Edinburg Achieves Bronze Level in National Initiative for Physically Active Communities

From Staff Reports

Edinburg, TX, Dec. 18, 2023 — Mayor Ramiro Garza Jr. announced Edinburg’s attainment of the bronze level in the Step It Up! Success Roadmap, marking the successful completion of the 2023 Move with the Mayor (MWTM) Fall Challenge. This initiative is part of a nationwide campaign, driven by the National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention (National Forum), aimed at fostering physically active communities.

Move with the Mayor (R) (MWTM) is a prominent national project featuring spring and fall fitness challenges, uniting communities across America in a mission to enhance movement, boost health, and cultivate a love for physical activity.

The Fall Challenge involves the completion of a Step It Up! Success Roadmap, inspired by the U.S. Surgeon General’s call to action, which advocates for walking and walkable communities. During the challenge, participating mayors, including Mayor Garza, submit a comprehensive year-in-review detailing the city’s healthy lifestyle policies and programs to the National Forum.

The Roadmap serves as a tool for cities to identify opportunities to strengthen policies and programs supporting physical activity. It evaluates the implementation of Community Guide recommendations based on evidence-based findings from the Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF). Cities earn points based on their achievements in three focus areas:

Making physical activity a city priority

Designing activity-friendly communities for safe and accessible physical activity

Promoting programs and policies supporting physical activity in various aspects of community life

The National Forum utilizes the Roadmap to showcase successes and enhance future programming for participating cities.

In the Fall Challenge, thirty cities nationwide, including Edinburg, participated, collectively hosting over 60 events. Edinburg’s popular activities included the “Walk with the Mayor,” the “9/11 Remembrance Walk/Run,” and the “Mayor’s Art Walk” during SaludArte hosted by Edinburg Cultural Arts.

Mayor Garza expressed, “Working to improve programs and policies around the physical, mental, and overall health of our Edinburg residents is a top priority. Completing this Roadmap has been a great way for our city departments to review the accomplishments over the year, assess areas of improvement, and demonstrate our commitment to progress.”

John M. Clymer, executive director of the National Forum, commended Mayor Garza and the City of Edinburg for their active participation, stating, “They are a testament to the fact that with unity, commitment, and leadership, it is possible to inspire active living on a community-wide scale. It’s truly inspiring to witness how they have harnessed the Move with the Mayor initiative to foster an environment of wellness and implement proven strategies to improve well-being.”