Introducing the Bay Area Regional Policy Blog

Marty MartinezI am so happy to be in my new position - working to strengthen policies and funding streams to help everyone enjoy a healthier and happier life in the beautiful environment of the San Francisco Bay Area.   

Even as a child growing up on the East coast I could see the impacts of social and economic inequality on the families around me. I developed a strong passion to fight for the underdog and for those who did not have the opportunity to enjoy the full benefits our society can provide.

The way I believed I could make the biggest difference was by pursuing a glamorous career in public policy. Well, to me it sounded glamorous anyway. But I’m the kind of person who likes to stay up all night watching election returns. I should add at this point that I’m a nerd, and statistics and policy analyses are the nerd’s tools of choice to change the world, so going to the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley wasn’t an illogical way to try to make my mark.

As an advocate for the health needs of multicultural populations for several years, I have learned that the built environment and creating healthy communities are the only ways to improve the health and well-being of all cultural, racial and income groups.

That’s why I’m so excited to take on this new position at this perfect time, just as the Safe Routes Partnership and TransForm jumpstart a new collaboration of advocates, community members, health professionals and planning experts from across the Bay Area. Taking the approach of the “health in all policies” movement, the goal of the Bay Area Health in Transportation (BAHT) Collaborative is to ensure that transportation policy is infused with a concern for the health of all the Bay Area's communities.  

We’ve already been making a huge difference, giving people tools to advocate for a healthier regional transportation plan, which is being hashed out right now by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. We are urging everyone in the region to weigh in and take action to support safe routes to school and active transportation funding in the Bay Area.

Find more information on the BAHT Collaborative and our Bay Area regional policy work on our California Network microsite.

Marty's kitty niecesAnd lastly, my kitty nieces are adorable, aren’t they? They did this pose all by themselves.