FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 5th, 2023
John M. Clymer
The nonpartisan organization of 1,400 mayors unanimously passed a resolution urging “mayors to engage members of their community to be more physically active to improve mental health and strengthen individual and community resilience, using programs such as Move with the Mayor™.” Passing the resolution makes it USCM policy. The mayors voted at USCM’s 91st Annual Meeting in Columbus.
Mayor Martha Guerrero of West Sacramento, Calif., sponsored the resolution. Mayor Guerrero, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and member of USCM’s Children, Health, and Human Services Standing Committee, uses Move with the Mayor™ (MWTM) to involve community members in active living and to promote vaccination. Over 130 mayors use MWTM in their communities. It is a national initiative of the National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention, supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Mayors use MWTM to encourage active, healthy living and promote adult vaccinations through programs, policies, and infrastructure. Both the initiative and the USCM resolution emphasize the benefits of having healthier citizens, increasing physical activity, preventing illness, and supporting the overall well-being of individuals.
In addition to Mayor Guerrero, resolution cosponsors Mayor Rodney Craig of Hanover Park, Ill., Mayor Michelle Romero of Henderson, Nev., Mayor Corey Woods of Tempe, Ariz., and Mayor Steve Williams of Huntington, WV, use MWTM to create opportunities for residents to improve their mental and physical health. In May, Mayor Guerrero partnered with mental health professionals at a local health fair to increase awareness that physical activity improves mental health. Studies show a significantly lower risk of depression and anxiety among individuals who engage in regular physical activity. Just by exercising half of the recommended weekly amount, a person can lower their risk for depression by 18 percent.
This is not the first time the USCM has encouraged its members to use Move with the Mayor™. In 2022, USCM passed a resolution sponsored by Findlay, Ohio Mayor Christina Muryn, focused on using Move with the Mayor™ to strengthen individual and community resilience. The Move with the Mayor™ initiative has proven effective in helping mayors empower and protect their community members from health threats and improve cardiovascular health, mental health, and achieve health equity. Green Bay, Wisc., has helped City employees achieve higher physical activity rates and lower blood pressure and smoking rates than Wisconsin and U.S. rates using MWTM and a comprehensive employee health program.
The United States Conference of Mayors is a non-partisan organization representing cities with populations of 30,000 or more. With over 1,400 member cities across the country, each city is represented by its chief elected official, the mayor. The USCM advocates for the interests of cities and provides a platform for collaborative action and exchange of ideas.
The National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention is a nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The National Forum comprises over 100 national and international organizations from various sectors, including healthcare, public health, employer, faith, advocacy, academic, and policy organizations. It leads collaborative action to achieve health equity and optimize cardiovascular health and well-being throughout the lifespan.