Communities in California have found that the key to successful community change that improves health equity is ensuring that community residents' voices are heard and help shape the goals and strategies of the change efforts. This means that those community members who suffer most from the problem must be engaged in the process. Youth in La Mesa, San Diego County, part of the California Department of Public Health's Communities of Excellence (CX3) project, mapped obstacles to safe travel to school, lack of fresh fruit and vegetables at neighborhood markets, and need for access to public transit and park facilities. The area high school has made pedestrian-safety improvements. They also received a 2008 Spotlight Award from the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

Learn more: Communities of Excellence in Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Prevention Neighborhood Nutrition in Focus [pdf]