California counties play a significant role in creating, funding, and transforming health safety net services, from behavioral health, public health, to emergency medical services. Through local policies and budgets, county staff and Boards of Supervisors hold power in affecting the health and well-being of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities.
For instance, CPEHN analyzed California county and city expenditures in 2018 and found that county and local governments have invested heavily in law enforcement ($25.2 billion) over public health services ($3.7 billion). These funding disparities have disproportionately harmed Black and brown communities to the detriment of these other vital services that keep people healthy and safe.
People Power for Public Health is a community-based research initiative that seeks to transform local budgets towards community power and public health. Through community organizing and local budget advocacy, we aim to divest local funding away from systems that harm Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities and invest in community-based, public health solutions that ensure our communities thrive. If you or your organization is interested in learning more, please contact Katherine Nasol at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take the People Power Survey!
We want to learn about your experiences with local safety net systems, such as emergency response (paramedics, fire, police), health care, mental health, public health, and social services. We welcome diverse perspectives, especially Black, indigenous, and communities of color, LGBTQ+ communities, and people with disabilities. Respondents must reside in California.
The survey is available in 6 languages and are below:
Traditional Chinese: https://zh.surveymonkey.com/r/cpehnph
The People Power for Public Health survey will be open until October 2021. The findings from the survey will be published in our People Power for Public Health report and budget advocacy toolkit.
What we do
What if our local communities had the power to fund the resources, programs, and community vision we deserve? What if we had the power to determine the state of our health?
Our goals are to:
- Build our understanding on how to engage in county level policy advocacy across a range of health issues.
- Highlight community needs, priorities, and perspectives.
- Provide opportunities for community partners to learn alongside us.
- Deepen funder engagement in health equity work.
What we seek to understand
What are the experiences of Black, Indigenous, People of Color communities with their local public health infrastructure?
By local public health infrastructure, we mean not only engagement with the health care system, but also community based organizations, grassroots groups, and mutual aid groups that provide key services, information, and opportunities for advocacy/organizing with and for marginalized communities.
How are county budgets allocating funding towards their public health care infrastructure?
What public health initiatives must we invest in to improve the health outcomes of BIPOC communities?
What We Will Create
A People Power for Public Health Report: Our final publication will include findings from our statewide survey, informant interviews, and listening sessions. The report will highlight four regional reports highlighting a local county budget analysis and residents’ stories and budget priorities.
A People Power Toolkit: Budget Advocacy for Public Health: This toolkit will provide policy recommendations, best practices, reflections questions, and research findings for community advocates and organizers to influence their local budgets for public health.
Statewide Community Survey
Our survey gathers stories and data around respondents’ experiences with local safety nets, such as emergency response (paramedics, fire, police), health care, mental health, public health, and social services. We ask questions around access to local health care services, emergency response, and health in their local neighborhood.
Listening Sessions in Four Counties
The purposes of our listening sessions are to:
- Center residents’ stories in their local region.
- Ground in community solutions and priorities around city and county funding for public health.
We will be conducting listening sessions in four counties (Orange County, Kern County, Fresno County, and Sacramento County) with collaboration with our regional partners.
Key Informant Interviews
We will be facilitating key informant interviews with leaders, stakeholders, and organizations to:
- Uplift community-led solutions and best practices around local budget advocacy for public health.
- Gather feedback from key leaders around what alternatives should be funded based on their background and expertise.
Budget & Policy Analysis
In our budget and policy analysis, we will look at our four regions and see how county budgets are allocating funding towards the public health care systems. The findings will be included in our final publication through county-based reports on Kern, Orange, Sacramento, and Fresno County.