Group distributing signs thanking essential workers

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THANK YOU Raj Nayyar (from left), Travis Graham, Vanessa Ashford and Fred Tovar display signs thanking essential workers that are being distributed throughout Gilroy. Photo: Erik Chalhoub

Gilroy has had a rough 10 months.

From the mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival and the ensuing fallout, to the current shelter-in-place order in response to the COVID-19 outbreak that is crushing the economy and forever changing everyday life, the city hasn’t had much time to take a breather.

“From what happened at the Garlic Festival to what’s happening now, we haven’t gotten a break as a city,” said City Councilmember Fred Tovar.

But through it all, the workers in the city keep trucking on at the risk of being exposed to the virus, from the first responders, to the farm workers, restaurant crews, postal carriers and others considered “essential workers” under the shelter-in-place order.

Their work has not gone unnoticed, as Gilroy’s appreciation of their efforts is being spread throughout the city.

Various businesses and homes are now displaying signs thanking first responders and essential workers.

The signs, spearheaded by Tovar, were printed by Travis Graham of One Life Prints in Gilroy with the support of Straw Hat Pizza owner Raj Nayyar, Maria Cid of Farmers Insurance and Monica Milla Legal Document Services.

“It’s all about thanking everyone,” Tovar said. “Our first responders are doing so much, but it’s the essential workers too. We forget about the post office workers, the farm workers, all the restaurant folks. It’s our way of thanking the community.”

A hundred signs were printed and are going fast, he added.

On April 30, Tovar, Graham and Nayyar visited Vanessa Ashford’s west Gilroy home to drop off a sign for her to display in her front yard.

Ashford praised Tovar’s efforts to support the community during the pandemic.

“Mr. Tovar has been the one council member championing and advocating for our most vulnerable residents,” she said.

Later in the day, Nayyar delivered 60 pizzas to the workers at St. Louise Regional Hospital with the help of Tovar.