A couple of times a month, Mariela Loera goes knocking on doors in California’s Eastern Coachella Valley. Part of her job, as a policy advocate with the nonprofit Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, is to provide a listening ear to members of the community, many of whom work in the region’s lush farms cultivating citrus, dates, and other winter crops.

Most of the people Loera speaks with are middle-aged mothers. At nearly every house, she hears the same thing: “One or more of my kids has asthma or some sort of respiratory illness.” If it’s summer, she might hear complaints…


By prebo

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