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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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Latino Students: 10 Big Ideas on How Schools Can Improve Our Mental Health

brownsville students

A group of students from Brownsville Early College High School in Brownsville, Texas, worried how Latinos are less likely to report and seek care for mental health issues. The students wanted to help. So, as part of a national competition, the Brownsville students researched mental illness, observed its impact on their campus, surveyed their peers, and crafted their own 10 ideas how schools can meet students’ mental health needs. Now their effort has won them the Big Problems Big Ideas Challenge sponsored by the Taylor Wilson Thompson Family Foundation to address childhood issues. The award gives them $3,000 to continue their efforts in mental health. “As a predominately Hispanic population in times of struggle, we feel like we are one step closer to making an impact ...

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Baltimore Pushes Sugary Drinks Off Kid’s Menus

girl looking at kid's menu in restaurant booth

You soon won't find sugary drinks on kid's menus in Baltimore, anymore. The Baltimore City Council on March 12, 2018, approved a bill that requires restaurants to remove sugary drinks from their kid's menus, making it the largest American city to pass such legislation. UPDATE: Mayor Catherine Pugh gave the bill a final signature on April 19, 2018. The default drink on kid's menus now will be water, milk, 100% fruit juice, sparkling water, and flavored water without added sweeteners. Families can order other drinks upon request. "The bill is designed to address overconsumption of sugary drinks as a key factor in high rates of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and tooth decay. One in four children in Baltimore drinks at least one soda each day," said ...

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Group of 6 Vermont Lawmakers Introduce 4 Bills on Childhood Trauma

A bus pulls up to a school for Pre-K to eighth grade. A preschooler wearing only a diaper, carrying a lunch box (which turns out to be empty), gets off the bus. This was the shocking testimony by Vermont Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul Rieber to the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Working Group as he shared how childhood trauma like poverty and neglect affects what judges, educators, and social workers are seeing. The Vermont legislature established the six-member ACEs Working Group in 2017 to look at the health and human services landscape with regards to childhood trauma and science behind ACEs. In 2018, the group introduced four ACE-related bills to improve trauma support and treatment within state government, health care and education. Legislative Working ...

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How Your Organization Can Support Mental Healthcare for Foster Kids

Child advocates in California (61% Latino) are asking organizations to support the proposed Family Urgent Response System to provide foster youth and their caregivers with immediate help when they need it most. The proposed system would support a new toll-free hotline to give kids in foster care and caregivers immediate help with mental health crises, and require counties to prepare mobile response teams to provide on-site assistance. Your organization can join more than 75 others in signing a letter to support this proposal by April 3, 2018. Family Urgent Response System In February, 2018, Assembly Member Dr. Joaquin Arambula introduced the Family Urgent Response System bill (AB-2043) to the California Legislature to support foster youth and caregivers. California ...

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San Antonians Sound The Alarm on National ‘Diabetes Alert Day’

Diabetes continues to be one of the leading causes of death, affecting the lives of Texans and Latinos all across the U.S. Latinos in Texas are nearly 2x as likely to die of diabetes compared to whites, after adjusting for age. In 2017, 12.2% of Latinos in Texas had diabetes vs. 10.2% of non-Latino whites. Of greater concern is the fact that up to 600,000 of Texans do not even know they have the disease. March 27 is Diabetes Alert Day On March 27 several communities, including many health advocates in San Antonio, TX will be working to inform the community about this disease. Diabetes must be taken serious, but we need your help! To take action we invite you to participate in the following activities: Take the diabetes risk test; Join local activities to raise ...

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5 Big Policy Strategies to Tackle Childhood Trauma—and a Toolkit to Make It Happen

early care preschool program with diverse kids

Childhood trauma is a rising crisis in California. Trauma like childhood poverty and abuse have ripple effects on the state's public health, education, and juvenile and criminal justice systems. Teachers and law enforcement are rarely trained on how to deal with traumatized kids. Not to mention the affect on children's brains, bodies, and futures. To raise awareness about childhood trauma and better serve kids in California (38.9% Latino), 100 health professionals and advocacy groups created the the California Campaign to Combat Childhood Adversity in 2014. The group is now pushing five big policy strategies to address childhood trauma in the California Legislature. And they've created a toolkit to help other state advocates do the same. "Often people think about trauma, ...

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Teachers Ditch Cars, Embrace Alternative Transportation

Nearly 9 of 10 teachers wake up, get in cars, and drive solo to Arlington Public Schools every day in Arlington County, Va. (15.4% Latino). This clogs the streets and pollutes the air outside schools. So, with the student and staff populations set to rise in coming years, how could Arlington get its staff and parents to drive less, and instead use healthier transportation options like ride-sharing, walking, biking, and mass transit? They tried "transportation demand management," or TDM. TDM is the opposite of building bigger roads and parking lots. It focuses on helping people use alternatives to driving. "At its most basic level, TDM is a program of information, encouragement and incentives provided by local or regional organizations to help people know about and use all ...

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How to Rebuild Police-Community Trust by Tackling Trauma

Minorities don't trust police. Police don't trust minorities. You can see this dynamic in any viral video of police-associated violence across the nation. What is harder to see is how this "fraught relationship" impacts the mental, emotional, and behavioral health of both police officers and minorities like Latinos, according to a report. That's why a new program is taking a new approach—trauma training—to rebuild police-community trust and relationships in Newark, N.J. Why Newark? Communities rely on police departments to "protect and serve." The police, in turn, rely on community support and cooperation. But this model doesn't always work in harmony, according to RAND. Newark (34% Latino) is a prime example. In 2011, New Jersey's American Civil ...

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