One Woman’s Epic Fight for Affordable Housing and Better Commutes in California



Sonja Trauss hated her commute. Driving her car a long way from home to her job as a math teacher was unproductive, wasted time. It was expensive. It was stressful, harming her physical and mental health. And it was dangerous. Yet this was Trauss’ reality with no affordable housing near her job. But Trauss grew tired of paying so much time, money, and stress to drive a car because of a shortage of affordable housing in Marin County (16.1% Latino) in California’s San Francisco Bay Area. She decided to make a stand. Trauss formed a group to push for more affordable housing and challenged developers, decision-makers, and opposition to affordable housing in this region. Did it work? Transportation Costs Matter for Affordable Housing Behind housework, the daily car ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat: Why Affordable Housing Matters for Health



Health starts and is sustained in the communities we live, work, and play. However, in many places, affordable housing is not available, subjecting families to unstable, inferior, and crowded housing while isolating them in areas with limited access to education and employment opportunities. This reduces their ability to stay healthy. It increases their risk of physical and mental health issues. Achieving and maintaining good health requires the efforts of urban and transportation planners, housing experts, elected leaders, educators, and many more. UPDATE: View a recap of this Tweetchat on Wakelet. Use #SaludTues on August 21, 2018, to tweet about why affordable housing matters for health, and what you can do to create healthier places to live! WHAT: #SaludTues ...

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Tell TxDOT: Prioritize the Lives and Physical Wellbeing of Texans



The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) wants your input to shape transportation planning and spending across the state for the next 10 years, in what is known as the Unified Transportation Program (UTP). The UTP will guide construction, development, and related activities for 13,000 projects. However, the program prioritizes congestion relief over safety, connectivity, and economic development, says nonprofit Farm & City. You can speak up for transportation that prioritizes Texans’ wellbeing! Copy one of the model public comments drafted by our Salud America! research team, click the “submit” button, and paste the comment on txdot.gov’s comments website by Aug. 20, 2018. Be sure to click “No” in the required field asking if this is a complaint. Model ...

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Resources to Inject Health into Transportation Projects and Policies



Our roads and walkways could be our path to good health and wellbeing. But cities are stuck in a rut of prioritizing cars over people. Thankfully, over the past decade, many organizations are contributing to the growing body of health and safety research and advocacy to influence transportation projects and policies. Knowing the Impact In 2012, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released a research brief and infographic on how transportation affects health. “Health costs associated with traffic crashes, air pollution, and physical inactivity add up to hundreds of billions of dollars each year, but health is typically not considered in transportation policy and planning,” the 2012 Health Policy Snapshot Issue Brief states. Changing the Speed Limit In 2011, the AAA ...

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New Playbook: Creating Community Partnerships for Health Equity



A new action-oriented guide is available to foster collaboration between the health sector and the organizations working to improve the conditions of poverty, known as the community development sector. Collaboration among these sectors is critical because more than 80% of the nearly $3.5 trillion spent on medical care each year in the U.S. is spent on treating chronic diseases, most of which are preventable and related to the conditions of poverty. Latinos and low-income populations are disproportionately burdened by the conditions of poverty, thus face higher rates of chronic disease. Conditions of Poverty Health is not created in a doctor’s office, it is created in healthy, equitable, and prosperous communities. However, not all communities were created equal. Some have ...

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Making the Connection between Public Health and Transportation



Transportation affects health. Latinos, for example, often face unsafe streets and big transportation hurdles that make it hard, costly, and even deadly to access basic and health needs. They end up suffering higher rates of disease, diabetes, depression, pedestrian injuries and deaths, and more. Yet transportation and public health professionals don’t always get together for solutions. Fortunately, the Transportation Research Board is enabling these connections. The Board created its Health & Transportation Subcommittee in 2011, hosted a topical conference and magazine edition in 2015, and will carve out space in its 2018 annual meeting to explore this topic. “[We aim] to identify, advance and publish research and information to expand and improve current ...

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How a New Bridge Rebuilt Community Trust and Pedestrian Safety



Cam Juarez didn’t want people to be disappointed, again. Years ago, a city project failed to deliver a promised new pedestrian bridge over a dangerous waterway in the Rose Neighborhood (92% Latino) in Tucson, Ariz. It would have improved walking and bicycling safety and connected people to a park and a nearby elementary school. Rose neighbors were skeptical when Juarez, then the coordinator for Pima County’s neighborhood reinvestment program, asked them to pitch ideas for fundable improvement projects. But Juarez bridged leader-resident trust—and replaced a pedestrian bridge that resembled the rickety old one in Indiana Jones with an amazing new bridge. The Dangerous Waterway Most times, the Rodeo Wash is dry. But during thunderstorms and rainy seasons, the ...

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Residents Petition for ‘Complete Streets’ Rules in Phoenix



Complete Streets were nearing a dead end in Phoenix. But after 42 meetings and three years of inaction, members of the city's Complete Streets Advisory Board started a citizens' petition to finally spur city leaders to vote on new Complete Streets guidelines. The vote is set for May 2018. Phoenix's Complete Street guidelines—to design streets for all users, walkers, bikers, commuters, drivers—were originally set for 2015. In fact, the Complete Streets Advisory Board was established in 2014 to create Complete Streets design guidelines for adoption by City Council within one year. However, a lengthy review process obstructed adoption, and the city continued to build streets for cars rather than for people. Advisory board members, fed up as people continued to be killed on ...

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