Online Program

Community organizing for policy change: A complete streets case study in la crosse county, WI

Monday, November 4, 2013

Bethany Kies, MPH, CHES, Department of Health Education and Recreation, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Carbondale, IL
Jack Zabrowski, M.S., Private Consultant, Hayward, WI
Linda Lee, MS, MPH, Nutrition Manager, La Cross County Health Department, La Crosse, WI
In the recent decade there has been an emphasis on applying a social-ecological framework to such health promotion efforts, and a call for ‘PSE' or policy, systems and environmental changes. As a result, several national agencies, have funded regional projects with such a framework aimed at obesity prevention. Public Health leaders in La Crosse County Wisconsin received such funding, and in 2010, launched a Complete Streets initiative as one of six goals, believing that with new policy mandates, the resulting changes in the built environment would help make ‘the healthy choice the easy choice' for bikers, transit users and pedestrians alike in their County. The purpose of this qualitative research is to provide a case study of the La Crosse County Complete Streets Initiative, describing both the timeline of activities and how those activities align with the Five-Stage Community Organization Model. Participant observation, interviews, and a review of coalition documents and publicly available web material were used to collect data for the case study. The Complete Streets activities, which were carried out by project staff, a core leadership team and various community partners, primarily took place within the context of a two year grant-funded project from March 2010-March 2012, with the bulk happening from August of 2010- August 2011. As a result of the funding and community organizing efforts, policy changes occurred at the county, city and municipality level in La Crosse County. Community Organizing principles, along with implications for practice, research and for funders are discussed.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Define 'complete streets' Identify city and county level policy changes related to a Complete Streets Initiative Describe essential steps to take in a Complete Streets Initiative Identify key stakeholders and community partners in a Complete Streets Initiative List the five stages of Community Organizing Explain how community organizing can be used to mobilize efforts in a Complete Streets policy change initiative

Keyword(s): Community Collaboration, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was a member of the Healthy Living Collaboration/ CPPW from Summer of 2009 until May of 2011. I collected and reviewed all existing documents for the case study and wrote the first draft of the research report.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.