"We're pulling our hair. We feel desperation."

Paola Zambrano testified in front of the Yakima City Council. She works in the fields and worries every month that the rent is due because she is paid such low wages. Sometimes she has to pull 12 hour days to try and make ends meet.

Life can be hard. I come to you to our city council to ask you to consider and imagine when I and so many families earn so little. We can’t live on what we are earning - $1500 a month, with a family.

We are worried each time that the rent is due. Worried every time our children need us to buy them clothes. We’re pulling our hair. We feel desperation.

I need to work 10 to 12 hours to get what I need for my family.

Right now I’m not in good health. I’m going to have to take some time off and I’m losing sleep because how am I going to pay my rent? How am I going to feed my family? The electricity bill is high! We need car insurance.

I just want you to imagine how I feel and how other families feel.

Many times we need to work double shifts. You’re our council members. You can make a huge difference.

You may think we are just complaining, but don’t you think we have the right to a better quality of life? We that work in the warehouses wake up at four in the morning. We work in the fields, in agriculture. Don’t we deserve a dignified, living wage?

Could you live like me and many others live?

Many times we need to go to a food bank. This is why I’m here this evening. You represent us. You are our council members. I’m here today to ask you to imagine and consider my family and many other families.