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Press Release

Free Community Classes Empower Residents to Promote Change

Monday, September 13, 2010

Contra Costa residents interested in becoming effective community leaders are invited to participate in a free training on community planning and advocacy being offered in West County.

Contra Costa Health Services, in collaboration with Public Health Law & Policy's Planning for Healthy Places, is launching the Contra Costa Leadership Academy (CCLA) to educate residents about the community planning process, how to effectively participate in community planning activities and how to advocate for policy changes that can create healthy communities. Deadline to apply is September 17.

"Where we live can affect our health negatively or positively. This academy helps train community members to be advocates for making positive changes in the areas they live, building up the community's knowledge so they can take the necessary steps to improve their neighborhoods thus improving their health," said Robert Ogilvie, Program Director of Planning for Healthy Places.

The academy teaches residents the skills they need to help create a healthier community, said Cedrita Claiborne, Asthma Program Manager with Contra Costa Health Services and coordinator for the planning academy.

"Many times community members don't recognize the important role they play in developing and planning their neighborhoods. These classes are about empowering the community so they can play and active role in the planning and policy decisions that affect their health," Claiborne said.

The CCLA sessions will meet Wednesdays from 5 to 8:30 p.m. beginning September 22 through October 27 and one Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. on October 16 in the Richmond San Pablo area. A stipend of $14 per hour will be provided to participants.

"We want the graduates of our academy to learn about the issues that impact their health and to gain the skills and tools to be on planning commissions in their area," Claiborne said.

Topics that will be covered in the sessions include general plans and zoning, successful community engagement, economic development, redevelopment and traffic and transportation.

The application and more information about the academy is available online at or by calling 510-302-3396.

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Press Contact
  • Cedrita Claiborne
  • 925-313-6861