Long Beach

Background

Background

Long Beach is a network of local residents, community based organizations, and health providers that support community engagement and involvement for a healthy, safe, and thriving Central and West Long Beach. The community reflects a rich culture and historical diversity that includes 90,000 residents of Latino, Filipino, African-American, and Cambodian heritage.

Building Healthy Communities Long Beach (BHC Long Beach) works with over forty different community-based organizations and local organizers to make health happen here through parent engagement in schools, urban agriculture, affordable housing, youth organizing, environmental justice, and violence prevention.

Additionally, BHC Long Beach utilizes time banking in coordination with The Long Beach Time Exchange (LBTE) to connect residents and build engagement within our community.  Members use time instead of money to exchange skills and services and in the process of completing time exchanges, members learn new skills, uncover their gifts, make new friends, and work toward a more connected Long Beach.

Long Beach Community

Quick Facts

Quick Facts

  • The West and Central Long Beach target area includes 90,000 residents of Latino, Filipino, African-American, and Cambodian descent. Languages spoken include Spanish, Khmer, and Tagalog.
  • Cambodia Town in Central Long Beach is home to nearly 18,000 Cambodian residents, representing the largest concentration of Cambodians outside of Cambodia.
  • Schools, homes, and community gardens in West Long Beach are directly adjacent to the Port of Long Beach (the 2nd busiest port in the Nation) and the I-710 Freeway, resulting in poor air quality from ships and trucks and high rates of asthma in children.
  • Long Beach Unified School District is the 3rd largest school district in California with a total enrollment of 82,256 students.
  • 25.7 percent of full-time workers in Long Beach live in “working poverty,” meaning they work full-time and still live below the federal poverty level.

Focus Areas

Focus Areas

Residents and partners of Long Beach 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 priorities for the coming year.

Health Happens in Schools
School Climate
Health Happens in Schools
School Climate
  • Discipline Policies and Practices
  • Restorative Justice
  • Youth Leadership
  • Parent Engagement
  • Sons & Brothers

 

School Wellness
Health Happens in Schools
School Wellness
  • Food and Water
  • Wellness Committees
Comprehensive Supports
Health Happens in Schools
Comprehensive Supports
  • School Based Health Services
  • Career Pathways
Health Happens in Neighborhoods
Food Environments and Food Systems
Health Happens in Neighborhoods
Food Environments and Food Systems
  • Food Policy and Zoning
  • Healthy Eating Programs
Land-Use Planning and Anti-Displacement
Health Happens in Neighborhoods
Land-Use Planning and Anti-Displacement
  • General Plan Updates
  • Joint Use/Shared Facilities
  • Walkability and Bikeability
  • Health Impact Assessment
  • Recreational Facilities and Green Space
Community and Economic Development
Health Happens in Neighborhoods
Community and Economic Development
  • Housing Conditions and Affordability
  • Open Space
  • Community Benefits Agreements
  • Active Transit Promotion
  •  Cap and Trade
Environmental Health and Justice
Health Happens in Neighborhoods
Environmental Health and Justice
  • Air Quality
  • Ports and Goods Movement
Systems that Restore and Heal
Health Happens in Neighborhoods
Systems that Restore and Heal
  • Trauma Informed Healing
  • Juvenile Justice:
    • RJ Diversion
    • Systems Reform
    • Re-entry
  • Jail/Prison System:
    • Prevention
    • Realignment
    • Re-entry
  • Violence Prevention Planning
Healthy Youth Opportunities
Health Happens in Neighborhoods
Healthy Youth Opportunities
  • Youth Civic Engagement and Leadership
  • Summer Night Lights
  • Healing and Restorative Justice
Health Happens in Prevention
Coverage, Care and Community Prevention
Health Happens in Prevention
Coverage, Care and Community Prevention
  • ACA Education and Outreach
  • Medi-Cal and ACA Enrollment
  • Healthcare Access Policy and Advocacy
  • Systems for Remaining Uninsured
  • Health Homes
  • Community Health Centers
Health Care Services
Health Happens in Prevention
Health Care Services
  • School Based Health Centers
  • Health Care Services
  • Career Ladder Programs/Workforce Development

 

  • Parent Engagement in Student Success: Through the Schools Workgroup, organizers are educating parents to be leaders in their schools and empowering them with the tools needed to be an active participant in student success. Workshops on School Site Councils and student achievement are examples of how parents are learning to get engaged with their child’s educational system.
  • Youth Organizing and Empowerment: The Youth Committee works to reform school discipline and educate peers on issues important to students. In their “Every Student Matters” campaign, youth learn to organize for restorative justice through the School Board and the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP).
  • Community Environmental Health: The air quality in Long Beach impacts the community on a daily basis due to the activity of the Port and the thousands of trucks that drive the 710 Freeway and Pacific Coast Highway. The Environmental Health Workgroup improves environmental health by educating residents about air pollution, building sustainable energy systems, and seeking policy changes to protect the community.
  • Mobility and Open Community Space: From closing streets and freeways for park space or promoting more pop-up markets for fresh food, organizations in the Neighborhoods workgroup are seeking solutions to make Central Long Beach a more livable place. Finding opportunities for joint-use agreements with the community, City government, and School District help expand open space for children to play in safe environments.
  • Civic Engagement and Resident Capacity: Coalitions and youth organizations in Long Beach work to promote a culture of civic engagement through voter registration, “Get Out The Vote” efforts, and more. Various programs and trainings also focus on building resident capacity, such as the Boards and Commissions trainings and the Leaders in Organizing workshops.

Connect

Get Connected

Gisele Fong
Program Manager, Long Beach

Gisele Fong was appointed as Long Beach Program Manager for the Building Healthy Communities (BHC) initiative in May 2017. Prior to joining The California Endowment, Gisele served as Executive Director of EndOil / Communities for Clean Ports, an environmental health and justice community based agency in Long Beach, and served as chair of the Environmental Health Work Group for Building Healthy Communities Long Beach.

Prior to her environmental health and justice work, Gisele worked for many years as a college professor in Ethnic Studies, Asian American Studies and U.S. History at UCLA, Cal State University and California community college campuses

Gisele has served on numerous boards, commissions, and advisory boards, including the California Air Resources Board’s Environmental Justice Advisory Committee, a community based performance arts organization, and a social justice oriented bilingual charter school.

Gisele earned her MA in Asian American Studies and PhD in History from UCLA, and is a resident of Long Beach.

Contact
Name
James Suazo
Title
Hub Coordinator
Address
920 Atlantic Ave., Ste 102, Long Beach, CA 90813
Phone
(562) 436-4800
Send Email