voices

Delano

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Arvin

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

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...

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

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

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

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...

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

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

Cutler

Allensworth

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

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

Ducor

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..."

Lindsay

Allensworth was the first black state historic park...

Earlimart

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...

East Orosi

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

Orosi

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

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

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...

Alpaugh

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

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

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

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

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

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...

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

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...

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

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...

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

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

We wanted a healthier, cleaner environment...

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

Wasco

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.

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

Shafter

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

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

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

Kettleman City

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...

Visalia

Fresno

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

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

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

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

Grayson

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...

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

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

Seville

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

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...

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

Buttonwillow

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

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...