Community engagement, education and empowerment are at the core of the work that we do. We believe that engaging, educating and empowering community members to become effective advocates for healthy and safe neighborhoods and environments is central to making safe places to walk.

With our current funding we are proud to provide a variety of activities that engage, educate and empower local residents:

Healthy & Safe Communities Network

The 6 Wins for Social Equity Network works to influence the regional transportation, housing, jobs, land-use, and sustainability policies in a way that promotes equitable growth opportunities for all.  Originally conceived of in the Bay Area, the 6 Wins model is now poised to expand to other regions statewide. The 6 Wins Network Model works to shape  implementation of SB375–which attempts to more closely link transportation and land-use planning decisions in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions–to advance equity. This work consists of monitoring the development of the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP)/Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) and Regional Housing Need Allocation (RHNA); advising the regional Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) staff; and organizing community members to take direct action and to make public appeals to MPO Commissioners.

California Walks participates on the 6 Wins Network Coordinating Committee, and Executive Director Wendy Alfsen co-chairs the Healthy & Safe Communities Network (along with Azibuike Akaba of the Regional Asthma Management and Prevention (RAMP)). The Healthy & Safe Communities Network’s mission is to ensure that Bay Area communities have clean air,  safe streets that are bikeable and walkable, and good access to jobs, opportunities, and other amenities. The Healthy & Safe Communities Network is also working to replicate its model in other regions across the state.

Community Pedestrian Safety Trainings

California Walks  conducts Community Pedestrian Safety Trainings (CPSTs) throughout the state of California. CPSTs bring together community residents, seniors, parents, and youth, as well as city or county officials from Transportation/Public Works, Public Health, Schools and the Police Departments. These workshops strengthen community skills, educate residents about pedestrian safety best practices, and conducts  walkability assessments to help residents identify and prioritize next steps  to develop a pedestrian safety action plan.

Older Adult Pedestrian Safety Trainings

California Walks is a leader in older adult pedestrian safety training and ensuring that seniors can remain physically active through walking. In partnership with the California Alliance of Retired Americans’ (CARA) 900,000 members and the AGEnts for Change, Cal Walks is working to advance senior pedestrian safety at the state level by developing a Pedestrian Bill of Rights.

Cal Walks was selected as one of 12 national demonstration sites by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Program. In the summer/fall of 2010 we partnered with the United Seniors of Oakland and Alameda County to provide four pedestrian safety workshops focused on older adults through a program offered by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center. We look forward to expanding our senior engagement work in San Jose through the STEPS Coalition.

Youth Engagement: Cal Walks Youth Leaders

Working with youth as equal partners in community health and pedestrian safety is critical to lasting community change and success. Youth are the voice and reality of our future and California Walks is invested in building youth leadership and capacity for healthy and safe communities for the next generation.   Communities, professionals and organizations can learn tremendous amounts about pedestrian safety from youth, as they have   unique experience with and perspective on the realities of what makes a safe and healthy community. Read more about our work with youth here.

Healthy Transportation Network
As part of the Healthy Transportation Network   California Walks provides a variety of educational activities including workshops, walk audits, school safety curriculum,  presentations, trainings and technical assistance to local California communities, schools and residents.