Arizona elected officials and community leaders met Sunday for a virtual town hall on COVID-19. The Vice Mayor of the border town of San Luis, Ariz. was part of the presentation.
The bilingual online meeting was organized to bring attention to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic with the Latinx and undocumented communities.
San Luis Vice Mayor Maria Cruz was among the speakers.
“As a city, we have done everything possible so that the (daily) COVID-19 numbers come down," Cruz said.
Cruz said city leaders have taken many steps to slow the spread of the virus, including requiring the wearing of face masks in public. Other participants said the Latinx community needs access to virus information in both English and Spanish and that undocumented individuals may avoid medical care because they fear they will be deported.
As of Sunday, 503 cases were reported in San Luis, Ariz. By comparison, Yuma and Somerton each have about 3,000 cases.
The virtual town hall was organized by the three Arizona interns for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, or CHCI.
Vanessa Aguiar is a graduate of San Luis High School. She currently attends Arizona State University. She said she wanted to include young adults like herself as many say their age group is not acting enough to slow the spread.
"Which is also why I decided to make a big effort to have more people from San Luis join and people from the ASU community because I know that there are people that maybe are not my close friends but (there) are people that aren't taking this (virus) seriously enough and need to make bigger efforts," Aguiar said.
She was joined by fellow CHCI interns Lenika Rivas of Mesa, who attends Brown University in Providence, R.I., and Carolina Olea Lezema of Phoenix, who attends Tufts University near Boston.
Besides organizing the virtual town hall, Aguiar and her Arizona CHCI colleagues also created a GoFundMe account to support undocumented and mixed-status families in Arizona who have not received stimulus checks or financial assistance during the pandemic.
As of Monday afternoon, they had raised $2,020.