Helping Local Officials Achieve Healthier Communities with Let's Move! Cities, Towns and Counties
Ed. Note: This article is a cross-post from LetsMove.gov
Today in Philadelphia, First Lady Michelle Obama joined local elected officials from across the country to announce new opportunities to bring Let’s Move! to cities, towns and counties across America. Since she launched Let’s Move!, the First Lady has encouraged local solutions to solving the problem of childhood obesity within a generation. Today, she announced opportunities for local elected officials to do just that through Let’s Move! Cities, Towns & Counties, an initiative that calls upon all local elected officials to work for changes that make their communities healthier.
“Every day, local officials like these are changing our children’s lives and helping them learn and grow and fulfill every last bit of their potential. And thanks to the commitments we’re announcing today, our cities, towns and counties will be able to do even more,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “We still have a long way to go to solve this problem. But if leaders like these keep coming to the table and we all keep working together, then I am confident that we can give all our children the happy, healthy futures they so richly deserve.”
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius joined the First Lady today and announced support of subject matter experts from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture to provide technical assistance and information to local elected officials as they work toward specific goals: (1) to provide children with a healthier start, (2) empower communities with information using MyPlate, (3) provide healthy food in schools, (4) use healthy and sustainable food service guidelines in municipal food service, and (5) map playspaces and create safe places for kids to play.
The private sector stepped up in big ways to support local elected officials in achieving those goals. Check out today’s announcements:
- A new website, free resources, access to experts and tracking tools and maps from the National League of Cities with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Cities, towns and counties can sign up for Let’s Move! Cities, Towns & Counties at www.healthycommunitieshealthyfuture.org to get involved.
- A new grant opportunity for local leaders to create Play Streets – street-closings where kids and families can run, walk, bike or play outside freely without traffic – in their city or town from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association through the Partnership for a Healthier America. Local leaders can apply for the Play Streets funding at www.ahealthieramerica.org/PlayStreetsRFP
- Free materials, technical assistance and online guidance for Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties local elected officials to build or expand public playgrounds from KaBOOM!, a non-profit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America
The First Lady was also joined by 12 local elected officials who are leading by example in their own cities, towns and counties. Their stories are examples of how local leadership can create big change. And that’s what Let’s Move! is all about – any person, in any role, stepping up to make positive changes for healthier communities. Thanks to the public and private sector commitments announced today, communities across America can join the movement. Sign up your city, town or county to get started!
Read about the 12 local elected officials who are leading by example in their own cities, towns and counties on the Let's Move! blog.