Newark, NJ – Mayor Cory A. Booker, the Newark Municipal Council, Deputy Mayor of Neighborhood Engagement Margarita Muñiz, Acting Director of the Department of Child and Family Well-Being L’Tanya Williamson, the New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids, members of the Newark Youth Policy Board, the Let’s Move! Newark Council, Rutgers T.E.E.M. Gateway and other community partners announced the launch of the Let’s Move! Newark campaign at a press conference on October 20, 2010 at City Hall.
The program aims to increase physical activity and healthier eating choices for children but also encourages the participation of adults around them. "There's a wonderful saying by James Baldwin, " said Mayor Booker. "'Children have never been good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.' We are going to set the model and set the way."
Rutgers T.E.E.M. Gateway is facilitating the outreach and education components of the campaign. T.E.E.M. Gateway staff and Director, Kenneth M. Karamichael, chair of the childhood obesity/health committee of the Newark Youth Policy Board, helped coordinate the press conference.
"We're asking the entire community to join the mayor and to join the city to pledge a healthier lifestyle," Karamichael said. "It's about changing the way you think about eating, changing the way you think about moving, going outdoors more often and really engaging yourself in the community."
TEEM Gateway has developed the www.letsmovenewark.com website, which includes a pledge toward a healthier lifestyle that all participants andyouth are encouraged to sign. T.E.E.M. Gateway also created a public service announcement video (see below) in support of the Mayor’s campaign.
Let’s Move! Newark was established by Mayor Booker as a result of the drastic increase in the occurrence of childhood obesity in children residing in the City of Newark. Working with existing pertinent data, studies, and reports to accurately identify and address a variety of precursors to childhood obesity, the City aims to significantly reduce the occurrence of childhood obesity in the City of Newark. The program is being overseen by the Newark Youth Policy Board and the Let’s Move! Newark Council.
Let’s Move! Newark is part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! National Campaign, aimed at reducing national childhood obesity within a generation.