Leslie C. Herrick
Healthy Dearborn is a vibrant community coalition that has partnered with the City of Dearborn since 2015 to create a culture of health in Dearborn by working to reduce health disparities through active living and healthy eating strategies. For more on Healthy Dearborn, please visit our website: https://www.healthydearborn.org/. How do you see your Mayoral administration or Dearborn’s City Council working with Healthy Dearborn? And what specific ideas do you have for implementing Healthy Dearborn initiatives? *
I have been proud to support the efforts of Healthy Dearborn throughout my service on City Council, where I have:
* Advocated for improved greenspaces/parks to encourage people to get out in the community;
* Passed Dearborn’s new Multimodal Transportation Plan to facilitate and promote healthy transportation options including new bike lanes, more walking trails, non-motorized and public transit;
* Supported the effective rollout of Dearborn’s municipal COVID-19 testing and vaccination campaigns.
***I’ve been honored to lead the Healthy Dearborn Walk and Roll and join residents in walking and biking through different neighborhoods.
***In my next term on Council, I will fight to increase partnerships with health care providers and social work agencies, like the current partnerships with First Step and ACCESS, to make community mental and physical health services more accessible to Dearborn residents. I will continue to support investing in additional recreational programs and equipment and, important to Dearborn residents, replacing old pools in Dearborn’s south east and south west regions with aquatic facilities like the one I helped open at Ford Woods Park.
What do you see as Dearborn’s biggest health challenges and Dearborn’s biggest health assets? How can we best leverage our assets to address our challenges? *
Dearborn’s great public parks, pools, bike/walking trails, and walkable downtown corridors are a few of our best health assets. The Ford Community and Performing Arts Center, Greenfield Village, and well-maintained sidewalks in our neighborhoods also help keep our community healthy and connected. Having Beaumont-Oakwood Hospital in our city, along with Henry Ford Health System, and award-winning educational institutions also help to improve Dearborn residents’ quality of life. ***With these great assets comes the challenge of access: I support initiatives to provide more opportunities for residents to visit these resources, such as implementing safe bike lanes on many roads and better aligning with SMART to increase bus access to these health gems. ***I will fight to increase partnerships with health care providers and social work agencies, like the current partnerships with First Step and ACCESS, to make community mental and physical health services more accessible to Dearborn residents.
Do you believe that "Health in all Policies," which is the use of health assessment tools to guide decisions on major civic projects and policy decisions, should be implemented in Dearborn? Please explain why, either way. *
I believe that the health of our community is paramount to our success, and I have always taken it into account when making decisions while serving on City Council. The critical importance of providing access to community physical and mental health care resources was made particularly clear as Dearborn reported some of the highest numbers of Covid-19 cases in the state. I support empowering Council and the Administration with all the information necessary to make the best-informed policy decisions on public health.
Dearborn’s Multimodal Transportation Plan (MMTP) (https://walkbike.info/dearborn/) was developed with significant community involvement, including Healthy Dearborn, and was adopted by the Dearborn City Council on October 6, 2020. How do you see the implementation of the MMTP fitting into your community health priorities as City Council Member? *
Community health and access to mental and physical health care resources is of critical importance to Dearborn residents, which was made particularly evident as our city reported some of the highest numbers of Covid-19 cases in the state. On Council, I have avidly supported and voted to approve Dearborn’s new Multimodal Transportation Plan, which helps improve our community’s health through giving residents more opportunities to be active and access our city’s health assets. I already have advocated to the County to make changes to enable Dearborn to implement the plan and will continue to provide support and resources towards its successful implementation.