Guest Blogger – Ofelia Alvarado, Advocacy Director, American Lung Association in California, San Diego
For two years (2008-2010), the American Lung Association in California staff worked intensely on outreach and education, providing trainings and a forum for National City community members and elected officials on drifting secondhand smoke in multi-unit housing. However, it was difficult for community members to be actively involved because of family obligations and lack of time. A few made public comments, but the idea of smokefree housing was a new frontier, and public officials’ reaction was cautionary.
We made a presentation at a neighborhood meeting which the Mayor attended. The clamor by attendees to do something obligated the Mayor to form the Smokefree Housing Taskforce in January 2010. It met sporadically for 2 years but unfortunately, without continued community pressure, the issue waned and action was stalled by the taskforce.
In 2009, youth advocates from the local high school led the effort to successfully pass a smokefree outdoor dining ordinance in National City. Could this same strategy work to have the taskforce reconvene? Read More