California Walks, Walk Long Beach, and UC Berkeley SafeTREC are excited to be planning the 4th Biennial PedsCount! 2016 set for June 6 & 7, 2016 in Long Beach, CA. With the theme, Unlocking Community Vibrancy, Health and Prosperity for All Walks of Life, we’ve organized a spectacular set of hands-on breakout sessions from community organizations and resident leaders working to make their communities more walkable and equitable. If you’re on the fence about joining us at the Summit, here are the top 3 reasons why you should attend PedsCount! 2016:

3) Take in the sunshine while learning the latest!
The Summit will be hosted in Long Beach, CA, a dynamic city close to the beach. Walk Long Beach has organized exciting events for you to enjoy its beauty and everything it has to offer, such as Walk Long Beach’s Progressive Dinner on Monday, June 6. Long Beach is also a model city when it comes to active transportation improvements, with city leadership, agency staff, and community groups collaborating effectively to create safer streets for pedestrians. You can learn about the City’s many advances in active transportation during the break-out sessions including, Walk Forth: Stitch Streets, Visual Cues and the Art of Encouraging Pedestrians to Walk Further.

2) Diverse voices for the diverse state of California.
For this Summit, we’ve focused on lifting up a diverse set of voices from across the state that reflect California’s population, particularly community resident leaders and youth. In order for our movement to achieve meaningful change, we must engage communities and residents that have typically not been involved in transportation decision-making. Our breakout and plenary sessions will examine some of the most pressing issues in California today—such as the intersections of walking, safety and equity; and how to address the negative effects of gentrification in walkable districts while promoting positive change—from the perspective of those most directly impacted by our existing transportation system. Our opening plenary will feature several youth leaders from across California working to make their communities more walkable and equitable.

Moreover, with the generous support of The California Endowment, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, the Knight Foundation, and the Long Beach Community Foundation, we have been able to remove financial barriers to participation for 40 youth and community resident leaders from San Jose, Long Beach, the Central Valley, and other non-coastal communities.

1) Learn how to walk the walk!
Summit participants won’t simply be learning about theoretical approaches to creating healthier, safer, and more walkable communities—panelists and speakers will be sharing experiences, challenges, and solutions. These lessons learned can better inform our collective work across California to improve walkability and safety. Join us to learn from community-based organizations, policy advocates, and agency partners, including: Pacoima Beautiful, Multicultural Communities for Mobility, Crenshaw Walks, COAST, Cultiva La Salud, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, the Vision Zero Network, the Southern California Association of Governments, Caltrans, the Office of Traffic Safety and many others.

It’s not too late to attend the Summit. Registration closes May 25, 2016. Register today! We are also looking for volunteers. Volunteers who serve three or more shifts will receive full access to all Summit activities and events. Volunteers who can cover two shifts on the same day can attend all summit events for that day. For more information about PedsCount! 2016 visit californiawalks.org/pedscount2016. #PedsCount16 @CaliforniaWalks.

This blog is cross-posted on Investing in Place.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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