California Celebrates the Let's Move! Anniversary
California's capitol city of Sacramento was the backdrop on February 8th for an exceptional and lively morning celebration on the one-year anniversary of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let's Move! Initiative. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was side-by-side Sacramento Mayor & former NBA star Kevin Johnson, the NBA's Sacramento Kings, Dr. Robert K. Ross, CEO and President of The California Endowment and over 100 seventh and eighth graders from Will C. Wood Middle School. The impact of Let's Move! and the change occurring in our communities throughout our country took on new meaning when the Secretary, Mayor, and I walked into the Will C. Wood's gymnasium. We were immediately surrounded by more than a hundred kids who actually represent the next generation the First Lady has talked about since starting the initiative to eliminate childhood obesity within a generation. They were urging us to take notice of how they've learned to eat and live healthy. In fact, several kids made it clear that they were willing to go a step further, and take on a direct leadership role among their peers to achieve the goals of Let's Move! After everyone found their seat, the event continued to exude the sort of energy that I believe is at the foundation of change. Chants and cheers gave way to a succession of speeches, where, as I looked around, I found that the crowd was nodding in agreement to each challenge the Secretary and the Mayor posed to both adults and kids alike. You can see for yourself by watching The California Endowment's YouTube video that the Secretary electrified the crowd by making it clear and simple that this movement is all about the role that each of us plays in order to make the goal of eliminating obesity a reality. Watch the video here:
After my many years of serving in government I've learned that no movement can be successful if it does not have the strong support and involvement from our elected representatives and other partners. So, I cannot fail to mention how honored I was to have other key local, state, and federal officials participate in the event. I have traveled as far west as Guam and as far east as Phoenix, working in coordination with my HHS and other federal agency colleagues to spread the word about Let’s Move! We have worked together with Mayors, City and Town Councils, community partners, and other non- governmental stakeholders throughout the Region. I have spoken at hundreds of events, meetings, and speeches and words cannot express how exhilarating it is to see all of the creative and innovative programs come together in one place and for us all to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Let's Move!