Public Outreach and Engagement
Los Angeles County Stormwater Expenditure Plan Outreach Project
In 2018, Prevention Institute managed the Stormwater Expenditure Plan Outreach Project, a community outreach project conducted in high need communities as part of Los Angeles County’s Safe, Clean Water program and funding measure. PI managed a stipend program to fund six community-based organizations to conduct public outreach in ten “high priority area” communities throughout the county. Outreach activities included tabling at community events; meeting with or presenting to community organizations; engaging people through direct contact methods including door-knocking, intercept surveys at high-traffic locations, and phone calls; and conducting 10 community workshops in high-priority areas of LA County. PI also facilitated a regional workshop on Stormwater, Health, and Equity with 130 participants, co-sponsored by 28 well-respected community-based organizations. PI summarized the process, outcomes, and learnings from the project in two brief reports.
Los Angeles County Parks Needs Assessment Outreach Project
Prevention Institute developed and implemented a community engagement plan to gather stakeholder feedback for the Los Angeles County Parks Needs Assessment. In collaboration with the County and its principal planning consultant, PI managed an innovative stipend program to fund seven community-based organizations to conduct outreach and engagement in nine communities with well-recognized park deficits. PI also facilitated three workshops about parks and health equity in park-poor communities, and provided technical support to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to develop a report examining the connection between park disparities and health inequities, Parks and Public Health in Los Angeles County: A Cities and Communities Report.
Community Engagement in a Stormwater Demonstration Project along the Los Angeles River
PI is partnering with The Nature Conservancy to advance a health-equity approach to community engagement in a stormwater demonstration project on land along the Los Angeles River. The project will transform a brownfield into an accessible public space that addresses water and habitat quality. PI is integrating health equity principles and strategies into the community engagement process by, for example, forming of an advisory network of the key community-based organizations operating in the area. Drawing inspiration from the “promotora” model of community health workers, PI is training and providing stipends to local residents to serve as community outreach workers who conduct specialized outreach to their peers in the Cypress Park neighborhood.
Connecting Urban State Parks to Healthy, Diverse Communities
With support from the Gilbert Foundation, PI is partnering with the Los Angeles River State Park Partners to develop a strategic plan for its Park Promotorx program. The goal of the program is to support the establishment of relationships between LA’s state parks and residents of the surrounding communities, many of whom have not been engaged or felt welcomed in state parks in the past. A new model of community engagement based on the “promotora” model of community health workers, the program recruits and trains local residents to serve as Park Promotorx, trusted navigators of the state parks, and promoters of park use to improve community health and wellbeing. The strategic planning process is focused on three state parks along the Los Angeles River that are in predominantly low-income communities of color. Planned activities include conducting a community survey, developing a plan to sustain funding for the Promotorx program, and establishing a model that can be replicated at other state parks throughout California.
Local and Regional Planning Processes
Lower Los Angeles River Revitalization Plan
In 2016, Prevention Institute was appointed by California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird to the Lower Los Angeles River Working Group, and served as an advisor to its Community Economics, Health, and Equity Committee. Over an 18-month period, the working group and 39 stakeholders representing government, community-based organizations, public health, and environmental conservation worked with Southeast and South LA communities to develop a revitalization plan for the lower half of the Los Angeles River. PI provided technical input on several elements of the Lower Los Angeles River Revitalization Plan. Additionally, PI encouraged the public to provide input on the plan as an opportunity to address inequities in parks and access to resources that support health, while protecting current residents and local businesses along the river from displacement.
Los Angeles Vision Zero Action Plan Health Equity Analysis
Prevention Institute conducted a qualitative analysis of the City of LA’s Vision Zero Action Plan and developed recommendations to support the Los Angeles Vision Zero Alliance in creating a comprehensive, data-driven approach to eliminate traffic-related deaths in Los Angeles within ten years. In 2017, PI published a Vision Zero Health Equity Road Map brief, which distills lessons learned from Los Angeles that could be applied in other cities.
Plan for a Healthy Los Angeles
PI provided technical input on the City of LA’s first-ever general plan health and wellness element—the Plan for a Healthy Los Angeles. PI’s Manal J. Aboelata served on the plan’s 15-member expert panel, which addressed topics including neighborhood safety, education, jobs, and climate resilience, as well as more traditional factors such as nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco use. Following the LA City Council’s unanimous approval of the plan, PI provided technical input to the City of Los Angeles on policies that leverage the plan to improve health equity, including Clean Up Green Up (which combines traditional planning tools and business incentives to prevent and mitigate the overconcentration of polluting land uses in three pilot communities) and Quimby reform (which increases the amount and flexibility of park funding generated through developer impact fees).
Riverside County Community Health Improvement Plan Workshops
In 2016, the Riverside County Public Health Department contracted Prevention Institute to develop and facilitate two countywide Community Health Improvement Plan workshops. PI facilitated weekly planning calls with County staff to conceptualize and plan the workshops, presented on the social determinants of health in Riverside County, and facilitated discussions and activities to prioritize countywide health objectives and strategies. Since then, PI has facilitated multiple workshops with the Riverside County Health Coalition to identify and make progress on the Coalition’s goals and strategies related to healthy eating, active living, trauma/resilience, and other public health priorities.
Walkability Audits in Los Angeles County Communities
PI has conducted walk audits in communities across Los Angeles County to help community residents and leaders articulate barriers to and strong examples of healthy, equitable built environments. PI’s Manal J. Aboelata is a California Walkability Expert certified by CalTrans and the California Department of Public Health. Manal also co-facilitates a walking group in South LA called CrenshawWalks. PI’s Rob Baird served as a consultant pedestrian planner with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health PLACE Program (Policies for Livable, Active Communities and Environments); in this role, he conducted community walk audits throughout Los Angeles County.