Unnatural Causes–Is inequality making us sick?: In Sickness and in Wealth

Please select and answer three of the following questions following the film in 4/16’s class:

1. What elements depicted in this film reflect your community?

Which issues most affect health in your community, for better and worse: housing, jobs, income, transportation, racism, schools, social exclusion or civic engagement, land use and development…? How?

2. Who makes the decisions that affect your community?

Who’s missing? How can community members gain access to power? How would you change the process? What decisions would you make differently?

3. What compelling stories do you want to tell about your community?

How would you reshape the media coverage that exists? Which voices are missing? What messages and ideas? Who are your audiences? What images and symbols would you use in communicating with media?

4. How can you make things better in your community?

What are the greatest challenges? What additional resources are needed? Who are your natural allies and how will you begin creating alliances and partnerships? What are your priorities for action?

5. What initiatives are already underway that can improve health outcomes on the local, state or federal level (e.g. living wage campaign; a drive for universal preschool; mandated paid sick leave)?

48 thoughts on “Unnatural Causes–Is inequality making us sick?: In Sickness and in Wealth

  1. Lizet

    1. In my neighbor hood there is near by buses and subways , since I’m located in a commercial area where there is several shopping malls. Although their isn’t enough supermarkets around. Target is the closest were a lot of their food items are over priced. Theirs only Close by grocery that sell very limited healthy foods. About 8 blocks away theirs a C Town supermarket for the community. Where I’m located about 7 blocks down their is some government housing where there’s a majority or blacks and Hispanics. Around that area there is much more fast food restaurants. You don’t see a Starbucks around that area. Mostly McDonalds and other fast food restaurants.
    4. I think we need more vegetable and fruits stores. since this area is very commercial because there is 3 shopping malls near by. The access to unhealthy food is easily available. Most of the kids that go to school around here have easy access to this unhealthy food. I think we should encourage for Citibank bike stations, because all these available buses aren’t helping the community to exercise. We also need more fitness centers for the community there isn’t enough compare to all the fast foods restaurants.
    I believe universal pre k for all can help our state overall, because day care is expensive for the working middle class parents. The fact that they need to work longer to pay for these programs. These parents are spending less quality time with their children. Also these programs to shape the young are important because these children are our future. Some parents can’t afford this therefore only one works and the other one stays home . These puts a strain for these families that need to work 2 jobs to survive.

  2. Chamirah Farley, RN

    1. I reside in an area where is there access to literally every train and lIRR. There is the ability to use citibanks as well. I have the ability to purchase healthy groceries along with anything else to maintain “good” health. My area has definitely experienced an abundance of gentrification in recent years in which many people who have spent their lives in there have been pushed out. But there is still the presence of government housing. There is the presence of a wealth of mixed income developments. There is a lot of new businesses created therefore there are plenty of jobs available. The area is definitely becoming an affluent neighborhood in which there is a great disparity of income/wealth of the new residents and old.
    2. The residents of the community have a voice. They are many influential politicians who are active in making the community better. There really isnt much I would alter about the community @ this juncture.
    3. The media currently depicts my neighborhood as this amazing place that everyone wants to be but dont have the means to afford. Its still so shocking to me. When I was growing up It wasnt everything like what it is not. It makes me think deeply about the role of gentrification in society. Where are all the people indigenous to the area ?

  3. Dherrera

    There are several elements in the community in which I live in that have a great impact on health. The access to fresh produce is one of the amenities that this community has to offer. For example, there is a supermarket directly across the street from my apartment (The Brooklyn Market) and a key food, one block away. This gives me the ability to buy fruits, vegetables, seafood and groceries at my will. Another and probably the most important element of this community is the quick access to the Verrazano shore line. This shore line is a major element because I can go for a run whenever the weather is nice out.
    One way that I could help better this community is by volunteering. There are a number of little league soccer and baseball league’s that would make good use of people that are willing to volunteer their time to help our children. As a child I played both soccer and baseball and now I believe that I now have the ability and obligation to help the children in my community.
    I believe that everyone in this community could benefit from universal preschool. Universal preschool would lighten the load on parents such as myself that have to pay a hefty fee for daycare out of pocket. Having access to such programs will prepare children for grade school and become better students as a result. These types of programs could help every child to become productive members of society when they grow up to be adults and we would all benefit from this in return.

  4. Li

    1. The community that I live in is very convenient. There are four big supermarkets in our neighborhood and they are all within easy walking distance of my house. It’s very convenient for you to pick healthy and fresh fruits and vegetables. The public transpotation is also very convenient. 7, R, and M trains and few buses are avialable. The housing price is very high compared with other area with the same levels of local public schools. The rate of local public high school is only 2/10 and the rate of local elemantory and middle schools are both 6/10. The income gap is big in this neighborhood. It’s a very diverse community, including a lot of Asians and Latinos.
    2. All residents of the community should have the voice. They need to speak out their concerns. Last year, when the government changed a hotal into a homeless shelter, it led to series of protests. Acrowd of local people shouted out that their rights have been trampled.
    3. The local public high school is horrible. A lot of people want to move to neighborhood with better public schools. I heard that this high school used to be good many years ago. We all know that education is strongly related to individual’s health. I highly recommend government offering more fund for the public school in my neighborhood.

  5. kenlyn

    1. In my community i have buses and subways there are very convenient. There are plently of private houses and only afew apartment buildings owned by Jews. The old residents in theses apartment building are now being forced out because the owners wants to rent the apartments for more money. We do have a lot of supermarkets where you can purchase healthly food. we also have BJs whole food where you can find a wide varity of food and household poducts. There’s a mini mall to find deals on almost anything you need.

    4. The greastes tchallanges are affordable housing for the poorer people, especially the elderly and single parents. i think we need more banks that are closely available so people don’t have to tarvel long distances to get to one. i would love to see the young adults engaged in more productive activites, like attending a college to be more successful and productive people in the future.

    5.thanks to our president , who help the increase of minimum wage so people who work in the low paying job can get a better salary to live a little comfortabl;y life. the mayor has also help to pass the law for employees to get paid sick leave when they get sick so they won’t have to lose a pay check when they stay home. universal pre k should be made availabe to the single parents, especially those that work a low paying jobs since the daycare centers are so expensive for them to afford.

  6. Keven Deng

    1. What elements depicted in this film reflect your community?
    Which issues most affect health in your community, for better and worse: housing, jobs, income, transportation, racism, schools, social exclusion or civic engagement, land use and development…? How?

    Out the issues depicted in the film the ones that affect the health in my community for the worse is housing, income, transportation, and schools. The way that these affect the health in my community is that in relation to housing there are a lot of building being replaced with newer housing structures and often times this is throughout the day which has a negative impact because of the noise level it generates in addition to all the dust generate from the construction. Concerning income in my community that average income I would say for most people are middle class worker income which when related to housing is the reason why we have homes available mostly for rent rather than for purchase. We have a subway station and buses as public transportation which emit major stress due to the reason that the main hub in my community is not located in the safest part of the community. Lastly school related in my community because of the reason that for the most part the local public schools in my community are associated with the “bad schools” and the reason for this is because of the reason that people identify these schools as being bad because of graduation levels.

    4. How can you make things better in your community?
    What are the greatest challenges? What additional resources are needed? Who are your natural allies and how will you begin creating alliances and partnerships? What are your priorities for action?

    The greatest challenges that can make things better for my community I would say is the lack of education and after school programs. The reason for this is because of the reason that I felt attending school when growing up all the schools stress was passing the final exams by the state. They really didn’t stress learning as oppose to passing the exam more than anything. In addition, concerning after school programs what I have noticed is that often time more than anything once schools ends most children end up just hanging around near the school because of the reason that seemingly there is nothing to do. The additional resources needed in all honesty is money, which I believe is the reason for lack of after school programs and good education from the schools. Natural allies for this would be the parents as they would want their children receiving the better education and if the parents became more involved in their children’s education such as attending the local meeting discussion I feel that would definitely help in bringing up issues that could be resolved.

    5. What initiatives are already underway that can improve health outcomes on the local, state or federal level (e.g. living wage campaign; a drive for universal preschool; mandated paid sick leave)?

    Currently government programs underway that can improve health outcomes are the mandated paid sick leave, the drive for universal preschool, and the public health care system created by Obama. Concerning universal preschool is good because of the reason that from what I remember when I had to attend preschool my parents had to pay for it as supposed to being paid by the taxes like elementary public school. So with universal public school future generations can start their education earlier. Mandated paid sick leave is an improvement because of the reason that most of the time people are often sick and cannot go to work therefore missing out on their paycheck which I would say in this community if you miss out on a payday it would affect the families negatively where for that week they might have to lower what they can purchase for the groceries. Surprisingly I did not know the sick paid leave law was only enacted last year. Lastly, Obamacare I would say is the most major improvement because of the reason that now people can get health care for a lower cost because before most people would only have health care from their work benefits if it covered it. With public health care I have noticed more people showing up at the doctor’s office to get their yearly checkups. One thing I would note is that as of recent I have noticed that most business in my community have been closing the reasons for this would assume is because of the reason that renting that location for their business have gone up in price higher than the business owners can afford so if the government would have some programs that would help business it would be most beneficial because then you would have more people purchasing products in my community rather than traveling far for the same thing.

