As a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, I have learned that the best way to highlight the healthcare disparities that affect our communities of color is to get involved in advocacy.
Being an engaged advocate allows me to be able to work with others that support and promote health care initiatives that are essential to creating healthy and safe environments. This is one of the many reasons why I continue to volunteer for the American Heart Association. I have been a volunteer for over 10 years!
Recently, I played a big role in the flavored tobacco ordinances in the cities of San Francisco, Oakland and San Leandro. With the support of AHA staff, I was prepared with an excellent strategy to present to the elected officials of these municipalities to illustrate how the tobacco industry continues to promote flavored products that specifically target our youth. I emphasized the critical health effects that consumption of these flavored tobacco products have on youth. This topic is near and dear to my heart because my great-grandson is in this group.
My role as health advocate has shown me that this type of activism can have successful outcomes. Winning in San Francisco and Oakland has built momentum for passage of similar legislation in San Leandro following the lead of these two cities and I am so excited to continue to work on future legislation to make my community healthier. Most importantly that my greatest wish is that my great-grandson, and all the children of color in our community, grow up with the opportunity to live a long, happy, tobacco-free and healthy life. Thank you, American Heart Association, for this wonderful opportunity to be counted as one of many voices that are part of this great organization.