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CPEHN Events in Fresno and Oakland Connect General Planning with Health, Equity

CPEHN Events in Fresno and Oakland Connect General Planning with Health, Equity

This week, CPEHN began its fall convening series and over 100 advocates attended events in Fresno and Oakland to discuss the importance of health and equity in neighborhood planning. The convening series, A Blueprint for Health: Planning Communities that Promote Equity, features a discussion of the newly released draft statewide general plan guidelines from the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) and how this document can be used to develop healthier, more equitable communities across the state.

Today in Oakland, the convening began with a presentation from Heather Wooten from ChangeLab Solutions about the importance of the state’s general plan guidelines and why community involvement is key.

Both Tuesday’s event in Fresno and today’s in Oakland featured a presentation by Elizabeth Baca and Sahar Shirazi from OPR about what is in the new draft guidelines. In particular, they highlighted three chapters dealing with health, equity, and public engagement. You can read those chapters here:

We also heard from local speakers from both regions. In Fresno, Veronica Garibay from the Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability and Dan O’Connell from the American Farmland Trust talked about what they are seeing on the ground in the Central Valley. In particular, they discussed the potential for the region moving forward and how they are starting to see positive results now that community residents have been empowered to participate in planning decisions.

In Oakland, Ruben Farias from HOPE Collaborative and Oakland resident/Collaborative participant Esther Goolsby discussed some of the work being done in their community. They focused primarily on the importance of community participation in planning and how it is important to engage residents in the process because they are most intimately aware of their neighborhood’s needs. Anna Lee from the Alameda County Public Health Department also discussed how the county is working with community members to ensure that planning decisions consider the health impact on the residents.

At both locations, we heard a lot of great feedback on the draft general plan guidelines that OPR will include as they work on the final draft which should be out in 2016.

We still have two more A Blueprint for Health convenings next week, on Tuesday in Los Angeles and Wednesday in San Diego. You can still register for those and if you can’t make it, you can follow along on Twitter at #Blueprint4Health.


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