Linn County Supervisor Linda Langston joined First Lady Michelle Obama and representatives from the National League of Cities (NLC) and several federal agencies at the White House today for a celebratory event honoring the achievements made by local elected officials participating in the Let's Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC) initiative. Langston was a guest speaker at the event where she shared examples of Linn County’s success.
The First Lady announced that 500 cities, towns and counties, including Linn County, have committed to the five goals in the LMCTC initiative since July 2012. LMCTC is a key part of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative and helps local elected officials, their staff and communities ensure all children grow up healthy and have the ability to reach their full potential.
At today’s event, the First Lady also recognized the 52 communities, including Linn County, that have achieved gold medals in each of the five goal areas, which include providing healthy school meals, opportunities for physical activity during and outside of school, and healthier early care and education programs. Linn County was the first community in Iowa to achieve a gold medal for each of the five LMCTC goals in November 2014.
Linn County is part of a growing national movement to build healthier communities and ensure that the health and well-being of young people today and that of future generations is a priority.
“Linn County Public Health took the lead with Let’s Move Cities Towns and Counties and we also became a Blue Zones community three years ago,” said Linn County Supervisor Linda Langston. “Our work has led to our recent recognition as a fully certified Blue Zones community—one that has over 25 schools and three different school districts that have implemented policies that allow kids better choices in the lunchroom, walking school buses and school sites for community gardens and urban orchards. We also have 20 percent of our top employers involved with policies and activities that promote better food choices, support exercise and walking as well as promoting volunteering opportunities on work time, and restaurants are coming on board every day with designated healthy eating options which allows them to be Blue Zone certified,” continued Langston. “Our partnership with the Blue Zones was important to our success and demonstrates our community’s commitment to building healthy environments.”
The 500 cities, towns and counties honored at today’s event come from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. To date, approximately 80 million Americans live in a city, town or county participating in LMCTC.
“This groundbreaking milestone of reaching 500 communities brings us closer to the goal of providing every American with the opportunity to live in a community that prioritizes the health and well-being of their residents,” said National League of Cities President Ralph Becker, mayor, Salt Lake City, Utah. “These local policymakers, representing small and large communities from across the country, are transforming their communities into healthier places.”
For more information on the achievements by LMCTC communities, visit www.healthycommunitieshealthyfuture.org/spotlights/.