The Safe Routes to School movement has evolved in recent years. Inspired by many factors – changing demographics in America, more professionals of color involved in the Safe Routes to School movement, strong research that sets out the extent and nature of transportation inequities, and deepening organizational, professional, and personal commitments to creating fair communities that support health for everyone – there’s been a real change not only in how the Safe Routes to School movement is talking about equity, but also in what is playing out on the ground. The movement has recognized that to successfully achieve core goals around increasing the number and safety of kids walking and bicycling to school, it is vital to direct resources and craft programs and policies in ways that address the needs of low-income kids and kids of color.
One key sign of these changes is the move by many Safe Routes to School programs to add an E for equity to the traditional 5 E’s of Safe Routes to School. Let’s not kid ourselves – outside of the Safe Routes to School movement, no one has heard of the 5 E’s of Safe Routes to School. But inside the movement, the 5 E’s act as a fairly universal checklist and framework that practitioners use to define a comprehensive Safe Routes to School initiative, making sure that they are covering all the bases necessary to effectively get more kids to school in a healthier and safer manner. And so, it’s been a welcome development over the past several years to see equity becoming an increasingly established part of the framework, leading to 6 E’s – education, encouragement, engineering, enforcement, evaluation, and equity.
Welcome to This Week in Equity Engagement on Twitter (TWEET) for the week of October 12, 2015. Yet again, there’s so much great work being done it’s hard to capture all of it, but I think we have a bunch of interesting topics this week. Check it out:
Public policy efforts are working to improve access to healthy food!
Following our belief that health is about way more than just what happens in a doctor’s office, at CPEHN we have been working a lot in recent years to address the social and environmental determinants that impact our health. One of the main factors we have focused on is transportation. From pedestrian injuries to unequal access to public transit, transportation inequities often coincide with health disparities, particularly in low-income areas and communities of color. One of our successes has been the passage of our sponsored bill AB 441 in 2012, which included health and equity criteria in the state’s transportation planning guidance.
Over 120 advocates gathered in Sacramento today to discuss legislation that could be key to improving health in California at ENACT Nutrition and Physical Activity Day. Attendees had the opportunity to hear about key legislation and learn some tips about meeting with legislators before conducting legislative visits later in the day. Here are some highlights from the day, with many posts from Twitter (#ENACT2015).
Assemblymember Phil Ting from San Francisco kicked things off with an introductory speech, acknowledging that legislators appreciate when their constituents visit with them about issues that impact the community.
Assemblymember Ting speaking at ENACT Day! "When we get people coming and talking to us makes huge impact." #ENACT2015
The Active Transportation Program (ATP) is a statewide competitive grant program that promotes bicycling and walking conditions with infrastructure improvements and encouragement programs. The ATP prioritizes projects that target safety for children traveling to school (Safe Routes to School grants) and improve streets and sidewalks for residents of disadvantaged communities as defined on page 8 of the ATP guidelines. Examples of these projects include fixing sidewalks, adding raised crosswalks, installing flashing signage at intersections, and creating bike lanes or paths. In 2015, the California Transportation Commission will approve $360 million in grants to communities across the state. The call for projects will be released on March 26 and the deadline to apply for funding is June 1, 2015.