On May 1st, ENACT Day 2017 was held. 180 advocates and community leaders from across California traveled to Sacramento where they learned about key nutrition and physical activity legislation and took to the capitol to educate their representatives about how these issues most impact them and their communities. One of the largest groups to attend came from Chico, CA.

The Center for Healthy Communities (CHC) at Chico State loves ENACT Day because it is an opportunity to learn about the legislative process and understand how laws influence health. CHC has participated for the last few years, but this year was particularly exciting because one of the bills discussed (AB 214) specifically addresses student hunger. CHC brought a group of 25 students and faculty down to Sacramento to participate in this hands-on learning day. CHC works with 11 CSU campuses to lead campus efforts to increase student access to CalFresh and it was fabulous to see proposed bills to support efforts. Below are quotes from participants from Chico State:
CalFresh Program Director, Jenny Breed and Social Work Intern, Kenneth Lininger presented about hunger on college campuses. “I used to be limited in what I could eat. That has changed greatly since receiving CalFresh”—Kenneth Lininger, CHC Intern 


​“It helped me realize that politicians are just people. I feel empowered to talk to them when I feel strongly about an issue”—Amy Gonzales, Program Manager at CHC



“Legislation is something that I knew was important in my field of Health and Community Service, but I never knew how to do it. ENACT Day was a great way for me to get involved at the Capital.” –Rachel Morgan, Health and Community Service Student  (Pictured)

"Enact day was truly empowering.We learned so much about each bill and the parts we play in making them happen.  Every legislature we spoke to listened with such compassion and interest it reminded me I do have a voice and it does matter. It made me proud to live in the country and state that I do." - Dallas Heath, CHC intern (Pictured)
CHC continues to lead the way in promoting CalFresh on the Chico State campus. Learn more about their great work here.

The full ENACT Day 2017 agenda included:
SB 138 (McGuire): Count Me In for School Meals: ENG / SPAN
AB 214 (Weber): College Student Hunger: ENG / SPAN
SB 5 / AB 18 (De Leon/Garcia): California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2018 / California Clean Water, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2018: ENG / SPAN
AB 179 (Cervantes): California Transportation Comission: ENG / SPAN

See more great highlights from ENACT Day 2017 here.

Perspectives on Poverty Reduction and Economic Justice:

People.Power.Change! has brought together regional cohorts of leaders invested in addressing challenges faced by their communities across a range of issues including Food Justice and Poverty Reduction. As we move to our statewide forums, we wanted to hear from some leaders in the area of Economic Justice to provide their thoughts and perspectives about reducing poverty, social movements, health, and the year ahead.



                        Ann Schulte, PhD                                        Sarah Chang, MS/MPH
                 Professor of Education,                                  Champions for Change 
          Graduate Program Coordinator,                     Program Manager -- Health Equity
            Statewide Academic Senator                          
Social Justice Learning Institute
           California State University, Chico
1. What do Poverty Reduction and Economic Justice mean to you and your work?
AS: Because I work in a rural area of northern California, much of my work is focused on how rural schools can be drivers of rural economic development. If we provide teachers and students with agency and voice, schools can be places to create new opportunities and structures that lead to opportunity, prosperity, and hope.
SC: Poverty has direct impacts on access to housing, quality education, and participating in a healthy lifestyle (nutritious foods, physical activity, etc.).  Justice and Equity are rarely given to communities, rather they are mainly achieved through community action. 
2. What makes working in the area of Poverty Reduction unique in 2017?
AS: In an age of rapid increases in technology and job automation, schools must prepare students to learn how to learn, rather than preparing them for jobs of the past. Creativity and innovation are going to be critical qualities in imagining new approaches to education and to poverty reduction.
SC: As our cities are changing, it is crucial to advocate for anti-displacement measures, affordable housing, as well as inclusion of the needs of existing residents in future plans and developments so that they too can enjoy the benefits of development…There is [also] currently a significant amount of fear and uncertainty among the immigrant community where we live and work…Our work has thus expanded to providing support and information to community members on their rights and available legal services.
3. From your perspective, how does Poverty Reduction connect to broader movements for social justice (e.g. Fightfor15, #BLM etc.) and bridge to traditional health efforts?
AS: Given what we now understand about intersectionality, we can never think of justice movements as separate and distinct from one another. Humanity is complex, learning is multidimensional, and change is complicated. The challenge is to continue to acknowledge the connections between and among the movements in order to support progress in all of them.
SC: Social movements have encouraged public health professionals to engage in a more critical analysis of health disparities between different racial and ethnic groups. The more silos we can break down with multi-sectoral approaches to public health problems, the more long-term solutions will emerge.
4. What do you see as the role of community leadership in this work?
AS: A strengths-based approach requires that leaders do not see their community (or the youth in it) for only what it lacks, but for what opportunities and assets can be harnessed to reimagine hope.
SC: …True justice will not come without community involvement, mobilization, and action.  Leadership in the grassroots is key to develop and organize advocates from the community.
5. What do you see as the most critical points of action in the year ahead to advance/support Economic Justice issues?
SC: Ensuring affordable housing and rent stabilization in our communities threatened with displacement. Increasing opportunities to support high school graduation among our young men of color.  Advocating for policies to end the school to prison pipeline.

​Read the full interviews here.


People.Power.Change! is underway, but you can still join the movement!! This unique series is designed to build leadership, increase capacity, and provide opportunities to raise our collective voices on issues related to food justice and poverty reduction that impact our communities. Participants will join neighbors and allies from across the state to collectively sharpen advocacy skills and implement strategies to advance prevention and equity.
Don’t miss out Register today!

Our Statewide Package is a perfect way to bring your voice to People.Power.Change!, and include youth and other community members in the action! Had a great time at ENACT Day and want to do more? Go HERE to register and get more specific information

​Registration closes May 24th. Contact us if you have questions or need to inquire about fee waivers or travel assistance (’t miss out on this opportunity to stand together, speak out, and promote sustainable change for health, equity, and justice!


​Build Power for Health Equity: Strategic Practices for Local Health Departments 

Thursday, June 1, 2017
10 AM to 11:30 AM Pacific
1 PM to 2:30 PM Eastern

This Web Forum is recommended for all local health department staff and public health professionals interested in advancing health equity. Closed captioning will be available for all attendees.


 How can local health departments effectively advance health equity? In this webinar, we will describe a set of “inside” and “outside” strategic practices that public local health departments can use to advance equity. The panelists will provide concrete examples of how they have implemented these practices, their lessons learned, and their practical guidance to local health department staff interested in tackling similar efforts. We will cover specific practices such as hiring and contracting, staff training, partnering with community organizing groups, and using Health in All Policies. Broader themes to be discussed include confronting the root causes of inequity and supporting leadership and innovation to advance equity. Click here to register.



Maintaining our GainsLeading Toward the Future

Maintaining our Gains, Leading Toward the Future is a statement of shared vision for a healthier and more equitable California that has been endorsed by approximately 40 CA organizations. We feel that this statement is a valuable tool to amplify the drumbeat for the future we are collectively working toward. Please feel free to use this document in your work as you advance equitable health and safety outcomes in California. View the document here. 

CA4Health, a Public Health Institute Program, made possible
with funding from The California Endowment