Goleta Councilor Kyle Richards joins the Complete Streets Champions Institute

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Source: City of Goleta

In support of the Active People, Healthy Nation℠ initiative, Smart Growth America (SGA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity announced that Goleta City Councilman Kyle Richards will be part the initiative will be third class of the Champions Institute. The program was created to help motivated local elected officials to fairly define, design, build and evaluate Complete Streets in their communities. Councilor Richards was selected as one of many locally elected officials from across the United States (and its territories).

“We are pleased to welcome Councilor Kyle Richards to the Champions Institute’s third class,” said John Robert Smith, senior policy advisor at Smart Growth America and 16-year mayor of Meridian, Mississippi. “As we emerge from the confines of the pandemic, Councilman Richards’ commitment to a healthier and more connected hometown has been compelling. From his position as a council member, envisioning a more accessible, equitable, and economically viable community for all residents is a winning strategy.”

Councilor Kyle Richards said: “I am honored to have been selected for this opportunity and I hope to use what I am learning to make Goleta a safer place for all forms of active transport.”

Over the next nine months, Champions Institute attendees will engage in virtual learning sessions that will make them experts in equality-based principles and train them in the fundamental steps required to achieve Complete Streets in their community, from idea to Implementation. Participants will also learn best practices and challenges from across the country as they explore different strategies in a collaborative and supportive peer learning environment.

Local leaders selected for the Champions Institute have the opportunity to learn from a wide range of national experts and former local elected officials in the fields of public health, policy, street design and project implementation. Upon completion of the program, Champions will be experts in driving community reforms to create safer roads for all users, including pedestrians, cyclists, riders and motorists. The champions will stand ready to support plans, policies and funding that advance CDC’s Active People, Healthy Nation℠ initiative to expand activity-friendly routes to everyday destinations in their communities.

After participants complete their work at the Champions Institute, SGA will continue to support local champions as they serve their communities. Newly formed Complete Streets Champions will act as emissaries for other local leaders, sharing their expertise and ideas to build a network of more Complete Streets Champions across the country who will build and expand activity-friendly routes to everyday destinations across the country.

This program is funded through a collaborative agreement with the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This program aims to support the Active People, Healthy Nation initiative by developing more activity-friendly routes to everyday destinations.

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Smart Growth America envisions a country where no matter where you live or who you are, you can enjoy life in a healthy, prosperous, and resilient place. We empower communities through technical assistance, advocacy and thought leadership to realize our vision of livable places, healthy people and shared prosperity. For more information visit www.smartgrowthamerica.org.

The Active People, Healthy Nation℠ Initiative is a national initiative led by CDC to help 27 million Americans become more physically active by 2027. More physical activity can improve health and quality of life and reduce healthcare costs. These improvements can help reduce the risk of at least 20 chronic diseases and conditions and effectively treat many of these conditions. Other potential benefits include better school performance and improved military readiness. Building active and walkable communities can help support local economies, lead to less air pollution, and create more cohesive communities. Learn more here.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Diet, Physical Activity and Obesity protects the health of Americans at every stage of life by promoting regular physical activity, good nutrition and a healthy weight. Through support from state and local partners, they provide data, programs that work, and practical tools so Americans have the best possible chance to lead healthier lives and avoid chronic disease.

Councilor Kyle Richards

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