For some unknown reason, fate keeps taking me back to the deplorable 3rd world conditions of Immokale Florida. Why, I do not need to determine.
Now previously I had posted two posts last spring on my attempts on behalf of the GOV of FL, through delegation with the FL ADA coordinator to moniter and offer assistance to the migrant farm workers that reside there.
This weekend, I was invited by a friend to attend and participate in a protest in Naples FL yesterday at a local Publix store, a major grocery chain here in southern FL.
I learned something from participating in this demonstration with the leaders of the Migrant Farmworker Coalition. My previous work efforts related to being assistive to the deplorable work conditions and horrible inequity in pay to these individuals made me realize why my past efforts in my being assistive had failed.
These migrant farm workers have lots of pride. They do not want charity or handouts. Including any that would be provided by the state of FL, the people of FL or anyone else such as myself. No, these proud workers merely want a fair wage for their hard work. The work they do provide results in putting food on your table.
So now I am better informed of what the migrant farm workers really want. A fair wage. But I am not going to be happy with merely a fair wage.
A lot of the wealthy and fortunate here in southern FL quickly take the easiet option and merely donate money or their used property thinking incorrectly, just like I did, these migrant farm working families must need our charity in the form of money and used property. Wrong.
I agree with the migrant farm workers postion related to getting a fair wage for their labor. I stand corrected however, and remain united with them on a fair wage. However, unlike them, I want more than that for all those that reside in Immokalee including the migrant farm workers.
At a higher level, I always put life before economic development. I note these can and should be done concurrently. But not in Immokalee. Local leaders are only focused on an economic engine and could care less about human life and deplorable and deadly living conditions for these people. So, it is only civil to want more than merely fair wages for their hard labor.
These migrant farm workers and the rest of the citizens of Immmokalee also deserve adequate living conditions. This includes the county ensuring some basic public services like drinking water does not kill the residents, the migrant farm workers, or members of their families.
Now my little piece of this equation remains firmly that the county in which they reside admitted to me in dated email this past spring that factually the drainage ditches along the state highways are not properly being maintained causing stagnation and pollution. Which then in turn, those polluted waters infilitrate and contaminate the ground water results in people dying from merely drinking water.
That remains deplorable. And for Collier County officials to admit to me in an email their officials failed to maintain the drainage ditches causing death to others, is simplly an act of murder by omission, by the county.
So instead of the generous and fortunate people of Collier county doing what is easy-giving contributions not wanted by these proud and underpaid migrant farm workers, I merely suggest the fortunate of Collier County ask and demand the county maintain their drainage ditches that are causing this deadly pollution.
It is plain to me the people of Immokalee including the migrant farm workers that are part of the economic engine of Immokalee, deserve not to die while being a big picture in that economic engine.
Now I am all for economic development. Many in southern FL merely want to make this area a major tourist attraction similar to the "new" Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
Well, if indeed that is what the people of southern FL want, a good place to start is ensuring those people that reside in Immokalee do not die from a simple failure to maintain drainage ditches that are polluted. You think?
So to those that go to the Seminole Indian Casino in Immokalee, do not drink the water.
It might kill you.
Just like it is doing to the migrant farm workers, their families and equally to the other residents of this town.