The Public Health Insider recently featured BUILD Health community Seattle Chinatown-International District Healthy Community Action Plan in a three-part blog post series. The series explores the public health challenges facing the Chinatown-International District and how the project is confronting them.
What You May Not Know About Health in the Chinatown-International District is the first post in the series and provides a data-based snapshot of the community’s public health challenges. The second post, Safety, Stress, and Public Health: Chinatown-International District Neighborhood Voices, examines a specific obstacle- the lack of real or perceived safety- and how it creates chronic stress and negatively affects long-term physical and mental health.
The final post in the series, A Way Forward: Sowing Community Solutions in the Chinatown-International District, looks at how the 2020 Healthy Community Action Plan is addressing the CID’s public health concerns.
After the murder of Donnie Chin, a community leader and director of the International District Emergency Center, public safety became an even bigger issue. Chin dedicated his life to helping others and protecting the Chinatown-International District when the City failed to do so.
“In developing the 2020 Healthy Community Action Plan, I expected that community conversations and recommendations would revolve around specific health conditions. Instead, the conversations always found their way back to public safety and the fact that the physical and social conditions in the CID keep people from leading their healthiest lives. The need to improve public safety came across so strongly in all of the community conversations that it had to be at the core of our Plan,” said Valerie Tran, Healthy Communities Program Manager of the Interim Community Development Association (InterIm CDA).
The plan outlines a number of strategies to improve public safety. These include:
- Activating neighborhood parks and public spaces through investment and culturally relevant programming, education, and activities;
- Increasing health and financial literacy by bringing education, programming, and resources to residents at their newest workforce housing development;
- Enhancing public safety. Through the 2020 Healthy Community Action Plan, they hope to build a safer – and consequently, healthier – neighborhood.
For those interested in becoming involved, Tran encourages everyone to first become more acquainted with the neighborhood. She stresses, “Remember that people live and work here; this is not just a place for lunch.”
You can also volunteer with InterIm CDA and its neighborhood partners or donate to the Donnie Project, an initiative providing culturally responsive emergency preparedness and first aid training to CID residents.