  7. kareshma

    one of the issues that most affect health in my community is jobs, because without a good paying job most people aren’t able to afford good health care. There is also a high rate of unemployment and if people are employed they are paid at a very low wage. The president and government makes the decisions that affect my community. People in the community should stand up and fight for what they want. In order to have voices heard in the area I live, I would try to get the media and government officials to come look at the area and look at the stats and have a public gathering where they can hear the people’s thoughts. The greatest challenges in getting things to be better is getting the right people to form groups that will stand a fight with you and who have connections to bigger people who will make your fight a better one. I think raising the minimum wage, and every job requiring medical check-ups for their workers at least twice a year will help in bringing about a huge change.

  8. dorcas

    My neighborhood is very mixed, we have a little of every ethnic groups like African Americans, Hispanics, Whites, Arabs Chinese and many others. There is good transportation system that runs on a regular basis and some people depend on their cars. There are supermarkets that sell fresh produce and many corner stores. We can use some more supermarkets because of distance for those who do not have cars and those with problems working long distance. There is a public housing not too far from where I live. There use to be some kind of racism before I moved in to this neighborhood but that has reduced to a very minimum. This neighborhood is described as middle income. There are schools that are mostly African American kids and some are fairly mixed. We have a newly built and affordable gym in the neighborhood that attracts many people that ordinarily would not go to the gym because of distance, this is going to make a good impact in the health of the people in the neighborhood.
    Some of the problems the neighborhood is facing are inequality of income and resources. one can see the effect in some schools and in the public housing. More jobs are needed to help people take care of their families and many live on very little income because of lack of proper education that can get them enough income to take care of their families. Both middle and high school students need mentors to encourage them to graduate. They need to help them see the sense in finishing high school and possibly further their education. I will like to volunteer to help mentor some of these kids.
    Minimum wage in New York as of December 31st 2014 has been increased to $8.75 hr but what can $8.hr do to help a family of four? This not enough to bridge any gap, until something reasonable is done inequality will continue to ravage the poor in America. Thanks to the mayor for making it possible for all workers to get some kind of sick pay so that people will not be forced to go to work when they are sick. Universal preschool will be wonderful if the government can implement this program. Many mothers have to choose between day care payment and work, if the government put this in place it will be a great help for many families.

  9. daniel quiles

    2. Who makes the decisions that affect your community?
    i live in heavy Hispanic community , so i would say that Hispanic make most the decisions. such as the mom and pop shops are ran by Hispanics sadly there isn’t a lot healthy spots they open it is mostly Hispanic food that is full of calories. every now and then there is an organic place that opens but they soon close because Hispanics aren’t use to that food , also it is more pricey opposed to our traditional food

    3. What compelling stories do you want to tell about your community?
    i feel like sometimes the only stories that get coverage in my neighborhood are violent stories , i feel like they try to target us. but the main problem is we don’t do enough good to get notice , we do a lot more bad then good. i feel like were always avoiding talking to any media , we want to stay to ourselves.

    4. How can you make things better in your community?
    things that would improve the community , are people who have a voice and speak for the community that way we can have someone who promotes all the good we do , take away the attention of all the bad we do . neighborhoods around have representatives that protect the image i feel like that something were missing.

  10. jeanmariee94

    1. The elements depicted in this film are reflected in my community. There is a vast transportation system on my side of Staten Island. Besides the busses, we also have a train system, whereas the other side of the island does not. Also, there are great schools in my neighborhood, mostly private and Catholic schools. I do not believe there is an immediate existence of racism since my neighborhood is predominantly Caucasian.

    3. In my community there are a lot of news reports that cover many topics. The audience of the Staten Island Advance is immense, and varies from neighborhood to neighborhood. I wish that the media would stop covering stories where police are racially biased. There are plenty of instances where people of other races besides black are not being treated according to protocol. I would hope that stories such as the new developments coming to Staten Island would be featured in the media more.

    4. I can make my community better by enriching the school systems. I believe our leaders of tomorrow come from our youth today. I believe the schools on the other side of the island should be funded more and more social work programs should be in place to help educate the youth and enrich their education. I can begin creating allies with volunteer programs such as D.A.R.E. and other after school programs that can keep kids occupied and out of trouble.

  11. Slangford

    1. What elements in this film reflect your community?
    I live in a neighborhood that feels so far but yet close to everything. There are a few buses that will get you to where you need to go but it is inconvenient and much better to have a car to get around. I find that odd because I do live near a lot of hotels. I feel transportation should be more accessible. Being that there over 10 hotels in the area there are man food options to choose from and supermarkets. The hotels also bring a lot of unwanted business. My neighborhood used to be plagued with drug dealers and prostitutes before law enforcement started to do drug bust and raids on the hotels. My neighborhood changed a lot thanks to that. Now we don’t have to see unsightly people walk the streets all hours of the day. I am positive it still goes on but at least we don’t see it as much.
    2. Who makes the decisions that affect your community?
    The people who want change but never show up to any community hearings, the ones who don’t vote and the people who do nothing are the ones who ultimately make the decisions as to what gets done to our community. By not going to these hearings and these meetings the people of the community lose out on the chance to voice their opinions and help make decisions about what goes on in the community.
    5. Although minimum has increased, so has the MTA, so has the cost of living. I believe the minimum wage for NY should be $15. New York is so expensive and it is hard for people to live comfortably making anything less than that without struggling. Allowing paid sick time for people has been a good choice because there are so many single parents that cant afford to miss days of work because they have a child in school that may have a mandatory parent teacher conference. A worker can go to the doctor and not worry about their health and finances at the same time for the week.

  12. Noemi

    1. What elements depicted in this film reflect your community?
    I believe income and transportation is a huge part of our health in my community.
    I say this because throughout the last few years new residential buildings have been built and rent keeps increasing but our wage is not increasing at all.
    Same thing for transportation, fare keeps increasing but trains keep being on a delay schedule and routes are closed so reaching our destination is a little difficult. So how do they expect us to pay more for transportation when is not all that good.
    3. What compelling stories do you want to tell about your community?
    Wealthy people moving into the area from the city and companies moving into the area too are the cause of why probably everything keeps increasing around here. Just a couple blocks away from my house there’s a whole foods that just opened probably about 2 years ago. Starbucks is another company too that you see around this area and I believe that the few family businesses that are left around will be gone soon. So the business owners and those who work for the community need to speak up and not allow the community to change. I don’t have nothing against the new companies moving in but I wouldn’t want all this to be gone for something that it was not.
    4. How can you make things better in your community?
    This community is probably changed a lot throughout time, for the better of course. For instance, the safety of the pedestrians is way better than before. A lot of crime will go on around here and I do really appreciate the change. But i don’t know if there’s anything else that is possible to change now, since the community has changed so much and I don’t see any other way to decrease rents or transportation around here.

  13. Rpalma89

    1. What elements depicted in this film reflect your community?

    i think the element that effects my community the most is jobs and income. The area in which i live, i consider decent, most people either own the house or rent. I do think that people struggle to live within my community because the prices have gone up in renting and mortgage because of where i am located. I think like any family who are under or close to poverty line we struggle with making ends meet and we constantly stress out it.

    4. How can you make things better in your community?

    I think anybody can do better within their community if they put effort into making a change and wanting to actually do it. I think the problem is that personally i dont have much time and at the end iv lived in this location for 25 years that i am never really aware of social issues that are within my own community.

    I think the greatest challenge is that the schools are over populated and more buildings need to be made such as building maybe affordable housing. I think money and space is something that is definitely needed in order to gain new housing

    5. What initiatives are already underway that can improve health outcomes on the local, state or federal level (e.g. living wage campaign; a drive for universal preschool; mandated paid sick leave)?
    I think they key factor to our generation being successful is free universal preschool. i think children need a strong foundation in education since they are little.

  14. AAlmond Post author

    These ALL look AMAZING!! These are among some of the best responses/comments all semester. Keep up the good work. I am so proud to see all of your hard work paying off through these very thoughtful responses. You guys are the BEST!!

  15. Nawang N. Sherpa

    There are several elements that are presented in the film which are familiar in my community. However, in my opinion, housing, transportation as well as social exclusion are the issues that have direct effect on health in my community. I live in a community where most of the people live in an apartment which means majority of the population don’t own home. This relates to the film’s finding that children whose parents don’t own home are likely to be exposed to virus and this will hamper their health. Additionally, living in an apartment will force people to have limited space to perform their daily household activities. This will definitely have affect in the long run. Similarly, limited access to transportation is another factor that affects health. There are only few buses that run around the locality with little frequency. This will make people to spend minutes or hours of their time which could be well spent on doing other activities. For example health related activity such as exercise. They could also spend quality time with family. The condition would get worse as standing out for a long period during hot summer days and freezing winter days would have direct impact on a person’s health if his or her immune system is not strong enough. Another factor is there is no access to healthy food as stores such as whole food and key food which sell healthy product are not located around the locality. However, there are street vendors who sell fruits and vegetables that are not organic and also fast food restaurants such as Burger King, Chinese restaurants who serve junk foods. This is definitely another issue which directly affects health.

