HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Members of the local Puerto Rican community were given the chance to have their voices heard at the state level.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment, lack of SNAP benefits, and food security have been major problems for the Puerto Rican community, that’s according to State Representative Carlos Gonzalez and former Holyoke City Councilor Jossie Valentin.
During this time when information is critical, Spanish speakers don’t have the same access to the facts that English speakers do.
State Representative Carlos Gonzalez said, “Language continues to be an issue. We are trying to work around those issues by utilizing our Spanish media outlets, using our community based organizations, as well as leaders.”
It’s not just a language barrier that affects the local Puerto Rican community, Jossie Valentin says it’s an overall lack of resources.
“So we need to reverse that and we need to improve systems that have been broken for a very long time. Especially for communities of color like the ones in Holyoke,” said Valentin.
Senator Markey has hosted a series of discussions on a number of different topics throughout the the COVID-19 pandemic.