THERMAL, Calif. — Standing in front of a trailer that serves as the local community center for residents of St. Anthony’s mobile home park, Sergio Carranza fielded questions from a crowd of forty mobile home owners who call this small agricultural community in the eastern Coachella Valley home.
Carranza, executive director of Pueblo Unido Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit based in La Quinta that advocates on behalf of rural east valley residents, talked to the mobile home owners about Proposition 1, a state bond measure that would generate billions in revenue for water infrastructure projects and improvements.
“It is something very important, something that is going to affect the future of our community,” Carranza said to the group in Spanish.
It wasn’t difficult for Carranza to explain why. For years, lack of access to clean and reliable drinking water — high levels of arsenic have been measured in the groundwater here — has been a critical issue for families living in the east valley’s mobile home parks, including those located in the towns of Thermal, Oasis and Mecca, known collectively as Polanco Parks.
If California voters pass Proposition 1, also known as the Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014, $7.5 billion in general obligation bonds would be made available for infrastructure projects that would protect existing water supplies and improve drought preparedness, water storage, water recycling, groundwater sustainability and flood management.