Building Healthy Communites Long Beach News: October 2014
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In this issue of BHC News...
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Save the Date!

October 24:
BHC Breakfast & Learning Club (How Children Succeed)

October 25:
BHC Long Beach Fall Gathering

November 6:
Pass or Fail in Cambodia Town Screening
Community Calendar   |   Workgroups   |   Jobs   |   Resources
Residents and Youth Ask Voters for Schools Not Prisons
Every Student Matters!Community residents and youth from BHC’s Every Student Matters campaign are hitting the streets to talk to voters and educate communities of color about a unique opportunity to reverse the “school to prison pipeline.” Proposition 47 (a statewide initiative on the November ballot) will reclassify six low-level felonies as misdemeanors and reallocate thousands of dollars to K-12 education, victim services, and mental health services. According to the Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice, Los Angeles County will reallocate between $100 million to $175 million every year if Proposition 47 passes. 

This past Saturday, youth from across Long Beach gathered at McBride Park in Central Long Beach to kick-off the new efforts of the Every Student Matters campaign and begin walking for Proposition 47. View photos from the event here! Youth Committee leaders see Proposition 47 as a opportunity to change the narrative around community safety and help reprioritize schools over prisons. Over sixty-five community members attended the kickoff event to begin engaging voters.

Endorsed by the BHC Long Beach Steering Committee, the Community Safety Workgroup’s “BHCLB Yes on 47” committee and Youth Committee are currently coordinating precinct walks and voter engagement efforts to ensure a victory for Proposition 47 on November 4th. For upcoming involvement opportunities, visit

Members of the “BHCLB Yes on 47” committee include community residents, All of Us or None, Californians for Justice, Khmer Girls in Action, Greater Long Beach Interfaith Community Organization, Long Beach Advocates for Change, and Long Beach Rising! (the civic engagement committee of the Long Beach Coalition for Good Jobs and a Healthy Community).

For more information about Proposition 47 visit and If you need to register to vote or want to request a vote by mail ballot, visit The deadline to register to vote in the November 4th election is Monday, October 20th.
October 25: Get Connected at BHC's Fall Gathering
Fall Gathering FlyerAre you interested in getting involved with BHC? Do you want to learn about all the work being organized on healthy food access, parent education, voter engagement, and much more? Come join community residents and our non-profit organization partners at the BHC Long Beach Fall Gathering on Saturday, October 25th! 

The Fall Gathering is a free community event that brings residents together to learn about the organizing efforts in Central and West Long Beach and how they can get involved. Attendees will also learn more about the Building Healthy Communities initiative and meet others involved with creating a healthy and safe Long Beach community for all. This season’s event will feature local, fresh food and fun activities for all families, including a pumpkin-carving contest! 

Stevenson Elementary School (which recently won a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to continue providing fruits and vegetables to students) will host the Fall Gathering. Community members are encouraged to promote active and alternative transportation by walking, biking, or taking the bus to the event (Long Beach Transit routes 61, 90’s, and 151). 

The BHC Long Beach Fall Gathering will be on October 25th from 12:00pm to 3:00pm at Stevenson Elementary School (515 Lime Avenue, Long Beach 90802). Lunch will be available at 12:00pm and a community presentation will begin at 12:30pm. If you want more information or are an organization interested in participating, please visit or call 562-436-4800. 
BHC & GRID Alternatives Bring Solar Energy to Central Long Beach
BHC's Solar InstallOn Saturday, October 4th, two Long Beach families in Central Long Beach received solar energy systems and decades of clean, affordable power, thanks to the result of a collaboration between Building Healthy Communities: Long Beach (BHC) and GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles (GLA). Check out all the action from the Solar Install at our Storify page: #SolarHappensHere

With the help of over 35 community members and local elected officials, teams of volunteers installed solar panels and canvassed the Anaheim, Orange, Cherry, & Seventh Street (AOC7) Neighborhood to educate the community about solar energy and BHC’s organizing work. Vice-Mayor Suja Lowenthal joined volunteers on the roof in the morning, and by lunchtime Mayor Robert Garcia finished installing the final solar panel for the day.
Solar Install Group PhotoDuring lunch, the volunteers, staff, and homeowners were treated to thank-yous from Mayor Robert Garcia, Ely Flores (GRID Alternatives), and James Suazo (BHC Long Beach). 

BHC Long Beach Steering Committee member, Stella Ursua, and GRID Alternatives Outreach Coordinator Allison DePasquale, spearheaded the initiative in coordination with the BHC Long Beach Environmental Health Workgroup. The new solar-powered homes will help reduce the families’ energy bills for years to come and help build a more sustainable Long Beach. 

Thanks to all our volunteers from GRID Alternatives; the Environmental Health, Schools, and Neighborhoods Workgroups; and the Long Beach Time Exchange! 
Parents and Youth Learn About School Site Councils (Photos) 
Residents at the School Site Council WorkshopView photos from this event by clicking here!

The BHC Long Beach Schools Workgroup and Youth Workgroup co-hosted their first workshop together to educate parents and youth on School Site Councils and how they can get involved with their own council.
Participants had the opportunity to learn about the purpose and importance of School Site Councils, find out who sits on them, and hear experiences from current youth and adult leaders who serve on school site councils. The purpose of the workshop was to build resident engagement in local schools and empower more parents and youth to play an active part in their own school’s governance. 

For information about upcoming Schools and parent workshops, email Laura Merryfield, BHC Long Beach Parent Education Organizer at or call 562-916-7366.  
BHC Long Beach Undertaking Sustainability Planning
Rene CastroFormer Hub Manager Rene Castro is heading up BHC Long Beach’s financial sustainability effort for Long Beach. BHC Long Beach has been awarded a three-year grant from The California Endowment to develop and implement a financial-sustainability plan. Rene and the BHC Long Beach Social Enterprise Committee will explore ways to continue to find funding streams beyond 2020. 

"It is well known that Building Healthy Communities statewide was intended to be a 10-year venture. We are almost half-way through. It's important that we begin to explore ways to sustain ourselves for the long term," stated Rene.

"Of course, sustainability is about more than just money. It includes the knowledge and skills we've gained and the relationships we've built, but this piece is extremely important," stated Jenny Chheang, Program Manager for The California Endowment.

The Social Enterprise Committee includes Steering Committee Members: Kerry Gallagher, Raymond Chavarria, Stella Ursua, Evangelina Ramirez, Elizabeth Williams, and Christine Petit. In addition, Jenny Chheang, Program Manager is a standing member. Additional slots on the committee will be filled with persons with business and enterprise experience.

"We're exploring many different ways to sustain the work: government grants, fee-for-service opportunities, and other ways to build upon the strengths and talents of our community members and organizational partners. We want to establish reliable funding sources for the future that will continue to strengthen the work of our collaborative, our partners and community members," stated Christine Petit, Hub Manager.

"This grant gives us the opportunity to explore the best vehicle for our sustainability, to make mistakes, learn from them and share our experience with our sister BHC sites across the State" stated Rene. 

Have you got an idea to sustain BHC Long Beach? Is there a funding opportunity you've been sitting on because you haven't had the time to research it? Give Rene a call at (562) 895-6639, or come by the office at 920 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 101 for a visit.
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