Prepare for the Day at the Capitol by watching this recorded webinar or reviewing this presentation.
Join us at the State Capitol to talk about health equity! Connect with legislators, organizations and community members across the state. Learn more about the Health Equity Commission and the Office of Health Equity.
What is Health Equity? What is the state of health equity and disparities in Colorado? How do we apply a health equity lens in all policies?
Community members invited to participate! A light lunch is included. Organized by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Health Equity Commission and Office of Health Equity.
Health equity is when all people, regardless of who they are or what they believe, have the opportunity to attain their full health potential. Achieving health equity requires valuing all people equally with focused and ongoing efforts to address inequalities.
New Belgium Family Foundation
Recently, MHC talked with Lucy Cantwell at the New Belgium Family Foundation, funding partner of MHC.
Describe the NBFF’s role in MHC. What do you see as your biggest contribution to MHC and its work?
I would describe our role as primarily one of learning – there are many people and groups with deep experience in the room and it helps our work to be able to listen and learn from them.
Why does NBFF think MHC is important?
Public transportation is absolutely a necessity in our increasingly resource- and space-constrained world, but infrastructure development needs to be coupled with a real effort to make that useable by all residents – especially given the increasing economic inequity facing the US (and the world.) We think MHC is important because it is not only working to make public transportation accessible, but it also recognizes that public transportation is essentially a means to an end: a way of getting to work, to school, to healthcare, or healthy food. By working at the intersection of those needs and transportation, MHC helps advance a vision of the modern city that is accessible and supportive of all residents.
What’s the biggest thing that the NBFF has learned or way your organization’s own work has grown as a result of being involved with MHC?
The clear-headed emphasis on equity that MHC has championed has been a role model for the NBFF as we continue to refine our vision for the foundation.
The buildout of FasTracks, a multi-billion dollar expansion of public transit throughout metro Denver, has highlighted major challenges that low-income riders face when attempting to access the transit system. Many transit station areas have missing or inadequate sidewalks, dangerous crossings, and poor lighting. First and last mile connections (FLMC) refers to the built environment elements that help people get from their home to a transit stop, or from a transit stop to their final destination. Mile High Connects did a deeper dive into these important issues and this research is the culmination of 48 survey responses, 3 best practice case studies and 7 focus groups with participants representing city staff and agencies, non and for-profit developers, community organizations, and transportation management agencies all of whom provided stakeholder insight into barriers and solutions to financing these crucial connective elements.
The report provides a baseline understanding of how FLMC are currently funded in the Denver region, identifies best practices both locally and nationally, and makes recommendations on policies, practices, and funding mechanisms to address FLMC challenges. MHC hosted a report release event on September 3rd and over 100 people attended from jurisdictions around the Denver Region, the nonprofit sector, planning departments, RTD, the Denver Regional Council of Governments, and other community organizations. Resident leaders from Globeville Elyria-Swansea LiveWell also shared their important advocacy work on FLMC and highlighted these issues in real time. Recommendations from the report were shared as well as case studies on FLMC from other cities. The links below include the report, presentations from the release event, and the media pieces on Colorado Public Radio and Denver Streetsblog.
* WalkDenver Presentation
* NRDC Presentation
* Colorado Public Radio Piece
* Denver Streetsblog Piece
WalkDenver and BBC Research developed this report on behalf of Mile High Connects (MHC), with support from MHC members FRESC: Good Jobs, Strong Communities and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
“Look out for that car!”
“Bus stop closed.”
“There isn’t a sidewalk here.”
“Just how am I going to get my stroller over that median?”
During the July 15th Advisory Council meeting members jumped over a busy street with match box cars flying back and forth, awkwardly climbed over a cardboard box median, balanced on a curb without a sidewalk, crawled under a pretend bridge with a train set, and endured artificial weather conditions to access the sign-in table. Even though it was a fun simulation of the barriers to accessing transit, they illuminated the very real obstacles that many low-income communities face when getting to the bus or rail.
The meeting featured energetic discussions about the first/last mile report (look for the full report in September 2015!) and groups grappled with a variety of questions about FLMC ranging from funding/sustaining infrastructure, to funding for FLMC and figuring out how municipalities define these important issues. Seleta Reynolds, General Manager of the LA Department of Transportation, rounded out the meeting with an inspiring presentation about the amazing work and projects she has accomplished. Click here for her presentation.
Thanks to all that came! See you at our next meeting on November 12th, 9-12:00 pm at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
The New Belgium Family Foundation funds regional efforts to increase bike and pedestrian infrastructure and make public transportation a viable option for everyone. We believe that these alternative transportation options help create healthier, happier communities and are best carried out in collaboration with diverse groups of stakeholders. Our participation in and support of Mile High Connects allows us to bolster the exciting work happening on the Front Range.
New Belgium Family Foundation supports three other program areas in addition to alternative transportation—increasing renewable energy adoption, strengthening local food systems, and promoting youth engagement. This is carried out through meaningful grants and investments, as well as by funding and engaging in strategic advocacy. The intersections between transportation, energy, and food systems inform many of our activities, in Colorado as well as in our other geographies of the Bay Area and around the Puget Sound.