    We all know the fact that nothing is impossible in this world. As a human being people have mind and body which can act in order to get things in order. Similarly, in order to make things better in our community, we must have positive mentality and use our sound mind and health during leisure hours to think of challenges and then find a solution and solve the solution in a proper way. First thing is that everybody has to be positive and willing to volunteer for the betterment of the community. The greatest challenge is the awareness. People should be aware of the fact that their children are the future of the nation and thus, every parent must be given proper knowledge of bringing up their children in a good way which will definitely lead them towards a better society. As those children get older they apply the knowledge to keep the community in a good standing and this will carry for generations. Thus, in my opinion, bringing up children with access to good moral is the main priority as we all know that a tree can grow big only if the roots get enough nutrients from the soil.

    Initiatives such as a drive for universal preschool and mandated paid sick leave are already underway which can improve health outcomes. We all know that providing free preschool will help to lower the load to all working class parents in a way that they can save the money that they have to pay for school and use it for acquiring other basic needs. They can buy nutritional food for the whole family which helps to maintain proper health condition. Mandated paid sick leave will help in the similar way as the free universal preschool and it also has addition perk that the working parent who is really sick can stay home and get medicine and proper diet needed for recovery from the money that he or she gets through paid sick leave and they can also do the same when their children or any family members get sick. Additionally, they would get the check of 5 days if they have not used it during the year and this can be used to buy nutritional food that would help them stay healthy.

  16. Altenor

    Altenor Jhonny

    1- well, in my community at least I can say “racism,” it is not like it was before, but it is there when I think about the disparity between the black kids and white kids, especially at P.S. 312 Elementary School in terms of distributing foods at lunch time to all the kids. There are different foods for different kinds of kids, and two different groups: one group most likely white kids with lots of vegetables while the other group with a bit or without at lunch time. My son is 8, and he loves vegetables. He says he’d like to join the other group for healthy foods when it comes to lunch time. It is simple, the major cause is the disparity of income between whites and blacks within America. And that leads to health issue for black kids.
    2- I think the government seems to be missing for such injustice in regard to this situation in my community. For that regard, as parents we intend to engage regularly in Parents Teachers Association
    in order to improve and to solve this issue.
    5- well,I think the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, has brought up a lot of initiatives about improving Public Schools in terms of foods, education, income (living wage) within America in order to improve health outcomes at the local, states, or federal level, etc. However, there are so many public intitutions as well as private institutions in this country that prevent that change from happening to a better living on behalf of black people. To have health we must have good income, and good education. All l can say is despite our efforts to educate ourselves for a better tomorrow, racism will remain in this country, America.

  17. Sadiquah

    1. I live in an area where there is limited public transportation and very few supermarkets. There are healthy grocery choices for affordable prices in the supermarkets. The only issue is that transportation is limited if a person does not have a vehicle or access to one. In my community there are many home owners or residents that rent houses. There are no government housing buildings in my neighborhood. There are a few public schools and many daycare programs in the area. There are not many shopping areas close by either so once again either the resident must drive or wait on the unpredictable public transportation in the area.
    4. Due to high prevalence of secondhand smoke in my community many children have had an increased incidence of asthma. As a healthcare worker I could put together community workshops to educate the adults on the dangers of second hand smoke. I can create allies with insurance programs such as Emblem Health and other programs that can contribute to this great cause.
    5. The Universal Pre-K initiative is a great way to improve the health outcomes of the children on a state level. I have a niece and nephew that qualify for this initiative. The program offers the school funding to provide nutritious meals to the children. The school participates in government food programs. The more schools that get involved with this program, would decrease the rates of childhood obesity and diabetes which are common among todays children.

  18. Jenn

    . What elements depicted in this film reflect your community?
    Which issues most affect health in your community, for better and worse: housing, jobs, income, transportation, racism, schools, social exclusion or civic engagement, land use and development…? How?
    Gentrification is Washington Heights has definitely had a double effect in my community. Due to the “urban renewal” here many of our older lower income residents have been forced to move out because they can no longer afford the sky rocket increase in rent. We are now seeing many new condos being built, Starbucks, Chipotle, Gristedes and many more smaller high end supermarkets here. Living in one of the new & upcoming “better” neighborhoods where we pretty much have accessibility to anything and everything you can think of definitely has a price to it. There are like atleast 5 if not more different bus lines available, the major A/C/1/9 trains are here which makes getting anywhere super convenient, literally 20 mins to midtown, 20 mins to Jersey etc. Ofcourse, these changes bring an influx of middle class people, which in a way makes the neighborhood of better value and brings more diversity even to our public schools. Although, it has changed our community in a positive way in some sort, I”m not receptive of this change if it’s at the cost of our cultural displacement.

    4. How can you make things better in your community?
    What are the greatest challenges? What additional resources are needed? Who are your natural allies and how will you begin creating alliances and partnerships? What are your priorities for action?
    One of the greatest challenges in my community is affordable housing as I mentioned above due to the gentrification the rent has almost doubled, making it almost impossible for the median income society to live a comfortable life without having a 2nd job. The additional resources we need are more income based apartments built instead of Condos , making it easier for people to live here comfortably and not force out the older generation culture that have pretty much spent their whole lives here. Unfortunately I dont think i can form any allies or or create any alliances for the change in housing, because we have done many petitions that have definitely gone unseen.

    5. What initiatives are already underway that can improve health outcomes on the local, state or federal level (e.g. living wage campaign; a drive for universal preschool; mandated paid sick leave)?
    The drive for universal pre-k is one of the best programs funded to date. Most publicly funded preschool programs in the U.S. focus on low-income children, so the research base is strongest on pre-K’s impacts for low-income kids. Alot of our health disparities are based on wealth or income rather. So mandating pre-k for low income families can raise their awareness from earlier on about healthier eating habits, healthier habits overall. Providing a resource from the age of 3/4 is great. I also think think that the Paid Sick Leave bill was another great thing implemented. By paying workers sick time they can stay home without a worry of not being apid for the day. going to work sick not only can be detrimental to the person but to their peers as well. Allowing an employee to stay home without the worry of them losing out pay works in the long run because it will allow for the employee to come back to work when they have recuperated perhaps be able to give 100% at work.

  19. Henry M.

    1. In my neighborhood, it is very convenient for transportation. The problem is that there are times when the transportation like buses is dirty and it can affect health. There are also many places to get healthy foods such as the supermarkets. But there are also places for unhealthy foods such as fast food restaurants.
    2. I believe people make decisions for themselves in their communities. I’ve seen people that do whatever they want, especially in public places in public parks and transportation, like smoking. If I were able to change it, I would like the authorities to do something about it instead of letting people doing whatever they want. Letting people doing whatever they want can lead to bad health and set an bad example for children.
    5. I believe education is improving because I’ve seen signs for free education for Pre-Ks. Good education can lead to good health and good examples for the future.

  20. Mdelie16

    1. My community is in the slow process of gentrifying. It consist of a variety of people. We have Hispanics, Pakistans, Chinese, and African Americans; there’s a little bit of everything. Recently, we have been seeing Caucasians entering the mix which would explain why the rent keeps rising. There is a good amount of clinics and doctor “malls” around the area. You don’t have to go far to find a dentist, Gynecologist, or primary care doctors. So access to healthcare is not a problem. There are a variety of supermarkets within walking distance and they offer fresh produce. There’s also a fruit cart center if you wanted fresh fruit for a good deal. Transportation is quite reliable, there’s access to trains and buses.
    2. The district council has a lot of influence in the community. I’m not very sure how members of the community can gain access to power but I know that if you have a concern or an idea you want to promote, you go to the district council office, schedule an appointment and let them know. Sometimes thy hold community meetings. Community members can make a difference by voting for district councils that have the same values they have. So far, the district council has done some great programs for the community such as free prom dresses and flu shots.
    5. Initiatives that are already underway are Universal Pre-K and mandated paid sick leave. These two inventions definitely improve health outcomes because parents won’t have to worry about missing a day of work to make ends meet. They have the chance o recuperate if they get sick which in the end makes a more productive worker. Also they can use those days for the many appointments that their children have without having to worry about losing a day of pay. Universal pre-k is great because we can start teaching children at a very young age how to take care of themselves. I currently work as a Teacher’s Assistant at a universal pre-k sight and it is amazing watching these little buds blossom into beautiful flowers. These children are the future.

  21. Isaac D. O

    1. Most of the elements depicted in the film reflects a lot of similar situations in my community. The population of my community is dominated by African Americans and Hispanics with little variety of white neighborhood. It is the third most densely populated county in the U.S., and one of the most five poorest Congressional Districts in the U.S. As a result the community mostly comprises of low to middle income earners nevertheless, there are certain things that have positive effect and promote good health of the people. In the business world the community can boost of a variety of better shopping malls, trade and commerce, good transportation network, subways and busses,. better housing system mostly affordable and convenient to some extent. There are good government and private medical centre in the community better social and governmental buildings as well as tourist sites. On the job market most of the people prefer easily assessable jobs such store work, restaurant, factory, Home Health Aid, Nurses Aid and Security.
    There are several factors that affect health negatively in the community, environmental and air pollution leading to Asthma, environmental racism leading to chronic stress, wastewater treatment plants, heavy truck traffic and local industries toxic chemical waste leading to high cancer risk, and economic hardship.
    2. Politicians and government appointees makes the decisions that affect the community. They are the masterpiece of the community but unfortunately most of their decisions do not reflect the voices of the masses rather the ideological drives of their political parties. the voice of the masses are missing, and the community can gain power only if they become interested in the decisions of politicians. most people have the idea that politicians are liars, others also don’t care about the actions and inactions of politicians. My reform process shall be that the people should be interested in what politicians do and must hold them accountable. the community should involve and support decision makers because their decisions can make or unmake the community. I will enhance efficient and effective communication process like meet with the press/ community to give update and also listen to the voices of the people on the most pressing issues and act on them.

