With the year coming to a close, reflecting back on 2016 reminds us of the progress we’ve made towards health equity and the complex challenges that continue to lie ahead. Fortunately, this year’s accomplishments and the future wins in 2017 and beyond are because of the organizing and community power built over years of working on community-centered solutions for positive social change. In 2016, Long Beach saw advancements in many of our target changes as laid out in our Community Action Plan 3.0, which was updated this past August.
Community Knowledge, Leadership, and Power
- Long Beach Rising! organizes the fifth annual People’s State of the City at Franklin Middle School where over 450 people attend.
- BHCLB hosts the Five-Year Celebration at the Molina Events Center to commemorate the first half of the Building Healthy Communities initiative in Long Beach.
- Community residents and organizers graduate from the BHC Interpreting for Social Justice training to support bilingual participation in community events and meetings.
- The first ever Adelante Long Beach course is launched; a one day version of the Long Beach Rising! training done entirely in Spanish.
- The first “Place Make the Vote” event takes place at the Long Beach Senior Center on Fourth Street for the June primary election in collaboration with City Fabrick, Long Beach Rising!, and the Long Beach City Clerk’s office.
- The BHC Summer Gathering hosts over 250 community residents and numerous partner organizations at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park to combine art and social justice and engage new community residents.
- Long Beach Rising! graduates 28 new community organizers as part of the Long Beach Rising leadership training program.
- Statewide ballot measures supported by Long Beach Rising! and other community partners are approved by voters, including taxes for education funding, cigarette tax for healthcare expansion, juvenile justice reform, and marijuana legalization.
- The Long Beach City Council votes to raise the citywide minimum wage with a pathway to $15 by 2021.
- BHCLB hosts a roundtable discussion on workforce development with 35 community organizations from across the city to dialogue about our workforce research and identify gaps within the landscape of workforce development.
- Community partners and residents win the lawsuit challenging the Southern California International Gateway (SCIG) railyard, effectively stopping the project from moving forward.
- The Environmental Health Workgroup kicks off the Green Zones campaign by hosting the first community workshop at the Westside Christian Church in West Long Beach.
Equity in School Culture and Climate
- A new school wellness center opens at the remodeled Roosevelt Elementary School campus as the result of a collaboration between Khmer Girls in Action and The Children’s Clinic.
- The Every Student Matters campaign and Parent Organizing Workgroup organize the Voices and Visions Town Hall for youth and parents in LBUSD to discuss school culture and climate and hear from candidates for school board. Over 100 parents, youth, and community members attend.
- Partners in the Youth Workgroup release the Untold Stories Behind One of America’s Best Urban School Districts report. The publication, release, and promotion of the report is supported by BHCLB.
Food Access and Sovereignty
- The Long Beach City Council approves a feasibility study to implement an urban agriculture incentive program to open up vacant lots for urban farming.
Mobility and Land Use
- The first bike lanes in Central Long Beach and a road diet are implemented on Alamitos Avenue from Pacific Coast Highway to Seventh Street to improve safety and bikeability.
- The Neighborhoods Workgroup launches the first class of the People’s Planning School in collaboration with Long Beach Advocates for Change and residents in the Martin Luther King, Jr. neighborhood.
Parent and Student Engagement
- The Parent Organizing Workgroup hosts a celebration to close the Parent Committee’s inaugural school year.
- Every Student Matters youth and parent leaders organize get-out-the-vote efforts in Central, West, and North Long Beach to target young voters and support education funding and juvenile justice reform.
All these accomplishments are due to the tireless work of our partner organizations and hub team. It’s been a full year, and we know this doesn’t capture it all! What else stands out to you? Leave us a comment below and share your thoughts.