CA4Health staff sat down with Raymond Diaz, a Senior Program Coordinator with National Health Foundation
and CA4Health Scholarship Recipient attending this year’s ENACT Day
in Sacramento. Raymond has done tremendous work in partnership with young people to create healthier opportunities in schools in South Los Angeles. We asked Raymond about his experience at last year’s ENACT Day and what he looks forward to this year: How was your experience participating and speaking at ENACT last year? Raymond:
I was invited to speak on AB1240 "Breakfast After the Bell" because of the project we created with our youth team from South Los Angeles where the goal is to increase access to healthy snacks using uneaten food from breakfast. It was a great experience to feel the energy from the group and to discuss challenges our communities face when accessing healthy food whether for breakfast or simply a healthy snack. The opportunities to network with organizations from across California and to find innovative ideas to support each other was definitely a highlight of the event. Visiting the capital building, speaking with legislators, and meeting with folks across the state is something I was looking forward too.Were you able to take anything back to your community after?Raymond:
Advocacy is a major component to bring about change and improve the environment in our communities. We met with stakeholders, policymakers, and almost anyone that would have us. Usually my advocacy is very specific to my community or my city, the great thing about ENACT Day is learning about advocacy in a larger context. We advocate not just for our community, but we learn to craft our message to impact our state. We learn about the bigger picture and how we can work together to improve the lives for everyone in California. I am more equipped to train our youth teams and connect with state-wide advocacy platforms and explain the importance of our community work. What are you looking forward to at this year’s ENACT Day? Raymond:
This year, I am looking forward to learning about AB 2782 the Sugar Sweetened Beverage Health Impact Fee. Our youth have met with state legislators to discuss the access to and impact of sugary beverages in their community. Youth discuss the ease of access for these beverages as well as the affordability in their neighborhood corner stores. Attending ENACT Day allows us access to these state officials and to be able to share our stories from our communities.