson.McDonald's
FirstPerson.PetroleumWaste
Susana
41

Sometimes I don't want to invite anyone over to visit me because I have very little water...

Nobody ever studies the cumulative effects of anything. It's always, “Oh well, this won't be harmful for you. This and this amount will be harmful to you.” This won't be harmful to you, but how about all together? Nobody's talking about that...

BabyFrame
FirstPerson.StandardOil

People say “Well, arsenic, you have to drink 40-50 years of it before it’s a problem.” Hello? I’ve been here 47...

We need a piece of the American pie too...

We really had no idea that we were living next to California's largest toxic waste dump...

FirstPerson.WasteManagementSign

I do understand. I am sorry I can’t express myself, but I am not stupid...

If we have this local air district that supposedly does outreach... how come they never came to our community?

44
FirstPerson.TattooCloseUp
MaricelaRally
95

First you learn the system, and then you learn to change the system...

I was totally one of those people that thought that people with education and people in high authority knew what they were doing and you just let them do what they have to do...