According to a survey commissioned by Be Your Best Cottage Grove (a cross-sector coalition of community partners), residents of Cottage Grove, OR see drug and alcohol addictions as one of their greatest obstacles to becoming a healthy, vibrant community. Recently, this small, rural city in Lane County took steps to surmount that obstacle.
On November 9, 2015, the Cottage Grove City Council voted to ban smoking in parks. This ban includes not only paper cigarettes, but e-cigarettes and other inhalant deliver systems. By passing this law, Cottage Grove hopes to help people quit smoking and prevent kids from starting smoking by creating supportive, smoke-free environments and changing social norms.
Be Your Best used several different tactics to help get this law passed. They sent a letter of support for policies that prevent kids from becoming addicted to nicotine to the Cottage Grove City Council. Be Your Best members reached out to City Councilors directly to express support, and to community members to educate them about the policy and ask them to reach out to the City Council, too. They also testified at the City Council meeting.
Be Your Best Cottage Grove uses a collective impact approach to improve community health. Be Your Best partners include: United Way of Lane County, South Lane School District, PeaceHealth, Lane County Public Health, South Lane Mental Health, The Child Center, Family Relief Nursery, Sustainable Cottage Grove, Looking Glass Community Services, Parent Partnership and other businesses, civic partners and faith-based organizations.
By surveying and reaching out to community members, Be Your Best makes sure that the work they are doing reflects the community's wants and needs. By participating in policy advocacy, Be Your Best increases chances that change will be made in a broader and more-permanent way.
Be Your Best Cottage Grove is a Healthy Beginnings+Healthy Communities Organizing Grant partner.