Marla Torrado

Marla Torrado
Location: Austin, Texas Cohort Start Year: 2018 Project Topics: Built Environment/Housing/Planning, Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Food Systems and Nutrition, Obesity, Public, Population and Community Health Populations Served: Adolescents (12-20 years), At-Risk/Vulnerable Populations, Children and Families, Hispanic/Latino/Latinx, Low-Income Communities
Planning Director
Community Powered Workshop

Marla believes in the power of communities and their place-based projects to generate lasting, meaningful impact. As a Puerto Rican woman living in the U.S., creating opportunities that result in more equitable and just cities is her passion. Working on affordable housing issues in Austin, Texas, she understands firsthand how many low-income families are burdened by housing costs, affecting their ability to access other essential goods and services like healthy foods. Additionally, these households often travel far to find these services, creating a cycle of resource outflow that neglects local investment. She hopes this opportunity allows her to make strong connections between the affordable housing sector, healthy food retail, and small minority-owned businesses in historically under-resourced neighborhoods. Her vision is to support community services while strengthening place-based investments that are for and by neighborhoods.

Marla enjoys learning about new topics and meeting people who are interested in and passionate about making systemic changes in their communities. Her experience working with communities internationally makes her appreciate the importance of local stories, collaborative work, and equity, all essential components for thriving healthy communities.

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