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Let' Move Blog

Communities Across the Country are Going for Gold!

Two years ago, First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled the five goals of Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC). Since then, local elected officials from nearly 450 cities, towns and counties of varying sizes and locations—including Anchorage, Alaska; Linn County, Iowa; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and everywhere in between—have committed to pursuing these five LMCTC goals.

LMCTC sites have the opportunity to earn up to five gold medals, one for each actionable goal to which they commit as part of the initiative. Goals include activities such as helping early care and education program providers incorporate best practices for nutrition, physical activity and screen time into their programs; mapping local play spaces; and supporting the Summer Food Service Program. Medals are awarded to local elected officials based on achievements in each of the five goals.

The National League of Cities (NLC) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provide technical support to participating sites to help them make progress on the goals. To date, NLC has awarded over 1,800 bronze, silver, and gold medals to recognize local elected officials for their LMCTC progress.

In January, the first city to be awarded gold medals in all five goal areas was Beaumont, Texas, led under the leadership of City Councilmember Dr. Alan Coleman. This summer, nine cities and one county, and their respective local elected officials, joined Beaumont in rising to the top of LMCTC leader board with the five gold medals. They include:

  • Annapolis, MD – Mayor Michael Pantelides
  • Columbia, SC – City Council Member Tameika Isaac Devine
  • Columbus, OH – Mayor Michael B. Coleman
  • Fontana, CA – Mayor Acquanetta Warren
  • Knox County, TN – Mayor Tim Burchett
  • Knoxville, TN – Mayor Madeline Rogero
  • Orlando, FL – Mayor Buddy Dyer
  • Palm Springs, CA – Mayor Steve Pougnet
  • Rancho Cucamonga, CA – Mayor L. Dennis Michael
  • Rockville, MD – Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton

The City of Annapolis and the U.S. Naval Academy partner on the city’s Let’s Move! activities

Achievements made by these top performers include: the City of Annapolis implementing a healthy vending program throughout city offices and facilities; the City of Fontana, through their Healthy Fontana Program, partnering with Fontana Unified School District (FUSD) and the Boys and Girls Club to provide children ages 18 and under lunches, snacks, and active play during the summer months; and Knox County and the City of Knoxville mapping all recreation amenities, including their combined 131 miles of trails and approximately 5,000 acres of parks, and promoting these amenities in print, on the web, and in signage on greenways to increase use.

Nearly 70 million Americans live in a Let’s Move! City, Town or County. See if your city, town or county is participating by accessing a map of sites here. If your local elected official is not participating, encourage them to get started and sign up.

County commissioners, mayors, city councilmembers, and other local elected officials are using their voices and taking action to ensure the communities they are responsible for are environments that support the health of their kids and families. Beaumont City Councilman Coleman recently commented, “If you want your citizens to live longer, healthier, happier lives, this is the movement you need to be involved in. The potholes are going to get fixed, the road is eventually going to get redone, but can you make a difference in the life of your community? Yes, you can with Let’s Move!.” It’s just a matter of time before there is a greater tipping point of action.

Step by step, medal by medal, we are making progress in addressing the critical needs of our kids. We each need to continue to do our part. Our future depends on it.