Congressman Jimmy Gomez at Ramona Gardens Boys and Girls Club. Photo by Albert Serna Jr.

Congressman Jimmy Gomez took a tour of the Ramona Gardens Boys & Girls Club Thursday where he spoke about the upcoming Child Tax Credit and the importance of getting children 12 and older vaccinated.

Welcome sign at the club

The tour, which was put together by the Boys & Girls club of East San Gabriel Valley, included stops at several locations in Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles. It included “discussions about services that the Boys & Girls Clubs provide to constituents in the district,” said Gomez’s Deputy District Director Adrian Vazquez.

“They just wanted to give us a tour of all the sites, and their programming,” he said. “Our overarching message is that we’re making sure that people are getting vaccinated, and that they’re gonna be receiving their child tax credit.”

Gomez represents California’s 34th Congressional district, which includes Boyle Heights. During the tour of the Ramona Gardens site, the legislator spoke to several children about the importance of being vaccinated and staying healthy. At several points during the visit he asked if the children were vaccinated and whether they would be interested in getting vaccinated.

Although there were no clear indications that they would create a new vaccination site, Gomez hinted that they may be able to be vaccinated at the Ramona Gardens Boys & Girls Club.

He also spoke about the importance of funding organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs, because they build the foundation for human infrastructure in local communities.

“A lot of people think how you get an economy going is just developing and building buildings, bridges, roads, right? But unless you train people to be able to do the jobs of the future you’re not really investing in the long-term growth of the community,” Gomez said. He noted that funding the club allows it to teach Ramona Gardens children various skills, like coding.

“The idea is to really put more money into workforce development so that they can either go into union apprenticeship programs, into childcare development, or go to a community college system to get their start,” Gomez added. “So, it’s really investing in what they call the human infrastructure or the human capital, in order for people to be able to take advantage of the money we’re putting into the economy.”

On Saturday, Gomez joined a number of local organizations and elected officials at a rally at Hollenbeck Park to help awareness of the Child Tax Credit, which will give most California families a new monthly tax credit of up to $300 per child for the next six months.

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Albert Serna Jr.

Albert Serna Jr. is a queer Chicano journalist from the San Gabriel Valley. He has a passion for news, politics, and investigative reporting. On his free time he reads about true crime and does drag.

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