    4 the greatest challenges are the health and the well being of the people and the community as whole, More brains and efficient human recourses are needed, people who are capable of turning dreams into
    realities not those who aspire to be leaders for the fame of it but those who have the passion to solve problems and make developmental projects for the benefit of the general population.
    My natural allies will be those who have same feathers as I do, fellow human beings who make positive changes in peoples life, those who understand that you don’t always have to be a leader or politicians to make an impact. creating partnership and alliances start from school and colleges through interdisciplinary courses, societies, associations, foundations and unions. collectively you can create networks with more elite and professional people who have achieve almost the same or similar missions you have. Professionals like professors, doctors, companies lawyers as well as technical, physical, social and environmental workers who are willing to walk in the same dream. As the saying goes Rome wasn’t built in a day gradual and progressively positive result will be achieved. My priority for action will be base on societal improvement like
    > Improve the health status of the population and reduce health inequalities.
    > Ensure financial stability and the effective use of resources to promote health
    Basically to enhance the good things in the community and to improve on those things that need improvement.

  22. Ashley Golden

    Looking at the film some elements in my neighborhood include: diversity. Although I’m for diversity, I’ve noticed that Brooklyn is slowly turning in to the new Manhattan. There are a lot of old abandoned houses and lots being purchased and renovated in my neighborhood. Just like the film, the more a certain race would enter a neighborhood the cost of revenue can increase or decrease which can cause the cost of living and small businesses such as local stores are forced to raise the prices of their supply.
    The individuals that’s responsible for helping my neighborhood would be the local residents. We are supposed to become more involved with our communities. When it comes to voting, most of us vote for the presidential elections but not for the local elections (like neighborhood council) We don’t advocate for better housing, better train stations, cleaner streets and safer streets (We hope superman does that for us). We don’t even uplift each other. I would start the change by simply voting. A lot of us have this bystander mentality. We think someone else has to be voting, making a change and its quite the opposite.
    In my neighborhood, its like survival of the fittest. No one wants to help one another. People aren’t usually polite. Crime is a frequent problem the neighborhood has. It’s so bad, people are no longer calling the police. (especially due to the police killing spree on the news) Everyone seems distant. I don’t associate with any of my neighbors, I don’t trust them. On a daily basis I witnessed men stand right in front of the corner store cat calling from 9am up until midnight. A lot of my neighbors don’t have a college education. They can be very rude, nasty, miserable people especially if they realize you are not like them. If an individual is being harmed by others, many will watch and some might record but not one will dial 911 because the crime is so frequent it can be overwhelming.
    On the news, the reporter touched on topics such as housing. She mentioned a lot of people were angry at the idea of mixed income housing. My first reaction, “that’s not fair”. But then looking at my neighborhood I totally could relate to why residents refused mixed income. The media depicts low income residents to be so mean and evil and I hate to say but it’s not far from the truth. If you are coming from a low income household you would understand. I had a classmate who would yell out “After i get rich i’m never going back to the ghetto” But that’s the issue, having a college education and having a successful career you are not welcomed. They view you as a threat, Superior. Which would make a lot sense to keep different income classes separate. Some times the problem a community can have can simply be the residents.

  23. Margaret Spence

    (1) I live in an affluent community called Breezy Point, in Queens NY. It’s a private gated beach front community. I can relate to the man who live in the wealthy community, because we have better housing and have our own supermarket, we also have our own bank, three churches to choose from, a doctor office and a dentist. We have private security, which patrol 24 hours a day. We also have transportation in and out of the community. We don’t have a school, must of the kids a bus out. Our population are made-up of blue collar worker and higher. Most of our elderly life expectancy, we live well into their 90’s. It is a great place to raise a family, especially in the summer. We as community, have a healthier live condition then those in other districts. There is hardly any racism in the community. So you don’t have watch who’s walking next to you.
    (2) My community has the Breezy Point Cooperative Board, which sends each shareholder update and notifies the community if there is any changes to the board and the community, either my phone alerts or by mail. I wouldn’t change the process, because it’s has been done this way for over fifty years.
    (3) The media coverage, describes Breezy Point as the Irish Rivera, we as a community are always on the news after hurricane Sandy which destroyed most of the point. The sad thing is we lost a lot of our neighbors from storm. We are building back one home at a time. There is only one thing I would reshape, that would be instead of owning a home, I would let people rent a home. I think it would make for a better community.

  24. Raz

    1. I think the elements that affect my community the most is having public transportation in every aspect. Subway, LIRR, Buses and Dollar vans. With these ways of transportation, anyone is able to get anywhere. There are many local small businesses and fast food joints. A C-town and food dynasty nearby so that I can purchase fresh fruits and vegies. There is a local police station next to the post office. Unfortunately these government places are not wheelchair accessible. There are 2 public schools within a few blocks from each other near me. Theres a few banks and cash checking places. There are many abandoned homes, but there are homes being built very close by. The community is mostly comprised of low to middle income earners.
    2. The media coverage usually is about crimes committed in the neighborhood. Car jacking and burglaries. Probably because of the strong prejudices on the minorities living there. The only time good coverage seems to happen is because of the local beach people flock to.
    3. The councilmen of the community are probably in charge. They usually have an office to come and complain at. I have complained about alternate side parking not available on my street but I requested it because it needs to be street cleaned if people in the neighborhood wont do it themselves. Most offices of councilmen have community gatherings where members of the community can voice their opinion and take a stand for what they feel is right. No participation, no change or action.
    4. In ways I can make the place better is by not littering and encouraging others not to litter and volunteer to clean up. I have complained about the government buildings that are not wheelchair accessible. I have painted parts of the neighborhood to give it a brighter more colorful look. I have been neighborly all my neighbors to encourage respect and unity amongst diversity.

  25. matty65

    Most of the issues in the film that where belonged to the man and woman that belonged to the middle group are common to my community. I could really identify with some of the aspects of this group. I almost felt as if I knew them. They seemed to have an uncertainty about them. Maybe I’m reaching but that uncertainty most likely come from the feeling or belief that they themselves have very little control over their circumstances. Crime seemed to be a serious issue in their environment. The nonchalant way in which they spoke of murders which took place in close proximity to their home was clear evidence of this. I wouldn’t say that racism is a problem here as the neighborhood is almost completely Black and Hispanic. The school are just So-so meaning that if you have a good kid and you stay involved they’ll get what they need. The flip side of that coin is as you could imagine. Transportation is excellent. You can laterally get to most places in the city in about an hour but I think that this is the case with most Brooklyn neighborhoods. The biggest health issues that exist here with the absence of the occasional drive-by, would be stress and of course lack of healthy food options. The stress is not so much due to racism but to the fact safety is an issue and you must be constantly cognizant of that less you risk peril. As for who makes the decisions that affect the community…damned if I know! I know that the highest elected official that is based in the community is Councilwoman Inez Barron. She basically inherited the position from her husband the former Councilman, now activist, Charles Barron. Chunk held the position from 2001 to 2013 then his wife Inez was elected. That’s almost 15 years of consistent nonsense. Ya! That’s right I’m calling you out Chuck! I didn’t vote for either of them but somehow they keep getting reelected. I firmly believe that is foolery is only possible in areas where the majority of the constituents don’t vote and the ones that do have no clear concept of what the issues truly are. You might have another homeless shelter in your backyard and your kids may not have school books but your community leaders will be breaking ground on a playground renovation. Oh, say it ain’t so Chuck, say it ain’t so! Things aren’t perfect but I must admit that they have improved in the last few years. A new mall just went up a few years ago in a previous space that was just wilderness. It’s brought new life to the neighborhood in the form of new stores and many new jobs. I’m quite confident that the Barron’s had nothing to do with it. None the less, we now have a Shoprite, Starbucks, Target, Home depot, BJ’s, JC Penny’s and our very own Red Lobster just to name a few. New single family housing is also going up in the area. Home owners take better care of their homes so in the long run this may go a long way.

  26. donna myriel

    1. In my community a lot of the health factors affecting residents is insufficient health Services. To be in access of a hospital you would have to go outside of the community and also the current hospital that is outside the border of my community is supposedly closing down in a few months due to budget cuts in NYC health system. The good thing about my community is that there is access to transportation all around buses and trains and also a variety of public school, high schools and daycare centers for working parents. I think the fact that there is only one recreational facility in my neighborhood is not great because it is over crowded. I believe that the youths should be able to have a place they can go to have fun and do activities instead of engaging in criminal activities or getting into trouble. There has been a lot of land use due to new construction in my community and it’s also a hazard to community residents who suffer from respiratory problems such as asthma. Diversity has become rampant over the years which is a good thing because in brings in more local businesses.

