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300 Communities and Counting: An Update on Let’s Move Cities and Towns

As the new Director of Let’s Move Cities and Towns, I am working with mayors and city councilors across the country to sign up new Let’s Move Cities and Towns, and support the ones who have signed up already as they work to create healthier communities.

Secretary Sebelius launched Let’s Move Cities and Towns in June, and today more than 300 communities have signed up.  Mayors and municipal officials who sign up for Let’s Move Cities and Towns commit to taking action in each of the four pillar areas of Let’s Move!: helping parents make healthy family choices, improving the health of schools, increasing physical activity opportunities, and making healthy food affordable and accessible. After one year, cities and towns will report on their challenges and success, and can then become certified as a Let’s Move City or a Let’s Move Town.

One group that’s been especially active in recruiting new cities and towns has been state municipal leagues, which represent cities and towns within each state.  Municipal organizations in Illinois, Wyoming, and Maryland have recently added their voices in support of the Let’s Move Cities and Towns initiative, bolstering the First Lady’s goal to help end the problem of childhood obesity in a generation.  At its 97th annual conference, the Illinois Municipal League passed a resolution urging cities in Illinois to participate, and also featured the First Lady and Let’s Move! in its October 2010 Illinois Municipal Review.  The Wyoming Association of Municipalities is calling on mayors to champion the initiative, and the Maryland Municipal League has already signed up a number of its members, and is encouraging still more to join.

The childhood obesity challenge requires that mayors and elected officials nationwide follow the lead of Illinois, Wyoming, and Maryland, and begin to adopt long-term, sustainable, and holistic solutions.  As First Lady Michelle Obama has stated, “let's move, let's get this done.”

Learn more about becoming a Let's Move City or Town here.