Voto Latino draws response from EDA

Jorge Hugo,Phd.

La Prensa Hispana

In the previous weeks accepted votes on how knowledgeable the community was in regards to EDA ( Riverside County Economic Development Administration) 98% of the 358 respondents did not know what EDA was involved with in the community.

In an effort to solicit a response, copies of the poll were sent to EDA and the Riverside County supervisor’s office. They responded as follows.

“ Now there is the matter of the survey which shows that 98 percent of the respondents to your poll don’t know what EDA is. They may not know what “EDA” means, but they certainly know the outstanding accomplishments of the Economic Development Agency. Those efforts have been Herculean: Building public infrastructure, aiding in the effort to provide decent, safe and affordable housing for all residents, preparing the workforce to compete for jobs and more. A large share of the effort has been expended in the Hispanic community, because that is where the demographic is which needs economic development.

I know you are aware of the EDA’s efforts in constructing a new clinic, sheriff’s sub-station, library and street and drainage plans in downtown Mecca . . . of the new sheriff’s East Valley facility in Thermal, placed there to serve the needs of the largely Hispanic East Valley . . . and the EDA’s operation of the Workforce Development Center in Indio, to name but a few. (I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the Date Festival itself, which EDA takes a great deal of pride in producing each year… the event not only improves quality of life for East Valley residents, but any and all profits are poured back into the infrastructure. The Big Event caters to the Hispanic community in that EDA is very conscious of ensuring that the entertainment has appeal to Latinos.)

I am certain that, by working with the Economic Development Agency, we can go a long way to educate the public about the outstanding and crucial work of the EDA. To that end, I am copying Tom Freeman, public outreach person for EDA, and also Deanna Lorson, Managing Director, so that they can contact you and begin our mutual efforts on promoting the Economic Development Agency’s vital programs and educating the mutual constituency that we serve.”–Denys Arcuri

Tom Freeman EDA Public Outreach states; “Riverside County is meeting the current economic challenges head-on by helping increase demand for housing and reducing the supply of homes for sale. As a direct result of county assistance, 140 families purchased homes, 80% of which were foreclosures.

The County’s Economic Development Agency led this effort, which resulted in home sales in 14 cities and the unincorporated county.“425 people are now in homes that they were qualified to purchase. These mortgages are 30-year,fixed rate, fully amortized loans and before we even thought of providing first-time home buyer assistance to these families, we had ensured monthly mortgages were affordable. This program is helping 14 cities and the county reduce the number of foreclosed homes in our neighborhoods, and these families are bringing the homes and landscapes back into top shape,” said Robin Zimpfer, Assistant County Executive Officer for the Economic Development Agency.

The Economic Development Agency’s Housing Division has invested $4.9 million in the first-time

Home buyer programs since January 2008. These programs put your tax dollars back into the

community and have saved jobs in the real-estate industry. Homes purchased by first-time

home buyers are completely inspected, repaired if necessary by local construction workers, and new owners are required to live in the homes for two decades.”

Comments from the source are very much appreciated by the community. The community involvement of EDA may very well be superior but that does not negate the fact 98% do not know what they do. Many residents, do not see EDA in connection to the Date Festival, the Sheriff’s sub Station or drainage in Mecca. The solution is to work hand in hand with the Hispanic community in particular, the segment we give voice to. This can be done by maintaining a consistent informational segment directed to the East Valley. We offer EDA the opportunity to inform the public on a regular basis with articles and informational pieces. If they do so, rest assured the survey numbers will reflect a different opinion. “The community speaks and we inform” now it is time for EDA to inform us and have us inform the community.