    3. The way in which I would reshape media coverage is by stressing on how important healthcare is to residents of central Brooklyn because it is still the epicenter for HIV?AIDS infections and other health ailments. It affects a lot of the people who are within the poverty line and also those with moderate income. I would encourage community members to rally and have media coverage placed on us and also have them share personal stories of how their health has been depleting due to lack of proper healthcare not being in their community. Also targeting the Mayor and Governor of NY by letting them know how important it is to increase funding in the healthcare system.

    4. I must say that I think improving on youth services is very important. Creating more recreational services would be a big plus. Connecting with free programs offered in the community and creating a “FUN DAY” full of fun activities for youths to do on weekends. I also believe that there should be more than 1 recreational facility so I would encourage community members to write to the mayor of NYC so that way it increases our chances of getting funding towards another recreational facility in my neighborhood.

  27. Einstein

    1. There are few issues that affect health in my community such as racism, school, housing, income and jobs to say the list. Racism is the foundation of many health issues in my community. Let’s examine the police force which is a huge issues that left many black children traumatize for life me included. Most people in the police force do not live in my community and they do not look like me. There are no relationship or respect between the police force and the people. This create an hostile environment. If the people who where supervised the community were from the community there would have been less tension. Growing up in Brooklyn, my brother witnessed the police chasing after my friends for no reason, killed my god brother for having metal bar, stop me in traffic when there is no traffic violation, some how have him psychologically mess up. When he sees police car stop before they say anything, he started running. he told me he feels he always in the guilty.
    Housing is another problem that affect health. The rising price of housing leaving some families with little money to buy food, let alone buy healthy food. In my community is very hard for people who rent because the rent is being raised every two years, some every year. People are force to work two jobs to pay for their apartments if they do not want to get evicted. As a result of over work, lack exercise, poor eating and stress, people develop all type of diseases blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes,
    Moreover, inequality in school is the building blocks of many problems that we face in the future of our lives. The resources that school in the rich neighborhoods or upper classes have is not the same resources to schools in inner city school or poor neighborhoods. This create a domino effect, lees education , less jobs, which leads to less money, which leads to more stress, less immune function, that leads to all the health problem such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, etc.
    Lack of equality in accumulation of resources to manage these issues, leave certain people in certain social class with disadvantages to better themselves or their families. But, reducing health inequality is not myth or impossible. we have to create better policy that reflect on the lively hood of lower class citizen for example: as the movie said “we did it before a century ago by improving social reform, better school, healthcare policy, etc”. However, the improvement in the social issues this time must not exclude black and the lower class society.

  28. Emmauel Acheampong

    Question 1)

    “My Fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you,
    ask what you can do for your country. “-JFK

    The eloquent and revered quote by J.F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States of America clearly illustrates the virtue of self-responsibility as a basis for each and every citizenry. This kind of characteristic can help any individual or group to participate in a constructive civic engagement for the betterment and development of their beloved country.

    Sadly, the element of self- responsibility is one of the two intrinsic attributes which is virtually at a loss in my community thereby creating a situation of lackluster attitudes and disfranchisement of civic engagement in positive health choices, judgments and behaviors.

    In spite of the government and private sponsored health programs to reverse and improve the health status of the community, most residents still tend to resort to extremely risky behaviors like heavy smoking, abusive substance use and binge drinking. These actions eventually lead to a spectrum of diseases such as deadly and chronic cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and neuropsychological.

    Nonetheless, the causes of harmful behaviors can be generally linked to a variety of internal and external determinants such as socio-cultural and environmental. There are still ongoing scientific investigations by prestigious think tanks to figure out other root causes and motives of these negative health behaviors.

    However, one must critically re-examine the two most important clues which play a primary role in any decision making and choices. These are the virtues of self-responsibility and accountability which fundamentally determines the margins or shifts of behavioral activities. It should also be reiterated that, a productive and effective change demands personal commitment and dedication which derive from the underlying virtues.

    Therefore, it bestows on each and every member of the community to be responsible and accountable to constructively engage in positive health behaviors like exercises and nutritional diets to effect a real change in their respective lifestyles. Such positive trends would not only and potentially save and prolong lives but it would go a long way to reduce burdensome health care costs and reallocate much needed resources to other sectors of the economy.

    In the nutshell, civic engagement is one of the key and essential elements which promote and safeguard the wellness and goodness of a society. As one of my neighbor used to quote

    ” Healthy people makes a Wealthy nation.”

    Question 3)

    At this very age of information technology in which readers, viewers and listeners are being instantaneously and spontaneously being bombarded with a 24 hour of sensational and pop-culture news by a host of countless media outlets and networks, It would be absurd on part of any individual or group to reshape today’s media coverage on their own terms.

    However, one of the potential remedies to revitalize but not to reshape media coverage is to build up an alternative and a competitive mouthpiece which creates a different way of broadcasting, on-line streaming, pressing and printing. It may include multi-lingual programs, freelance journalism and unlimited world news coverage. The proposed markets which will be targeted include every potential audience and advertiser from any probable part of the globe.

    The blueprint entails a wide range of technical, commercial and managerial operations which involve heavy capital investment, insurance and financial support. The project is assumed to be long lasting which would demand a scope of good management and organization to realize its full potentials.

    The powerless and voiceless, made of the underprivileged and poor whites and non whites, are the victims of media censorship . This may be attributed to the fact that, most of the media conglomerates are privately owned and profit oriented whereas a handful of them are non profit and public owned entities. Another interesting factor is the range of challenges facing the few public media houses are largely due to the huge budgetary cutbacks by the Federal government and also a fleet of depleting donations from their philanthropists.

    As result of these given and other combination of factors, the voices of the underprivileged and the poor continue to be impeded and hindered by the economic interests of Wall Street and Multinational corporations . The voiceless piously feel neglected and betrayed by the lawmakers whom they vote into power to cater and help to improve their struggling livelihood.

    If a mouthpiece is built, the messages and ideas would be centralized on fairness, mutual respect, the senses of responsibility and accountability. Each and every piece of message and idea will be open and voluntary. All ideals and real cases are subjected to be debatable and thoroughly and logically criticized without fear or panic.

    Symbols and images imply meanings and implications which define and explain what an activity reflects and represents. Likewise, both of these respective elements can either provide an universal or contextual connotations by which one can be related to or detached.

    Therefore, it is imperative to be careful and reasonable when it comes to the selection and choice of a symbol or an image. Also, it would be a good omen and candid not to choose or select any controversial and contentious symbol and image for any whatsoever gain.

    Preferably, as a courtesy of respect to Mother Nature, a chalice or grail filled with colorless water would be selected or chosen as a representation of a womb which gestates a potential personhood. The implication is to simply reaffirms fact that, womanhood is the centerpiece of the world as Mother Nature is the beholder of life.

    Question 5)

    Since the legislature of Civil Rights Act In 60’s, the Local, State and Federal governments have invariably invested and continue to invest billions of hard earned taxpayers’ money into a variety of health sectors which cater for the medical needs and wants of non white populace. The basic aim of the investment still lingers on the point of reducing or eliminating preventable diseases like chicken pox and diabetes which are the causes of high mortality and morbidity rates in poor neighborhoods.

    Additionally, government and private agencies have joined together in promoting and launching healthy policies and programs such as funfairs, free screening and counseling in and around the affected areas. These are feasible campaigns to educate and enlighten the residents and members of the designated communities about their health behavioral choices, causes and effects of acute and chronic diseases, and the availability of Help toll-free lines and centers.

    Based on recently released statistics, there have been a great success in reducing and eliminating a wide range of diseases which used to be chronic and deadly. However, it is also being reported that, there are incidence of new cases of cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and neuropsychological disorders.

    This has prompted health concern and alarm among health professionals and experts as related to the susceptibility and magnitude of the diseases. Attempts are vigorously and rigorously being made to contain the situation.

    Although, efforts are concretely underway to revamp and resolve these recurrent problems , one cannot underscore the fact that, the lack of personal responsibility and accountability is the primary cause behind the upsurge and prevalence of the new cases of diseases with their devastating effects.

    The residents of the affected areas must realize that, the state of their health status and wellness is in their own hands besides government policies and programs like Medicaid and sick leave days. It is long overdue to refrain from unsafe sex practices, excessive smoking and illicit drug use and rather engage in positive health choices and behaviors.

    1. AAlmond Post author

      EXCELLENT. You give great detail and examples of ways in which we can resolve community-based problems. You seem to understand clearly the complexity and relationships (both within and among) the individual, their behaviors, their environment, larger social structures (ie government) and the ways in which ideas from one are communicated to another. Fantastic job. Your point about communication is one that you could focus on, again, for a Master’s Thesis or community-based learning project.

