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Building Healthy Communities: What it Takes to Create Change

Val Zavala: Billions of dollars have been spent over the decades in all sorts of programs; Government programs and other programs to help poor neighborhoods improve, and yet these problems persist. Why do you think that is? And what do you think the answer is to really making an effective change?

Lucy Herrera: I first, I want to start off by really thanking Building Healthy Communities because I feel they invested

Val Zavala: Building Healthy Communities is a project initiative from the California Endowment that is investing 1 billion dollars over 10 years into 14 communities, so what is their approach?

Lucy Herrera: I just wanted to share that I'm really grateful to for them because I feel that they invested a lot of money into our communities, but I feel they address the key issues that need to be changed in our community. But again as you mentioned there has been a lot of money invested into our communities but I still don't feel that's enough.  I feel like we need to have like an equity list because I noticed that you mentioned like there is a lot of money being invested in these neighborhoods, but like I want to see the numbers of how much money is being invested in other more affluent neighborhoods, you know.  And I want to see the numbers of like the sustainability and the programs that are in certain communities because when I was growing up aside from like Legacy L.A., most of the programs that were put into our communities were very short lived, like a summer job or a 3-week program so it's not something that is really going to help youth reach their full potential. It's just very short termed.

Building Healthy Communities is a 10-year, one billion dollar initiative that hopes to transform 14 California Communities. It is bringing together residents, grassroots organizations, policy makers and others to work on an action plan to address health inequality.  Two local residents taking action are Lucy Herrera, of Boyle Height and Karla Ortiz of East LA. They discuss their work with local organizations and what is needed to create change in their communities.

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