VALLEJO (KPIX 5) – Some Bay Area Latinos told us that after what they’ve seen and heard since Trump was elected, they’re afraid of what’s going to happen next.
Mina Diaz says she had no choice. She had to organize Wednesday night’s community meeting.
“We saw the need and we couldn’t wait any longer,” she said.
Vallejo’s population is 25 percent Latino, and Diaz says since Donald Trump was elected, residents have been living in fear, especially after a handful of incidents targeting Latinos.
“I’ve had calls from community members letting me know that their landlords are threatening to call immigration,” she said.
A few days ago, she says, a couple of Latino food vendors were attacked.
“They were just robbed the other day and severely beaten so there’s a lot of fear,” Diaz said.
One of the incidents allegedly happened at Bethel High School in Vallejo. A day after the election, a student says a teacher asked her if she had bought her ticket back to Mexico yet.
“We felt that no child should have to listen to these hurtful words,” she said.
Wednesday night’s gathering was meant to address racism head-on and calm fears about possible deportation.
Vallejo police Sgt. Brenton Garrick said, “We just hope to offer reassurance to the public that our department in our community, we haven’t been given any kind of directive that we’re going to take enforcement actions against any immigrant communities.”
Organizers encouraged people who came to the meeting to write down their hopes and fears, and to let their voices be heard.
Vallejo resident Jorge Garcia said, “I think it’s a good outcome…that the community is getting together, to get to know what’s actually happening, and [to know] that you do have basic rights.”
Diaz has planned more meetings like this one in the Bay Area in the coming weeks.
This, she says, is just the beginning.
“I want people to see that they’re not alone, for the Latinos that come here to see that the community in general in Vallejo is there for them,” Diaz said.