Healthy in Pomona: City Council Designates Pomona as HEAL City

The Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) Cites Campaign is a resource organized by the California League of Cities (CLC) to support  healthy policies for local cities. HEAL provides training and technical assistance to city officials who adopt policies that improve their communities’ physical activity and retail food environments. When cities enact policies that support healthy lifestyles,  it benefits the larger community. In California, the obesity epidemic costs the state more than $41 billion annually in healthcare and lost productivity. The HEAL Cities Campaign provides tools and mechanisms to shift the trends in public health.

On October 15, 2012, the City of Pomona city council passed a resolution to become a California League of Cities, HEAL City. This was an important step taken by the City to address safety and public health issues that will affect the entire region. Pomona located in Los Angeles County, between San Gabriel Valley and the Inland Empire. It is ranked 18th in overweight and obesity children in California.  According to the 2010 California Department of Education school fitness results, only 15.8% of 5th graders, 22.1% of 7th graders and 27.9% of 9th graders in Pomona meet all fitness standards. View a copy of the resolution: here.

The City of Pomona resolution includes policies in the major areas of the HEAL Cities Campaign: (1) Land Use and Built Environment, (2) Healthy Food Access, and (3) Employee Wellness. The land use policy element is a good opportunity to incorporate walking and bicycling, as well as Safe Routes to School (SRTS), however this is not required. Safe Routes to School Southern California Network especially applauds the portion of the resolutions that provides for active transportation planning and infrastructure development, including:

  • Adopting a city wide Safe Routes to School plan in partnership with the Pomona Unified School District
  • Prioritizing capital improvement projects that increase the opportunities for physical
    activities in existing areas
  • Adopting a comprehensive Active Transportation Plan (ATP) including bike and pedestrian plans
  • Continuing to develop bike lanes and walking trails

The process required to join the HEAL Cities Campaign demands dedication on the part of leaders in city council, city staff and residents focused on the well-being of their community. Cities that are interested in this designation work directly with CLC staff to develop policies or a resolution related to land use, healthy eating, and employee wellness. Each resolution may be different and adapted to the unique issues of their jurisdiction but all promote the same underlying principles. Currently, 110 California cities have joined the Campaign by adopting a resolution and/or policy (see list of cities). Kudos to the City of Pomona for joining this list of cities from Southern California!

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