Urban planner and reproductive rights advocate don’t usually go hand in hand. Then again, Claudia Huerta is not your typical poverty reduction advocate.
Born in Mexico, raised in San Diego and educated in New York City, she is the new Binational Affairs Manager for Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest (PPPSW), where she manages the day-to-day operations of its Binational Affairs Program. As part of her role, Claudia identifies key reproductive health issues, initiatives and legislation impacting the border region and binational communities; strengthens relationships and partnerships for binational initiatives; organizes binational events; and represents PPPSW on advisory boards and external committees at a binational and international level.
Her priorities for the department include building and strengthening relationships on both sides of the border. On October 3, the 5th Annual Binational Dialogue on the Status of Women’s Reproductive Health and Rights in Mexico and the United States will take place in Chula Vista, where national leaders from both countries will have a forum to discuss reproductive health care and share strategies to increase access to reproductive health justice in the border region.
From Claudia’s point of view, urban planning, though sometimes spatially oriented, is as much a policy oriented issue, and directly impacts those who typically lack access to family planning services.
“I am really looking forward to being on the front lines of economic and gender equity with Planned Parenthood’s binational program,” she says.
Claudia has extensive experience working and advocating for low-income and margina-lized communities in California, New York, Mexico and Brazil. She is an experienced economic development and international relations strategist who is passionate about reducing systemic poverty cycles, advancing gender equity and reproductive health care rights, and increasing sustainable urban access.
In addition, during her tenure at the Center for International Trade Development (CITD) in Orange County, she coordinated the first two joint binational conferences of Southern California and Baja California mayors, elected officials and business leaders, which has helped to facilitate continued dialogue between both sides of the border.
Claudia earned her Masters of Science in Urban Planning and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Spanish Literature at Columbia University and writes about equity issues, sustainable planning trends and mobile technologies impacting economic access in her free time. She has been published in The New Planner – an American Planning Association publication, Progressive Planning, This Big City, and Urban Magazine.