Online Program

Cultivating Senior Advocacy for Healthy & Walkable Neighborhoods

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 12:50 p.m. - 1:10 p.m.

Jaime Fearer, AICP, California Walks, Oakland, CA
Tony Dang, BA, California Walks, Oakland, CA
Wendy Alfsen, JD, California Walks Youth Leaders, California Walks, Oakland, CA
Nationally, over 50% of non-driving seniors stay at home on any given day because they lack transportation options. Decades of automobile-oriented development have created built environments that make transit, walking, and biking for seniors inconvenient, difficult or downright dangerous. Even when seniors do choose to walk or bike for transportation, they are more at-risk of serious injury and even death.

In the San Jose, CA, persons aged 61 and older made up 44% of all pedestrian and bicycle fatalities in the between 2007-2011, despite representing only 14.5% of the City’s population. However, the City’s senior population is fast growing and is expected to triple by 2040—without proactive interventions now, the senior pedestrian safety issues will only compound over the years. Responding to this dire senior pedestrian safety problem, California Walks—in partnership with Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, AGEnts for Change, and the Coalition for Retired Americans (CARA)—initiated the citywide STEPS Coalition to improve pedestrian safety, particularly for seniors, children, and people with disabilities. The STEPS Coalition focuses explicitly on connecting, leveraging, and transitioning resident-driven neighborhood-level efforts to effective and successful advocacy for Citywide policies, programs, improvements, and changes, while also strengthening those local efforts through in-depth peer-mentorship and technical assistance.

This session will describe the history and accomplishments of the STEPS Coalition, how the Coalition has empowered seniors to become advocates for walkability, and lessons learned for how to replicate the STEPS Coalition model to advance community-driven transportation policies.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Explain the STEPS model for community-driven transportation and land-use policy advocacy. Describe lessons learned for simultaneously advancing a multi-level (local and citywide) community-based policy advocacy approach.

Keyword(s): Advocacy, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Jaime Fearer is Planning and Policy Manager for California Walks, a statewide advocacy organization dedicated to making communities healthier and more equitable through policies, programs, and activities that encourage walking for everyday transportation. Jaime works to foster the partnerships of multigenerational advocates working together to positively influence policy and land use changes that will improve pedestrian safety and walkability across the South Bay. Jaime is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.
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.