  29. shenelle

    1. The issue most closely related to my community is the difference in the quality of life between the districts. When i say quality of life I am not referring to whether or not people are happy with their lives. What I am referring to is the type of housing they live in, the crime rates, the types of foods that are available to them, their health status, and access to health care. Louisville is very similar to NYC in the manner these disparities are separated. For example, Manhattan would be more like the upper districts in Louisville where a CEO would live, and the Bronx would be like the lower districts where the most accessible store was a liquor store. This shows how wide the income gap is between the communities.
    2. The people who make the decisions for my community are the community board members. My community is a part of community board 18. Meetings are held the third Wednesday in each month at 8pm, unless stated otherwise. Members of the community are strongly encouraged to attend meetings to discuss issues in the community. Residents are able to discuss their concerns with the board and everyone tries to find a solution as a whole. What ever decisions that cannot be made by the board are sent to the mayor’s office. A member of the police department from the precincts that reside over the communities are usually at the meetings to discuss currents crimes that have occurred. I attended a community board meeting last year. Majority of the community members in attendance were people 35 and older. To make better decisions for the community, the younger population in the community needs to get involved also, because most of the issues the community is facing is because of them.
    3. Each community in Brooklyn has its own story. However, most of those great stories are overshadowed by violence, media, and misinterpretation. Someone doesn’t die everyday in Crown Heights, Brownsville, Bedstuy, etc. from gunshots or stabbing incidents. However, that is how these communities are portrayed on the television. The media does not encourage people to got to Billie Holiday theatre in Bedstuy to see African American plays. It only encourages people to fear what they do not know, and that has to change.

  30. Chander Raj

    1. Lucky for me, I live in Bensonhurst, one of the most quietest neighborhoods in Brooklyn(right by ceaser’s bay). Everything is close by including a school, a precinct, fire department, groceries, train/bus station, CVS, gas station, corner deli, a park, basketball/handball, pretty much all that within a 3 block radius. Healthy choices aren’t so difficult since 86th street is just without 3 block from my house. On 86th street one can find many health related shops. Recently a healthy shake bar has opened up on 20th avenue and 86th street which is highly assessable to me after gym. As for groceries , there are 2-3 groceries which have a wide selection of salads and vegetables for a cheaper price than major supermarkets.

    3. There was one time when a neighborhood cop got a death threat from a gang member. I remember walking down the block to the corner store when I saw about 50 people chasing 5 people. At the back I saw that cop sitting on the hood of his car with a scratched shoulder. When I asked around they said that 5 of the gang members tried to beat up the cop, so his partner yelled for help through his microphone along with calling for backup at the precinct. Within 2 minutes people started to come out of their houses and ran towards the scene and chased them away. I was actually surprised when I heard this since I really didn’t think our community was that much united as one.

    5. Well over the years there have been major improvements in the community regarding health choices and wages. I do see an increase in minimum wages a neutral thing since an increase in wage will mean an increase in production and consumption value, as if gas prices weren’t already hard to deal with. One major improvement that can be done in this neighborhood is the repairs of local roads. There are many bumps on the road which I can clearly feel damage the car’s suspensions. Also there are some one way roads that link on Cropsey Avenue which can be a dangerous turn since vision of both sides is blocked by parked cars, so adding stop signs to both sides not only one will be a good idea.

  31. Einstein

    2. The politicians are the one making policies that affect my community and these policy makers are mostly part of the upper and middle class citizens. The lower class citizen which are the people these policies affect the most and who have the least amount of say so. The process can be change by elected better government official people from your community and those with command interest. However, people in my community do not vote because they do not believe in our government official. We have to reeducate the mass of the low class. We have to teach them of the power of voting.

    3. The story that goes untold in my community is the people who are making a difference by volunteer in the summer camps, the youth peer education, single mothers who are working two jobs to make sure their kids have a better future. But, the media only portrait the violence that occurred, all the negative aspect of the community as if that are the only things that are happening. At this point, my audience is the world. I want the media to stop being bias and tell the story both ways. A lot of times the accusers, the low class stories sweep under the rug. We have to start using the children, the big brother program, as symbol in the media to highlight the good things that happening in my community.

  32. alicia

    1) The elements depicted in this film in my neighbor hood is near by subways and buses, is located in a commercial area where is a lot groceries with healthy and unhealthy food and with different shopping stores, the housing price is high , the community needs to improve with more schools middle and high schools because a lot schools is far from my neighbor hood.the area is very diverse from different cultures hispanics, white, Asian.
    2) Well i live in a community where is mixed with different cultures, so i think people make their own decisions, they can do what they want , like in public areas parks transportation area they are smoking, drinking alcohol, they do different kind of drugs etc, so i think it all depends on adults that want make better decisions.
    4) I think the community need to improve more fitness centers, where people can have more opportunity to do exercise, also we need more vegetables stores, i think is more fast food around that organic or good restaurants. I can creating allies with different college or fitness programs to keep the young kids in different activities after school or helping them with school work.

  33. Chunn

    1. The area where I live in is close by government housing, majority blacks. The news from time to time do make me think twice about going to a deli at 2am. The transportation is quite an ease, it is just 3 or 4 blocks away. The high school was really close as well, and up until recently that the campus was open to the students during free time. They ban that and as well as putting metal detectors before entering inside the school.

    3. I live in the neighborhood for quite some time now, and the sound of sirens travelling from the streets to my ears are so frequent that I have learn to filter the noise, a hard thing to do for a light sleeper such as myself. The amount of patrolling police cars around by the community is uncountable. Yet the precinct is just 10 minutes away, that you would think that the coffee in the community is the best of Brooklyn. The media nowadays hardly announce good news, in order to grab the attention of the watchers. 8 of 10 of the news media are negative.
    4. The greatest challenges I would think in my community is the safety. Having to accustom the noise from the police cars or ambulance is better than filtering the noise of a gunshot. The resources needed are probability bullets and police officers. The priorities for action is moving to another neighborhood.

  34. benny

    1. The issues that are affecting health in my neighborhood is jobs and income. Most people are not able to keep up with their rent due to the low income jobs that are available to them. The stress of being evicted from your home because one could not make enough money to cover their rent. And not enough people qualify for low rent housing. The criteria to qualify for these low rent housing is very ridiculous hence most people in my neighborhood although they do not make enough money they make too much to qualify for these low housing and these has increased health issues in my neighborhood because people are scared of being homeless so they work multiple jobs without getting a day off.
    5. Mandate paid sick leave is one of the initiatives which i think would improve health outcomes. Most people do not take leave from work even if they are ill because they know they would not be paid if they take a sick day. These circumstances makes a person’s health deteriorate over time. the body needs rest in order to function at its best. if one never gets a sick day off because he has to work in order to feed his family then the lifespan of that individual is going to be very short. So paid sick leave is one of the policies which i think would be very effective in health outcomes.
    2. I think the media has a big role to play on what happen in our neighborhood. If the media are able to report stories on neighborhoods where low income residence pay high amount of rent and have to work extra jobs just to feed their families awareness and attention can be brought to our policy makers

  35. Veronica

    Veronica Kirschner

    1. What elements depicted in this film reflect your community?

    Which issues most affect health in your community, for better and worse: housing, jobs, income, transportation, racism, schools, social exclusion or civic engagement, land use and development…? How?

    My community consists of five co-op subsidized buildings that are mainly composed of middle class Russian and elderly people. Many of the elderly sit outside when the weather is nice and my neighborhood is for the most part quiet and peaceful. There’s a fitness center located in my building which is a good initiative to increase people’s health and well being. I also have a laundry room in my building so I don’t have to haul my laundry very far to wash them which makes it convenient for everyone who lives there than someone who has to travel outside to do laundry. These two are some advantages for healthy living in my neighborhood. Also my neighborhood has security to ensure its safety. The train is right on my block and the highway which makes transportation easily accessible. I also have my own parking space, so I don’t have the added stress that many other New Yorkers face looking for parking. There are job opportunities in my neighborhood, but nothing that would generate extreme wealth. There aren’t many healthy options as far as supermarkets. We have Keyfood and Netcost, as well as dollar discounts and family dollar. There are schools conveniently located in my neighborhood, although the Jr. High School and High School has many students that come from project areas that do delinquent activities, which is why since I was attending there, they have armed NYPD officers. When students get off sometimes they can be rowdy but it seems over the years, delinquent activities decreased because of the measures they put in place. There’s a new issue of demolishing the shopping center across the street from my development that are utilized by many in the area, being that my area consists of a lot of elderly, convenience is very much needed. Trump bought out the shopping center in order to construct a new building complex. I really hope to solve issues on inconvenience with the removal of the shopping center, that stores could be located on the first level of the building, for this new design is now typical.

