About a year ago Joe Mathews wrote an essay for Zocaló Public Square (similarly reprinted in the S.F. Chroniclce, Modesto Bee and elsewhere) about the underprivileged status of California's unincorporated communities. His article emphasized unincorporated communities in the San Joaquin Valley where low-wage farm workers struggle to provide for their families, where criminals practice their nefarious crafts without fear of attention by the County Sheriff, and where clean water and sanitary sewers are the stuff of dreams. But, as he pointed out, Covid put a spotlight on the neglect of unincorporated communities wherever they might be in California. We are inclined to agree whole-heartedly. Sure, there are pockets of prosperity in our commnunity, but not everyone who lives here enjoys a similar way of life. And even our better-off neighborhoods suffer when the County overlooks our infrastructure, pays scant notice to our local businesses and generally disregards the needs of our community. Have you driven on Watt Avenue lately? Raise your hand if you think the local pavement is well-maintained. Ah-hah! Seeing none raised, we urge you to read Mr. Mathews article. If it strikes you that the people and businesses in other places in California - the ones that are called "cities" - seem to enjoy more privileges than we do, please aim your key strokes and/or cell phone messages towards our members of the Legislature. Let them know how you feel at being part of an underclass of what the Census estimates is composed of almost 5 million Californians. And don't forget to send a cc: to our dearly beloved Board of Supervisors.
"Life under your county’s thumb is full of uncertainties and frustrations."Joe Mathews, "In California, we are all unincorporated now" (Modesto Bee, November 6, 2020)