Lourdes Perez is the Director of Local Policy for PHAdvocates and the California Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Cities Campaign. With a strong passion for health equity and community engagement, she works to raise awareness about public health issues in primarily impoverished communities that have been challenged by infrastructure deficiencies, perpetuating unhealthy diets, and inactive lifestyles. Over the years, she has helped foster the following community changes:
* Establishing farmers’ markets and school farm stands in low-income neighborhoods with limited access to healthy foods.
* Establishing school gardens
* Increasing physical activity in schools and after-school through dance therapy classes
* Supporting safe routes to school efforts
* Working with school officials to open school gates after hours for community use
* Promoting universal breakfast and universal lunch
* Advocating for policies that dis-incentivize unhealthy food and beverage retail
* Informing stronger school wellness policies that support healthy menus, water access and physical activity for students
Mrs. Perez currently spends the majority of her time working directly with city officials, helping them identify and pursue policies with the intention of supporting communities disproportionately affected by health inequities and empowering underrepresented community voices. She proudly holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from California State University, Stanislaus.