Built Environment Policy Advocacy Fund (BEPAF) Program Overview
With funding from First 5 LA and The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, Prevention Institute supports a cohort of six community-based organizations, policy advocacy networks, and coalitions working to improve neighborhood conditions for children 0-5 and their families in Los Angeles County. In Year 2 of the BEPAF program (June 2021 – May 2022), Prevention Institute provides grant funding and technical assistance to the grantee cohort. BEPAF grantees support resident leaders and advocate for policies and public agency procedures to increase access to parks and open space, safe walking and biking routes, public transit options, healthy food, and resources for children and families living in communities that have experienced historical disinvestment. This is a unique opportunity to improve the built environment, with a goal of promoting healthy early childhood development in First 5 LA’s Best Start communities. The BEPAF is part of First 5 LA’s mission to ensure that all children in Los Angeles County enter Kindergarten ready to succeed.
Six organizations were selected to receive BEPAF funding in Year 2 (2021 – 2022):
- Alliance for Community Transit – Los Angeles (ACT-LA) is a broad-based coalition of 37 organizations that is building a grassroots movement for more equitable public transit systems and budgets. ACT-LA, with coalition partners Community Power Collective and Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance, will lead a new LA County-wide campaign for transit justice that builds the power of low-income residents to shape policies and funding decisions. The coalition will organize parents and residents in East LA and Koreatown, developing their skills to become effective leaders and spokespeople in the transit justice campaign.
- Community Coalition works to transform the social and economic conditions in South LA that foster addiction, crime, violence, and poverty by building a community institution that involves thousands in creating, influencing, and changing public policy. Community Coalition will apply its renowned model of community organizing and power-building to the issue of park equity. Community Coalition will cultivate knowledge, agency, and leadership among low-income African American and Latino residents of South LA to influence public policies—including tax and fiscal reform—to improve parks, open space, and recreation areas in their neighborhoods.
- Investing in Place works to align policies and public dollars to support transportation investments that strengthen communities. Investing in Place and partners East Side Riders Bike Club, Los Angeles Walks, and South Central LAMP will advance the Moms and Mobility project in South Central LA, Watts, and other South LA neighborhoods. Recognizing that women and their young children face access and safety barriers as they travel to school, work, medical providers, grocery stores, parks, and other destinations, the project will combine new data and new voices from women to influence policy and public investments for a more equitable transportation system.
- Physicians for Social Responsibility – Los Angeles (PSR-LA) is a physician membership organization that advocates for policies and practices that improve public health, eliminate nuclear and environmental threats, and address health disparities. PSR-LA will engage communities across East LA, South LA, and Southeast LA County to take on the intersectional issues of increasing access to parks and open space while protecting children and their families from toxic exposures. The TIERRA project will produce a policy agenda and related tools to facilitate proactive contamination remediation as an essential element of community-driven efforts to increase safe access to parks and other green space.
- Promesa Boyle Heights is a collective impact initiative of Proyecto Pastoral, a Boyle Heights based organization that supports educational opportunities, economic opportunities, and safety and well-being. Promesa Boyle Heights, in collaboration with Pacoima Beautiful, From Lot 2 Spot, Advancement Project California, The Wilderness Society, and other Park Equity Alliance partners, will organize residents in neighborhoods across East LA, the Northeast San Fernando Valley, and Southeast LA County, to engage in policy- and systems-change advocacy for parks and open space, and strengthening community-led oversight of Measure A implementation.
- United Parents and Students supports students, parents, and community members in amplifying their collective voice and advocating for the issues and changes that matter most to them. United Parents and Students will increase equitable food access in low-income communities by improving the quality of existing grocery stores, enabling and equipping entrepreneurs to focus on healthy and affordable food, and increasing the number of large-scale, high-quality grocery stores that locate in neighborhoods across South LA, East LA, and Southeast LA County.
Program Management: The BEPAF is a program funded by First 5 LA and The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation. Prevention Institute manages the BEPAF, selects grantees and administers grants, convenes grantees in a learning community, provides technical assistance, and builds grantee capacity; Ersoylu Consulting leads the BEPAF program evaluation. Since 2014, Prevention Institute has facilitated the Healthy Equitable Active Land Use (HEALU) Network, a multi-sector collaborative that works to improve health equity through land use/built environment policy and systems change in Los Angeles County. Since 2007, Ersoylu Consulting has provided strategy, evaluation, policy analysis, and systems consultation to strengthen systems and empower communities in the social justice space.
For more information, please contact BEPAF@preventioninstitute.org.
Photo Credit: Office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis.