A Call to Action for Mayors and Elected Officials
A Call to Action for Mayors and Local Elected Officials
Let’s Move! is a comprehensive initiative that was launched by the First Lady in 2010 and is dedicated to solving the problem of obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams.
In a January 2010 address, First Lady Michelle Obama called on mayors to take a leadership role. The First Lady has always said that local leaders are uniquely positioned to champion healthy communities, which is why she launched Let’s Move! Cities and Towns in June 2010. In response, hundreds of local elected officials took action and have taken steps to prevent childhood obesity and make their communities healthier for everyone.
Since then, the initiative expanded to include counties, and in July 2012 the First Lady announced private and public sector commitments to support Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties with new tools, resources and a framework to enhance the vital work happening at the local level.
“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.”
Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties supports local elected officials who are working to build healthier communities.
Become a Let’s Move City, Town or County
Local elected officials can visit www.healthycommunitieshealthyfuture.org to sign up your city, town or county. An elected official can sign his or her location up as a prospective Let’s Move City, Let’s Move Town or Let's Move County. During this process, he or she must complete a survey and commit to the following goals.
As of July 2012, local elected officials who sign up as a Let’s Move! Cities, Towns, and Counties site must be willing to commit to five achievable, measurable goals. Developed with the role of local elected officials in mind, the five goals are designed to promote sustainable strategies that will improve the health of local constituents.
Consider forming a childhood obesity task force in your own community, or aligning with an existing task force, that engages a range of city agencies, partners, and constituents to achieve the goals of Let’s Move! Cities, Towns, and Counties.
Goal I: Start Early, Start Smart
To provide children with a healthier start, local elected officials commit to helping early care and education providers incorporate best practices for nutrition, physical activity and screen time into their programs.
Goal II: MyPlate, Your Place
To empower parents and caregivers, local elected officials commit to prominently displaying MyPlate in all municipal or county venues where food is served.
Goal III: Smart Servings for Students
To provide healthy food in schools, local elected officials commit to increasing participation in the School Breakfast Program (SBP) and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).
Goal IV: Model Food Service
To improve access to healthy, affordable foods, local elected officials commit to implementing healthy and sustainable food service guidelines that are aligned with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans in all municipal and county venues that serve food.
Goal V: Active Kids at Play
To increase physical activity, local elected officials commit to mapping local playspaces, completing a needs assessment, developing an action plan, and launching a minimum of three proven policies, programs or initiatives aimed at increasing access to play.
Local elected officials have the opportunity to earn gold, silver, and bronze medals, as they proceed in accomplishing the five goals. Let’s Move! will highlight and celebrate the accomplishments and ideas of local elected officials as they meet benchmarks toward accomplishing the five goals.
The National League of Cities (NLC) is the lead collaborating partner on this initiative, working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Association of Counties and other nonprofit organizations in assisting local elected officials to implement policy and environmental changes to prevent childhood obesity. NLC provides local elected officials with technical assistance that draws upon subject matter expertise of these partners, supports peer learning opportunities and offers customized guidance through webinars, conference calls and site visits as appropriate.