Online Program

Shifting power: Addressing childhood asthma through community organizing and advocacy

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 5:30 p.m. - 5:50 p.m.

Jessica Tovar, MSW, Long Beach Alliance for Children with Asthma, Long Beach, CA
To create lasting positive change, it is imperative that community members have a say in what they want for their communities. The Long Beach Alliance for Children with Asthma (LBACA) was formed because parents were concerned about their children having uncontrolled asthma. LBACA's coalition activities are based on the socio-ecological model of placing families in the middle of community-wide efforts to improve asthma management. Different factors influence a family's ability to effectively control and manage childhood asthma. Therefore the Alliance has taken up environmental issues, including pollution emanating from two local ports, a planned freeway expansion, and local rail yard activity. In addressing the ports, a Clean Trucks Program has been successful in reducing air pollution. Policymakers and community leaders are acknowledging the negative health impacts related to goods movement, leading to discussions about how to promote zero emissions technology. For the I-710 expansion, LBACA is working to ensure that the final approved project considers public health effects for the people living in the corridor. It is also advocating that rail yard projects are built on-dock (inside the ports) rather than placed near residential areas, schools, parks and other sensitive land receptors. All of this has been accomplished with the active involvement and voices of community residents. In this session, strategies for engaging community members in environmental justice will be shared, including educational approaches and the creation of assessment teams that are trained in traffic counting, particulate matter monitoring, community assessment, and presentation of their findings to community groups.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Identify three strategies for engaging residents and youth in local health policy and community change initiatives. Describe tangible community health benefits that have resulted from supporting community voices in local decision-making. Name at least two approaches for effective partnerships between community advocates, community-based organizations, residents and youth, and public health leaders.

Keyword(s): Community-Based Partnership, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Jessica Tovar, currently the Project Manager for the Long Beach Alliance for Children with Asthma. She works on program sustainability, coalition building, conducive policies and using best practices for our direct services. Jessica is part of several steering committees including the California Asthma Partners and The California Endowment Building Healthy Communities Long Beach.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.