    2. Who makes the decisions that affect your community?
    Who’s missing? How can community members gain access to power? How would you change the process? What decisions would you make differently?
    The people who make decisions directly in my community is my development’s stockholders during board meetings. Each neighborhood has community boards. A mayor is also elected for the appointed city/town. The city council consists of 51 elected legislators in reference to serve our communities. There is also a borough president that can be contacted for help with community issues if all else fails. Board members are selected usually by the city council that the community itself voted for. These selected peoples should have some direct involvement with the community, such as work there, live there, or do charities or volunteering to be directly involved as a board member. To me this makes a lot of sense because if someone isn’t directly affected by what is occurring in the neighborhood, would probably not influence individuals to volunteer as board members and truly care about the decisions made. Although people could want to make an impact on different communities so if they really had the right intentions, I don’t see why this rule, should cause an inclusion. That would be the only thing I can think of as of now that I would change considering I’ve never volunteered on my community’s board meetings and am unsure exactly of the process. Although I have volunteered doing clerical work in my neighborhood’s hospital, Coney Island.
    4. How can you make things better in your community?
    What are the greatest challenges? What additional resources are needed? Who are your natural allies and how will you begin creating alliances and partnerships? What are your priorities for action?
    The demolishment of the shopping center in my neighborhood is a new challenge that arose, because now there are less options for shopping and less convenience of being able to purchase everything needed just from the neighborhood. A lot of the community is elderly, so I don’t see how the elderly will be able to manage without the shopping center. More stores should be built in replacement. There is actually a building that is enormous that was utilized as a spa/restaurant that has major potential to put a few more stores just on that one property alone. My natural allies are the individuals that would be effected by the demolishment. In my buildings we all own our stockholder’s shares/equities and are able to vote on my major issues. There was a vote in opposition of the demolishment, although the outcome has not yet been established. If the voting didn’t change Trump’s mind, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a protest during the demolishment.

  36. IrinaF

    1. What elements depicted in this film reflect your community?
    The community in which I live in has many accesses to supermarkets, which is great for buying healthy foods in order to eat better. We do not have any fast food chains around us but more of health stores. My community is very convenient with transportation to trains for commuters who live blocks away from the highway. Also since I live near Prospect Park, people who reside around my area have access to the park so they can exercise. The income gap is very middle class but then as you get closer to the park away from the highway it’s more upper class. We also have areas where it is very culturally based because of the ethnicity that reside on certain blocks and the stores that accommodate the foods from their country.

    2. Who makes the decisions that affect your community?
    I live in a community where each block/avenue has their own race. Such as certain areas are all Russians living there, and certain areas are mostly people from Pakistan. When there is somebody who moves in from another race/ethnicity its very strange because the blocks have their own community so to speak. The Russian areas of my community have stores that are mostly Russian oriented and there are other sides of the community that are dominated by people from Pakistan. I feel like other cultures are missing from the community because they are being dominated by whoever established those areas to be predominantly people from their race. I would change it by making the community more diverse in terms of the types of people who can move in so they wouldn’t be intimidated by the other cultures that are in their own clan.
    4. How can you make things better in your community?
    I can make things better in my community by creating more recreational areas for children to play around instead of out in the streets where there is a high risk of traffic. I live near a highway and it can get dangerous especially after school is over and there are kids everywhere. I would also make it more diverse in terms of other cultural market places instead of only focusing on a specific nationality.

  37. nsubair

    1. what elements depicted in this film reflects your community? The issues that most affect health in my community is jobs. According to the film we watched “in sickness and in wealth” studies showed that the lower grade of employment the higher rates of death their is. African Americans are most likely to be affected by this because of the limit of opportunities that are given to them. 9 times out of ten, the racial group that you see sitting in higher offices and upper management in Caucasian individuals. Another issue that affects health in our community is the developments that are created and built for low income and minorities, which most of the time is housing projects. Low rent they can afford because of low wages which balances out; and the fact that African Americans are confined in one environment.

    4. How can I make things better in my community? One way is building recreation centers for under privalaged kids to keep them off the streets. The resources needed will be donations, supplies and most importantly get the community together eg: church memebers etc.. And with that leader the community can elect for council so a change for the better can be made.

    5. An initiative that is on the way to improve health outcomes of local, state and government levels is one of the eg: used such as mandatory paid sick leave for individuals, this will help as far as prevent loss wages resulting in loss days..eg: you get sick or child it will not result in a job terminating you.

  38. iespinoza

    1. What elements depicted in this film reflect your community?
    I believe the issue that most affect my community is housing. Since it is provided to low income families most of the developments are often neglected, producing many health problems due to the low control of littering, smoke free spaces and delinquency that negatively affect appropriate living conditions. For instance, second-hand smoke is well known by its damaging effects to its victims if only this particular issue was reinforced by authorities I think somehow could improve the health of many people

    How would you reshape the media coverage that exists? Which voices are missing? What messages and ideas? Who are your audiences? What images and symbols would you use in communicating with media?

    5. What initiatives are already underway that can improve health outcomes on the local, state or federal level (e.g. living wage campaign; a drive for universal preschool; mandated paid sick leave)?
    Initiatives in my community such as free programs available for parents in local schools to promote a healthy diet as well as exercising are encouraging many to change to a healthier behavior. Apparently, around my area where blacks and Latinos constitute most of the population “obesity” is the undeniable issue surrounding the community; that is why even the health centers are also taking part with healthy cooking programs.

  39. iespinoza

    Sorry forgot 3rd answer
    4. How can you make things better in your community?

    What are the greatest challenges? What additional resources are needed? Who are your natural allies and how will you begin creating alliances and partnerships? What are your priorities for action?

    Sadly, even though there are currently so many programs promoting healthier eating the fact that the supermarkets around my community do not offer healthier choices with their products it makes harder and discouraging to apply any knowledge acquired in the many free programs. I personally think that supermarkets are biased towards the particular socio-economic group in the community and that is the main reason why they do not offer better choices. Perhaps the community centers, schools and local health centers should also have a campaign to target the supermarkets and educate them about how they can help to improve the health of the community.

  40. Milka Ng

    1. What elements depicted in this film reflect your community?

    The neighborhood I am living is right next to a government housing. In my neighborhood, we have whole food and other local supermarket that sales organic food. However, 2 blocks away, there is only fast food shops and local supermarket mainly focus on frozen food. It’s very interesting that housing has direct affect on our health. On the other hand, jobs and incomes could also be a key factor on our health. Since there is a lot of retired people in my neighborhood, they are willing to invest more time and money to prep a decent meal. Choice could be limited on people who need to focus on work. They don’t have much time and energy to prepare food so choices and opening time on their local supermarket is very limited.

    2. Who makes the decisions that affect your community?

    Everybody does. Everyone in the neighborhood should share the same influence regardless on income or social status. Since there is a number of people moving in in past 5 years, I could see changes on my neighborhood. I see there is more restaurants with different cuisine popped up. I see there is more parks and local shops. It’s beautiful. There is also some bars opening up. I don’t have drive an hour to get a drink anymore. 😀

    4. How can you make things better in your community?

    Sometime my neighborhood would have little fairs on weekends. I would like to volunteer in the health booth. The health booth gives out fresh fruit or healthy snacks as a reward after a little exercise (like 5 push ups/ sit ups). I think it’s a very good idea to promote fruits and veggies to young kids. They can play and also get food for themselves.

  41. Jibriel

    1. What elements depicted in this film reflect your community?
    The community that I live in has good influence on health. For example, individuals that live in my neighborhood have access to fresh fruits and vegetables, there are many markets mostly every other block has one. Further, not a lot of options for fast food like McDonald and burger king. However, there is a Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, subway around the area. Also, transportation is convenient because it’s not too far and it’s reliable both the train and bus. The population in my location is mostly consist of Russians, Mexican Hispanics and Pakistanis. Moreover, about 7 blocks from my house there is a Brooklyn public library that I used to go to went I was younger.
    3. What compelling stories do you want to tell about your community?
    There is this guy that I’ve seen for year standing in the corner selling drugs and the cops just pass by as if nothing is happening. I don’t understand why the cops let this go on. About 60% of kids that graduate from high school have already tried some type of a drug. This is really bad because it can destroy a person’s careers even if it’s there first time doing the drug. For example, a young kid graduated from high school who was a very good athlete and was about to get in to a professional team. For his graduation party he decided to do cocaine and died instantly.
    4. How can you make things better in your community?
    To make the community better in a healthier way, I think the area I live in needs more centers to work out like gyms and swimming pool for swimmers. Although there is a beach two blocks from my location, I think we need more lifeguards to patrol the beach in the summer time to make a safer environment because thousands of people come to the beach every year.

  42. rssp044

    2. The people who live in the community make most of the decisions, most of the time, for themselves with some interference from the authorities (which they can’t avoid). Keeping areas clean, what kind of stores to prioritize? stuff related to parking, parks etc. are mostly decided by common ground determined by people of the community. If the community has to improve the people need to understand that there could be some issues that they are not aware of so they need to adopt different approach, a new approach, for instance to fight climate change the individuals can also do a lot of things, the government is doing it’s part to fight climate change but people can also contribute in small ways that makes a lot of difference (stuff like waste material disposal, not smoking in areas where you like, instead smoking at places which are meant for smokers etc. can help).

    4. To make things better in the community firstly there has to be a common understanding among people that they need improvement, if people feel that things are ok the way they are there would be no improvement in the community. Secondly they need to utilize grants given to them by the government or authorities and use that money for improving their community instead of sharing that money among themselves or on their personal assets. Then they also need to think about the security and safety of the people and that the needs of people in the community are properly addressed and resolved. Recycling, waste water systems, clean drinking water systems also need to be taken care of on priority basis. All these things people can help if they are aware that how can these things affect them and if they handle these issues properly their communities can improve. The other thing is that people everywhere are free to make their choices and decisions about their life in general regardless of their community, race or nation in which they are living. The more freedom people have in their life, the more developed will be the community or nation.

