Silvia Paz: Working Toward a Safe and Healthy Community
Why Her Star Shone Brightly in 2013
Silvia Paz, the new hub manager of Building Healthy Communities Eastern Coachella Valley (BHC), soared in 2013.
Her trail of glimmering success is lengthy — from a career change to being elected to public office to the upcoming expansion of her family.
Highlights of 2013
Paz was able to see to fruition AB 71 (V. Perez), legislation she worked on for over two years as district policy assistant for Assemblyman V. Manuel Perez.
“Thanks to this legislation and advocacy efforts of local groups and agencies, the State has to collaborate with our local Salton Sea Authority in planning for the restoration of the Salton Sea,” said Paz.
Additionally, Paz helped Perez secure $2 million for the Salton Sea Authority to prepare a feasibility plan. “This work has raised awareness of the environmental dangers, especially when it comes to air quality, of a do-nothing solution in the Salton Sea,” she said.
“In September of 2013, I joined the BHC team as Hub Manager. I am very excited about my new position, especially because of what BHC represents both at a statewide and regional level. In its past three years, BHC has created a statewide movement to improve health in communities that are often marginalized. In the Eastern Coachella Valley, BHC is revolutionizing the way we speak about health. Because health is not only what happens at a doctor’s office, but also the built environment we live in, BHC has evolved into an active collaborative of community and agency partners working to improve our neighborhoods, our schools, and increase prevention.
“By leveraging our partnerships we have increased access to transportation for the North Shore community, addressed policy changes for our mobile home park community, as well as begun an active campaign to ensure health access for all.”
She wrapped up the year by being elected to the Desert Recreation District Board of Directors, Division 1, which includes the Eastern Coachella Valley. “I look forward to serving the residents of Division 1 and improving access to safe recreational opportunities for our families. I extend a special thank you to all that supported me,” she said.
Biggest Lesson Learned in 2013
“If you ask, people will join and support you,” said Paz, who was humbled by community encouragement and aid as she pursued public office.
She also learned that “it’s really a matter a perspective and intention. So many of us spend so much time stressed and unhappy, but if we change our outlook on things we become a lot more appreciative of all the blessings we have.”
Goals for 2014
“As many of you know, I will start 2014 as a mother to my second child. In this spirit, my goal is to be able to advance the BHC vision to support the development of communities where kids and youth are healthy, safe and ready to learn,” she said. “More specifically, I would like to contribute to the improvements our communities want to see in housing and infrastructure, recreation, transportation and health.”
-AURORA SALDIVAR/Coachella Uninc