Recently, New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services Commissioner Dr. Fred Jacobs invited the League to join together with other public and private associations to improve public health in communities all around our Garden State. The “Mayors Wellness Campaign” is an initiative of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute in partnership with the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University.
It is almost impossible to imagine the success of this effort without the active involvement of those who were elected and appointed to plan, improve and govern our neighborhoods. Our highest in the nation incidence of obesity among low-income children casts a bright light on the importance of local government decisions in addressing this issue.
For some of these kids a trip to a state park, the seashore or a nature center is a luxury they can only hope to enjoy as part of a school field trip, maybe—if they’re lucky—once a year. They need safe, clean places to walk and run and play and think about green and growing things—and they need for those places to be close at hand. They need these opportunities not only for healthier bodies, but to become happier souls with clearer minds.
Mayors, working together with their local health officers, school boards, community providers, religious and business leaders, and with interested and committed citizens and associations can make a huge difference in promoting active living and healthier lifestyles. With the advice of our state’s Department of Health and Senior Services and with some support from the state Legislature, our Mayors believe that New Jersey can become the national leader in the campaign for healthier, happier and more mentally alert citizens—both young and old.
We salute Dr. Jacobs for his vision and for his leadership. And we are honored to be a part of New Jersey’s Mayors Wellness Campaign.
Editorial from New Jersey
Municipalities, Volume 83, Number 1, January 2006