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The Changemaker's Guide

A community planning curriculum

Good Governance

In 2008, community members in South LA pushed the City of Los Angeles to develop a moratorium limiting the development of new freestanding fast food restaurants.

The policy was made permanent through changes to LA’s general plan, and since then only one fast food restaurant has been built, while six new grocery stores have opened. Eager to keep unhealthy food out of their community, South LA residents leveraged their political power to achieve their goals. This guide builds off such collaborative efforts.

Designed as an interactive curriculum, The Changemaker’s Guide offers residents and advocates the resources to meaningfully engage with the policy and planning processes that shape their neighborhoods, cities, and regions. This introductory curriculum incorporates several workshops. Each workshop offers participants the tools to advocate for themselves with local officials, strategies to bring their voices into public decisionmaking processes, and information about policies and practices that can help them achieve better health. The workshop activities, icebreakers, and accompanying materials are offered in both Spanish and English. 

The curriculum is organized around five workshops:

  • Roses in the Concrete: In this workshop, participants investigate the relationship between the built environment and health. There are two resources that accompany this workshop: a PowerPoint presentation and a Mapping Activity instructional video.
  • Run With It: This is a public participation training that teaches residents specific techniques to work with public agencies and elected officials to create equitable, health-promoting policies and practices. There is a PowerPoint presentation that accompanies this workshop.
  • Ride On, Munch Better, and Health Comes Home: These workshops focus on specific elements of healthy plans and policies. There is a Priority Ladder Activity instructional video to accompany these workshops.

The Changemaker’s Guide was originally developed for residents in the LA area; however, it can be modified to fit different community contexts.


Please note that the presentations available for download are in PDF format. If you would like the original PowerPoint format of these, please contact us