Los Angeles Walks is a pedestrian advocacy non-profit that partnered with Wilmington
and San Pedro families to organize the State of the Streets press conference for the Wilmington
Calles Seguras, Familias Sanas (Wilmington Safe Streets, Healthy Families) project. During this
conference, the recent graduates of the Safe Street Promotore Educator Program shared the
lessons from their training and their “community-based approach to City planning and street
design.” Community members from Wilmington and San Pedro shared their input as residents of the area. As mentioned by John Yi, the Executive Director of LA Walks, no one knows the area better than the residents, and by taking action on aspects they believe are beneficial to the cause in order to make a difference. Listening to the voice of residents before taking action can help to promote safe and walkable communities throughout Los Angeles. With negative impacts from the ports and port-related operations in the community, being able to promote healthy walking areas is important for residents in the area. Los Angeles Walks has also presented workshops to help educate individuals on the health of walking in Los Angeles.
With funding from HCBF, Providence Health & Services, First 5 LA Best Start Wilmington, and Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), LA Walks firmly established the Safe Street Community Promotora Educator program and trained 12 community members from Wilmington and San Pedro. Aligned with the purpose of HCBF’s Community
Benefit grant program, through the Safe Street Community Promotora Educator program, promotoras mitigate port-related impacts by educating community residents on local safe street challenges and the provides the tools and opportunities to take action.
Los Angeles Walks utilized HCBF funds to hire two Safe Street Promotora contracts, Gaby
Segovia and Nancy Cid, to co-build the program and Ped Power Workshop series. Participants
learned how to do walk audits, use personal stories and other communications strategies for
advocacy, build public speaking skills, and engage with government representatives, media, and other community partners. HCBF funds were used to provide compensation to promotoras and support those who are both documented and undocumented.
Promotora help residents secure safe street infrastructure that slow traffic, make neighborhoods safer and quieter for pedestrians and other active transportation users, and also help build community leadership and resiliency that will last far beyond the project’s lifetime. Through this program in Wilmington, the community initiated and managed 1 of 2 safe street campaigns. In addition to successfully installing a stop sign at intersection next to a preschool, John Yi also shared that, “…promotora educators helped advocate for a sheltered bus bench for the senior community. This allowed for a more comfortable space to wait for their buses. We were also able to decorate the crosswalk along Fig And L Street.” Progress takes times and this process has taken roughly 1-2 years to be able to finally construct a cross walk safe and appealing for the community of Wilmington.
Los Angeles Walks will be releasing a final report of lessons learned and best practices of the Safe Street Promotora Educator Program later in the year, which we will share with our partners. We are honored to support this project by Los Angeles Walks and to promote evidence-based public health strategies to address issues around land use and community safety, head and education, and local air quality.
For more information about the project, please check out the LA Walks website.