Tag Archives: Organizing

New Year, New Trainings

From the foggy redwoods of Crescent City to the desert border of El Centro, and lots of cities big and small in between, the American Lung Association in California’s Center for Tobacco Policy & Organizing has provided countless trainings for local tobacco control coalitions.

And guess what? It’s free.

Our trainings cover topics like public speaking, the strategy chart, and coalition building. In addition, we have a few new trainings to offer this year: Read More »

Voluntary Policy WRIT LARGE

Photo from the Los Angeles Times

For those of you who have been through one of the Center’s policy or strategy chart trainings, you may have noticed that we have a love/hate relationship with voluntary policies, especially with smoke free housing campaigns. We recognize that when owners of businesses, or public agencies take first steps to control smoking or food and beverage offerings, it’s a good thing. But, we also know that it is a dead end unless it is part of a strategy leading to campaigns to pass public policy through city councils, county boards, school boards or other public agencies.

Public policy establishes new rules of the game, new social norms. Public policy changes individual behavior better than any other intervention we know of. So now comes a voluntary collaboration between several of the largest schools districts in the nation which matches, and may even exceed, the potential impact of a federal law mandating a uniform upgrading of what food is served to our children at school. Read More »

The Latest Installment in Smokefree Housing – Part 2

Last week we posted the first half of an interview with Smokefree Air For Everyone (S.A.F.E.) on their campaign for smokefree housing in Santa Monica. Today we learn more about their lessons learned from their efforts.

Center: Can you share some of the lessons learned from the campaign?

S.A.F.E.: Santa Monica has several city commissions and we presented to them more than once, so the leaders of the community were aware of our campaign. The Disability Commission wrote a letter in favor of regulating smoking in apartments. The leaders of the Democratic Club spoke vehemently against us. (That hurt.)

But we were very fortunate that most of our coalition members stuck with us over the years. We were also fortunate that our coalition continued to grow; new people joined throughout the campaign. Also, our coalition members, who at first had been very shy about speaking, became great speakers; their passion for the issue was central to the success of the campaign.

Success happened a little at a time. At first the city council members ignored us. We would speak during public comment time, which was as the end of the meeting, frequently as late as 1 am, when council members were drifting quietly away. Finally, after two years of effort, the council enacted no smoking in the common areas of apartments and condos. Two years after that, due to our tenacity, the city council enacted no smoking on balconies and patios of apartments and condos on September 9, 2010. Read More »

The Latest Installment in Smokefree Housing

Over what seems to have been forever, our friends at Smokefree Air For Everyone (S.A.F.E.) have been leading the efforts in the City of Santa Monica to create a comprehensive smokefree multi-unit housing policy. Last month the City of Santa Monica, after several failed attempts, adopted a housing policy which includes units of apartments and condominiums. Why is the city of Santa Monica so important? Well, it’s the first rent controlled city in the state to adopt such a policy.   To learn more about this exciting and long ranging effort, we asked S.A.F.E. a few questions regarding their efforts. The first half of the interview is posted below. Part 2 will be coming next week.

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Hangout with Us

We do a lot of trainings. Trainings on everything from tobacco control policy to how to organize your coalition and pass an ordinance. In the past couple years I have been up and down this awesome state and visited Del Norte, Kern, Kings, San Diego, Contra Costa and Los Angeles counties, just to name a few. So when Michael from Calaveras County contacted us about conducting a training in his neck of the woods, I started packing my bags and gassing up my Honda.

Unfortunately, there was a wrench in my plan, and it goes by the name “budget restrictions”. Because things are getting tighter and tighter in tobacco control, we can no longer travel for trainings that will have fewer than ten attendees. This is truly a bummer because, 1) I love getting to see all these awesome cities in California, and 2) there is really no better way to train someone than in person. Read More »