What We Do
Alianza (ah-lee-ann-zah) 1. a union of people and/or organizations working together for a common goal. 2. The only such union based in the Eastern Coachella Valley supporting resident leaders in improving their community. 3. The first local grassroots effort with a solid foundation to bring together a diverse group of partners. 4. The best team at engaging residents to lead efforts for lasting community good. See also: coalition or alliance.
Alianza is the only alliance in the Coachella Valley bringing together community members, nonprofits, and government to lead efforts we need for a thriving region. Previously known as Building Healthy Communities, our expanding work is built around leadership development and an understanding that healthy and economically prosperous communities exist only when our population is represented in all decisions impacting our daily lives. That is why we work to make people active players in the processes shaping policies and public funding priorities.
Alianza recognizes that the vitality of our region is deeply interconnected and that a thriving Eastern Coachella Valley benefits the whole valley — east and west. We focus in the city of Coachella and the unincorporated communities of Thermal, Mecca, Oasis, and North Shore near the northwest shore of the Salton Sea. These communities are predominantly Latino with a rich history and culture too often overshadowed by economic disadvantages. People farm the fields that help feed the nation, yet they live in substandard housing, drink tainted water, and struggle to feed their own families. Amid these challenges, pride in community cohesiveness and parents’ aspirations of a better life for their children fuel hope in the Eastern Coachella Valley.
The concentration of low-income residents in the Eastern Coachella Valley creates significant barriers to self-determination and access to basic resources and services. Communities in the east face a lack of investment in the areas of housing and housing infrastructure (water and wastewater); infrastructure (roads, sidewalks, lighting, parks); and health (primary care physicians, specialists, providers for the uninsured).
With Alianza’s support, people in the Eastern Coachella Valley are:
♦ bringing parks, paved roads, and public transportation to marginalized neighborhoods
♦ improving local community representation on the region’s water district board
♦ connecting neighbors to affordable health services
♦ bringing a more positive learning environment into schools
♦ planning new culturally inclusive community festivals
Alianza is grateful to The California Endowment for making a 10-year investment in the Eastern Coachella Valley with the Building Healthy Communities effort. Our decision to transition from a finite initiative to a long-term sustainable organization reflects our commitment to build on the foundation we have created and drive lasting and systemic positive change through strategic collaboration and civic engagement in the next decade and beyond. The California Endowment will continue to be a significant partner as Alianza pursues its vision to improve the health, vitality, and opportunities for everyone living in the Coachella Valley.