East Salinas

Background

Background

East Salinas (also known as Alisal, Spanish for grove of sycamores) Building Healthy Communities is a community of residents and community-based organizations that are working to support community engagement and leadership for a healthy, safe, and thriving East Salinas and the wider Salinas Valley. Alisal is a diverse community with a rich history shaped by migration and the search for opportunity.

The agricultural industry’s continued need for labor made the Salinas Valley an immigration magnet for much of the 20th century, creating a diverse population of 32 distinct ethnic groups, including Dust Bowl refugees, Filipino field laborers, Japanese flower growers, Chinese and Korean merchants, Italians and Portuguese lured by the nearby Monterey Bay’s rich fishing, and East Coast refugees pursuing their dreams and their freedom in the Golden State—many of them settling in the Alisal.

The migration of different peoples brought a rich diversity to Monterey County and to the Alisal. Poverty and a lack of investment in important public systems that can level the playing field are contributing to the health inequities that continue to manifest today. East Salinas BHC and its partners are working together to lift up Alisal’s assets and build a healthier community for all.

East Salinas Community

Quick Facts

Quick Facts

  • Alisal population approximately 59,000.
  • 57 percent of Salinas residents aged 5 years-old and up speak English less than “very well” compared to 17.4 percent for Monterey County and 14.4 percent in California.
  • 37 percent of lower-income residents report being in “fair” or “poor” health compared to only 5.2 percent of middle- and upper-income residents.
  • More than 17 percent of Salinas residents are living in overcrowded housing conditions compared to 8 percent in California.

Focus Areas

Focus Areas

Residents and partners of East Salinas BHC are driving change across many systems and issues. The map below gives a snapshot of the breadth of their actions (click the boxes under each category to learn more), followed by more information on the top five priorities for the coming year.

Health Happens in Schools
School Climate
Health Happens in Schools
School Climate
  • Parent Engagement
  • Youth Leadership
  • Healing-Informed Restorative Practices
  • Discipline Policies and Practices
  • Anti-Bullying and Code of Conduct
  • Sons and Brothers/BMOC
School Wellness
Health Happens in Schools
School Wellness
  • Mentorship
  • Leadership Development
  • Parent Engagement
  • Joint Use
  • Nutrition Policies
  • Healthy food zones around Schools
  • School Teaching Gardens
  • Hydration Stations
  • Walkability
  • Safe Passage to School
  • Physical Education
Comprehensive Supports
Health Happens in Schools
Comprehensive Supports
  • Healing-Informed approaches
  • Career Pathways
  • Behavioral health linked with primary care
  • Increasing school based health centers
  • Community needs assessment
  • Behavioral Health
  • Oral Health
  • Teen Health / Peer Education
Health Happens in Neighborhoods
Food Environments and Food Systems
Health Happens in Neighborhoods
Food Environments and Food Systems

• Community Gardens

Land-Use Planning and Anti-Displacement
Health Happens in Neighborhoods
Land-Use Planning and Anti-Displacement
  • Health in All Policies
  • General Plan Updates
  • Health Impact Assessments
  • Joint Use/Shared Facilities
  • Recreational Facilities and Green Space
  • Safe Routes to Schools
  • Walkability and Bikeability
Community and Economic Development
Health Happens in Neighborhoods
Community and Economic Development
  • Participatory Budgeting
  • Healthy Equity in Economic Development Element
  • Open Space
  • Community Benefit Agreements
  • Public Private Partnerships
  • Housing Conditions and Affordability
  • Transit Oriented Development
  • Active Transit Promotion
  • CEQA
  • Time Banking
Environmental Health and Justice
Health Happens in Neighborhoods
Environmental Health and Justice
  • Clean Water
  • Air Quality
Systems that Restore and Heal
Health Happens in Neighborhoods
Systems that Restore and Heal
  • Probation/Parole & Re-Entry
  • Reform through Equitable Juvenile & Adult Justice Systems
  • Health in All Policies
  • Healing Informed Practice
Healthy Youth Opportunities
Health Happens in Neighborhoods
Healthy Youth Opportunities
  • Probation/Parole & Re-Entry
  • Reform through Equitable Juvenile & Adult Justice Systems
  • Health in All Policies
  • Healing Informed Practice
Health Happens in Prevention
Public Health
Health Happens in Prevention
Public Health
  • Cross-Sector Leadership for Health Equity Practice
Coverage, Care and Community Prevention
Health Happens in Prevention
Coverage, Care and Community Prevention
  • ACA Education and Outreach
  • Public Benefit Awareness
  • Medi-Cal and ACA Enrollment
  • Healthcare Access Policy Advocacy
  • Systems for Remaining Uninsured
  • Health Homes
  • Culturally Responsive Healing and Wellness Centers
  • Heath Navigators/ Community Health Workers
  • Community Health Centers
Health Care Services
Health Happens in Prevention
Health Care Services
  • School Based Health Centers—teen health, reproductive health, health informed practice
  • Cultural Humility and Language Access
  • Career Ladder Programs/Health Workforce Developmen

 

  • Governing for Racial Equity:  The East Salinas BHC and its partners are joining with the City of Salinas and County of Monterey to develop leadership capacity within government to prioritize policies and budgeting across all City Departments to realize health equity through a racial lens.
  • School-Parent Engagement in Student Success: Through the Schools Workgroup, organizers are developing the leadership capacity of parents to be leaders in their schools and empowering them with the tools needed to be an active participant in student success. This workgroup advocates for culturally-rooted restorative justice practices, healthy school meals, and after school programming.
  • Healing Informed Youth Development, Leadership & Organizing: The Youth Development, Leadership, and Organizing workgroup aims to reform school discipline and educate their peers on issues important to students.
  • Strong and Equitable Economic Development: Youth, adult residents, community based organizations, businesses, and the City of Salinas are joining together to support economic development grounded in a vision of prosperity for all Salinas Valley residents. The work includes Ciclovia Salinas, a youth led annual event, and the implementation of collaboratively create Economic Development Plan.
  • Juvenile Justice Equity Reform: BHC youth and parents are working together to advocate for equitable and healing informed practice in the juvenile justice system and to realize reform that will reduce the over-reliance of incarceration of youth in the Salinas Valley.

Connect

Get Connected

Lauren Padilla Valverde

Lauren Padilla-Valverde
Program Manager, East Salinas (Alisal)

Lauren Padilla-Valverde joined The California Endowment in October 2009 as Program Manager for East Salinas (Alisal). Prior to joining The Endowment, Padilla-Valverde was director, Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies/Master of Public Health Program at Touro University’s College of Health Sciences in Vallejo, California. Padilla-Valverde’s experience includes Senior Health Sciences Analyst, Health Affairs and Program Coordinator, California-Mexico Health Initiative, both at University of California, Office of the President. Padilla-Valverde is a clinician for Planned Parenthood Shasta Diablo’s Vallejo and Richmond clinics and served as a bilingual health educator for Salud Para La Gente Clinic in Watsonville, California. Padilla-Valverde’s commitment to community is exemplified by her service as a National Health Service Corp Ambassador for the HRSA Bureau of Health Professions, among other boards.

Contact
Name
Carmen Gil
Title
Hub Manager
Address
606 Williams Rd. Salinas, CA 93905
Phone
(831) 717-1384
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