During the public meetings, Linda Lee spoke about her life as a farmworker and the issues of health in her farmworker community of Apopka. Linda had the opportunity to speak on a panel about farmworkers with other representatives from the Farmworker Association, including, Yesica Ramirez, Elvia Lopez, Linda Lee, Antonio Tovar, and Jeannie Economos.
On the panel, Yesica and Elvia talked about their personal experiences working in nurseries and the working conditions, especially regarding exposure to pesticides. Antonio talked about the Farmworker Association's research project with Emory University that looks at levels of organophosphate pesticides and the fungicide Mancozeb in the urine of 100 farmworker women of reproductive age, which shows the high levels of pesticides in the urine. Jeannie Economos talked about the fact that farmworkers are often overlooked as being an environmental justice community because of many factors, including for some their migratory status following the harvesting seasons.
The NEJAC Public meeting provided a great space for the Farmworker Association to discuss farmworker rights and issues, as well as a place for Linda to retell her story and display the memorial quilt. By attending these discussions, the Farmworker Association hopes that the EPA will consider farmworkers' rights in future policy decisions!
The NEJAC took a trip to visit the Clara White Mission to learn about the great programs they are doing in the historically Black community there.