    5. There are some initiatives that are underway to improve the life of people by addressing their basic everyday needs which includes healthy living, clean environment, exercising centers etc. Secondly to make sure that if people get sick or accident they have access to affordable health care with no exploitation from physicians. Other things include paid maternity or sick leaves, pre school education and boosting college graduation rates.

  43. Victoria Qiao

    1. In my community, transportation and supermarkets are easy to access. The area of consist of high rent or maintenance fees, with only one person supporting the family of two who pays for everything makes it a little difficult to purchase goods for the apartment since everything in this area is expensive. Most likely, I would travel further to get affordable prices.

    2. In my area, we have a board of community members we speak to if there are any problems, they will try to solve it for you. The most important voice is everyone that lives in the apartment building because they all have the right to, which is great because not every area will honor that.

    3. The biggest challenge in my community is the fact there are so many elderly, it makes it
    difficult to go outside or have additionally support, I believe they need more people to
    help work in areas of a lot of elderly, or have some kind of government sponsors where
    they can have someone deliver anything they need to them.

  44. Sayma

    2. Despite having quiet a big south asian community around my neighborhood, the Jewish community seems to be the most dominant community in the neighborhood. The houses of the Jewish families are far better than anyone else’s houses. They have their own kosher delis & supermarket, while there aren’t many halal delis or halal supermarkets. They seem to make the decisions in my neighborhood and also have more power.
    3. I live in a prodominantly jewish neighborhood which makes it a lot safer, cleaner and access to anything within a walking distance. There’s access to medical centers & pharmacies, organic/regular supermarkets & many restaurants. The trains and bus stops are very close by which makes it very easy & convenient to commute.
    4. The greatest challenge in living in a jewish neighborhood is probably the price. The houses and rents of the apartments are extremely expensive which makes it impossible for those of who have low income to reside in such neighborhoods.

  45. thierno

    1. One of the issues that was depicted in this documentary which my community can mostly relate to is housing. As the first generation of immigrants from my country, most of the families are working class who can only afford cheap and crowded apartments. This kind of situation increases the risk of health issues especially for children because with many people in small apartments, sanitation decreases.
    2. Most of the decisions are taking by the elders of the community who have little to no formal education and have no clue how things work here. Most of them also don’t see it as an inconvenience as they left far worse situation than this. They are pretty comfortable with it as they don’t realize its negative effects on the children’s health and education. Most of them cling to idea of not seeking comfortable lives here and saving most of the earning for their return back home,which is unlikely to happen.
    4. As many people start to realize that the majority will not go back and children who are born here are already home, the going-back-home idea starts to fade away. Now it’s time for us younger generation to look for information on how to get decent and comfortable housing for the community.

  46. Donna Liu

    1. I feel that the biggest issue in my community is the transportation. Why is the price of transportation going up when the service is barely meeting the minimum. I am someone who takes public transportation everyday, I see the same people everyday also, either heading to work or school and we all go through the same thing. There are times when the scheduled bus doesn’t come causing commuters to be late. Which in the end can greatly effect ones job and pay. It’s very unfair because the MTA is backed up by their union, hence why they always win this war of raising the fare.

    2. I honestly don’t know who makes the decision about my community but whoever it is, they’re not very good at what they do. I feel like they’re missing the whole image of an “Actual community”. I would change things by gathering people who actually want to make a difference and actually help make this into a real community, people who can share their thoughts. People need to stop going against each other and start helping each other. They have to understand that we’re all in this together.

    5. I definitely know that mandated paid sick leave is already in the works. I definitely think the outcome would be positive, because this way people can get the rest their body needs if they’re really sick and not have to worry about losing a days pay. Most people still work while they’re sick because they can’t afford to lose money in any way. I’m glad there is a change in this area.

  47. A. Cynthia Parvinn

    I would say the most important factor that affect’s not only an individual’s health but an entire communities’ health is socioeconomic status (SES). SES has a direct correlation with the types of housing, jobs, income, transportation, schools, and social exclusions and engagements one has access to. When living in communities with low SES, members of that community live in more run-down neighborhoods, redlined districts, and government projects, which often are not the best living situations have asbestos, lead, and other environmental hazards that may affect health. Having lower paying jobs with higher occupational risk factors increases the likelihood of further risk for injury or occupational related illnesses. In those communities, schools are not the best, the students are not as motivated to well, and parents’ priorities aren’t to help their child excel in school by hiring tutors, enrolling into academic programs, and test preparation due to the shortage of family income. With less income, the food choices individuals families make are impacted: it is cheaper to buy five cheeseburgers from McDonald’s dollar menu than a head of broccoli and cauliflower that serves as merely a side and require time to prepare and cook (time that can be spent working). However, diets based on refined carbs and sugars are detrimental to health, yet those diets are the cheapest and often the only type families can afford. In such communities there exists an overall culture where smoking, drinking, drug use, and sexually risky behaviors, are often engaged as a form of stress reducers are more common and thus more readily accepted. Yet these very behaviors are the ones most likely to affect an individual’s health. From an outsider’s perspective, such communities face a lot of prejudice, judgment, and racism from those that have higher SES. In contrast people with higher SES live in nicer neighborhoods (homes with lower health hazards), have more income and thus can invest in their own or their children’s education, make healthier food choices that they can afford, and secure higher paying jobs with better benefits packages that include health insurance and preventative care. While people with higher SES can still engage in risky health behaviors such as smoking, drinking, and drug use – these individuals also are more likely to have higher levels of education and thus a better understanding of the harm is causes their body but also have health insurance to actively go to a doctor and seek preventative care or even early detection of medical conditions so that treatment and recovery is more likely to be successful.

    Honestly, rich, white, older male politicians are those that make the decisions that affect community. It all comes down to who is elected in office, the people they know, and those companies and organizations that are willing to fund politicians to ultimately have laws, policies, and regulations passed to help profit. I would say the views, perspectives, and opinions of every person from lower-middle class to those living in poverty are misrepresented or downright ignored. On the flip side, I would also have to say that these same group of citizens do not have the same drive to vote, elect officials to office, and be “in-the-know” of what is going on at the political level – simply because most are busy trying to manage their own lives with the little access to resources and opportunities they have. The easiest way to change this process is to encourage and educate all members of society to vote, and not only to vote by ticking a box or punching a hole, but to make informed votes – to understand the policies they are voting on and to understand how these very policies will affect their lives in both the near and long-term future.

    I personally do not like the media and have not watched the news for the past few years. I remember watching the news and only hearing about all the negative things going on in the community: homicide, robberies, accidents, and unfortunate events, and celebrity gossip are what make up the daily evening and nightly news. I would reshape media coverage using what I know about positive guidance – I would praise those members and events in society creating positive changes and just ignore the negatives. The attention that is given to negative actions and events in society is what perpetuates them to become common knowledge and ground for gossip and present stereotypes and assumptions. The audience that primarily follow the media are middle and lower SES groups and I feel that most of them are highly impressionable – the media spends so much time, effort, and money into highlighting the negative aspects of society – it is natural human behavior to categorize: thus racism ensues, stereotypes develop, and our communities and populations remain somewhat divided. The blame is put forth on any given group of people whether it is Muslims after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Hispanics due to an increase in immigration coverage, or African Americans due to whatever crimes may have been committed. On a personal level, I think every household should throw away their TVs and read articles on NPR, The New York Times, BBC, or The Associated Press – all of which do a phenomenal job in covering current events and provide unbiased views. I also feel that reading the news eliminates images that are viewed on TV media and then are embedded in the minds of viewers and factor into certain racial and stereotypical assumptions.

    The greatest challenge is to change human behavior and the innate human characteristic to categorize and judge other individuals based on the way they look. Education campaigns are needed – more of the D.A.R.E. type programs are needed in our school systems. Better sexual health education campaigns are needed. Education and the spread of knowledge should be targeted to elementary, middle, and high school students in a developmentally appropriate fashion. As these students are getting older, they will not only hear the same messages, but receive the messages in regards to their developmental levels so that they are building on basic knowledge and foundations of how to lead better and healthier lifestyles, how to choose better options and opportunities that are available at any step of the way in a person’s life. Natural allies include local social services agencies, colleges that can have aspiring public health students do community projects via community outreach, and other such organizations that are focused on improving both individual and community quality of life,

    Initiatives such as the Living Wage campaign, Universal Preschool, Mandated Paid Sick Leave are a great opportunities for low SES communities. These initiates will somewhat improve the income, educational foundation, and emergency assistance for those individuals who need them the most and can benefit drastically. In addition, I do believe that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) along with the Women Infants and Children (WIC) provide access to healthy food choices. New York State has a new initiate to end the AIDS epidemic. The CDC has a widely known Anti-Smoking campaign, and currently there are 37 states that have anti-smoking programs along with public smoking policies in place. Obamacare will ensure that all citizens have health insurance and thus access to some form of preventative care. There are many initiatives and campaigns currently in progress to increase the overall health of the nation and with enough education and outreach, especially with the younger citizens of the country; future generations will be in better standing than we are today. Now if only, there could be a national campaign to somehow apply the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change to our existing population and assess where most of the nation is in choosing to better their healthy lifestyle habits – we would have better grasp of exactly where to start in order to help current generations improve and maintain their personal health.


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