What is Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC)?
Launched in 2010, LMCTC is part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s comprehensive Let’s Move! initiative, which is dedicated to reversing the childhood obesity epidemic within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams. LMCTC helps local elected officials develop long-term, sustainable and holistic strategies to promote improved nutrition and increased physical activity in their communities. LMCTC has five goals, with bronze, silver and gold benchmarks, that are designed to promote sustainable strategies that will directly impact the health of local leaders’ constituents. Participating communities are awarded bronze, silver and gold medals for achieving specific benchmarks pertaining to each goal.
Is there a one-pager available that summarizes LMCTC?
Please click here to download a one-pager describing the Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties initiative.
What has changed since the initiative launched in 2010?
In 2010, the focus of LMCTC was engaging and educating local elected officials on the problem of childhood obesity and actions they can take to address childhood obesity. Now the initiative calls on mayors, city council members, county commissioners and other local elected officials to commit to specific action–the five LMCTC goals. These goals were developed to better unify the activities of cities, towns and counties around the country doing this work and to guide the National League of Cities and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in their technical support provided to participating sites. Together we can significantly impact childhood obesity with local elected officials committed to these five specific goals.
As a community member or local partner, how do I find out which local elected official is representing my city, town or county?
Visit the profile page for your city, town or county from the Directory of LMCTC Sites.
Why isn’t my city, town or county listed?
If your city, town or county is not listed, it could mean that no local elected official has signed up your community to be an LMCTC site. You are encouraged to connect with your mayor, city council members, county executive, county commissioners or other local elected officials to see if they are interested in joining LMCTC.
If a local elected official (or designee) from your city, town or county has signed up, but your city, town or county is still not listed on this website, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What role does the National League of Cities (NLC) play in addressing childhood obesity?
NLC is an independent, non-partisan organization dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, villages and towns, representing more than 218 million Americans.
Through its Institute for Youth, Education, and Families (YEF Institute), NLC has developed unique capacity to engage local elected officials across the nation in efforts to improve the health and development of children and youth. Since 2005, NLC has supported municipal leadership to prevent childhood obesity through site-level technical assistance, opportunities for peer learning and exchange, and dissemination of promising practices. The breadth and depth of NLC’s efforts and strategic investments in this area provide a foundation to support local elected officials in developing and spreading promising local practices. Learn more about NLC’s work related to healthy communities.
Signing Up for Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC)
How do I, as a local elected official, sign up to be a Let's Move! City, Town or County?
Step #1: As a local elected official (or his or her designee), you can fill out the short sign up form from the Get Started page.
We encourage you to identify a city or county staff person on the sign up form who will be the main point of contact for your Let’s Move! efforts. This individual might be a member of your staff, or an official in your municipal/county health department or parks and recreation department.
Step #2: Once your sign up has been received, National League of Cities verifies that there is a local elected official involved and sends a welcome email to the local elected official and staff point of contact (if designated), including information asking you to submit the medal status survey. The medal status survey is your first step after signing up for LMCTC. It allows you to assess your progress to date (relative to the medal benchmarks) and identify next steps.
What if I am not a local elected official, and I want to get involved in LMCTC?
Connect with your mayor, city councilmembers, county executive, county commissioners or other local elected officials to see if they are interested in committing to the initiative. This LMCTC One-Pager may be helpful in educating them about the initiative.
Additionally, you can become involved in the more comprehensive Let’s Move! initiative by checking out the other opportunities at www.LetsMove.gov.
Do cities and towns need to pay membership fees to the National League of Cities (or other fees) to participate?
There are no costs associated with joining the initiative. Although National League of Cities (NLC) is a membership organization and collects dues from its members, cities and towns are not required to pay membership dues nor be a member of NLC to participate in Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties.
If my city, town or county signed up prior to July 2012, do I need to sign up again?
Yes, if a city, town or county previously signed up to participate in Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties site prior to July 2012, they need to indicate their willingness to commit to the five LMCTC goals (which did not exist prior to July 2012) by signing up once again.
The Five LMCTC Goals
What are the five LMCTC goals?
To provide children with a healthier start, local elected officials commit to helping early care and education program providers incorporate best practices for nutrition, physical activity and screen time into their programs.
To empower parents and caregivers, local elected officials commit to prominently displaying MyPlate in all municipally- or county-owned or operated venues that offer or sell food/beverages.
To provide healthy food to children and youth, local elected officials commit to expanding access to meal programs before, during and after the school day, and/or over the summer months.
To improve access to healthy, affordable foods, local elected officials commit to implementing healthy and sustainable food service guidelines that are aligned with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans in all municipally- or county-owned or operated venues that offer or sell food/beverages.
To increase physical activity, local elected officials commit to mapping local playspaces, completing a needs assessment, developing an action plan and launching a minimum of three recommended policies, programs or initiatives.
How were the five LMCTC goals selected?
In response to the need expressed by local elected officials for clear actions to address childhood obesity, federal and nongovernmental experts developed the five LMCTC goals. The criteria for these goals included that they are evidence-informed, actionable by a local elected official, measurable, achievable and do not require substantial resources. Additionally, each goal aligns with a pillar of Let’s Move! and recommendations from the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity Report to the President. Local elected officials also provided feedback on the achievability of the LMCTC goals with appropriate technical assistance.
As LMCTC continues and communities achieve success, even more challenging “beyond gold” activities and benchmarks will be added to ultimately meet the Let’s Move! goal of reversing the childhood obesity epidemic in a generation.
My city, town or county has done a lot to prevent childhood obesity, but the work is not associated with the LMCTC goals. What can I do?
National League of Cities (NLC) offers opportunities for you to share promising local efforts to address policies and environmental factors that reduce childhood obesity rates. Please share your story with us by sending an email to email@example.com.
Furthermore, local elected officials can benefit from participating in NLC-supported webinars, conference calls and workshops that offer peer learning opportunities and feature promising practices from across the country. Please note, in order to be featured as an LMCTC site on the website, you must be willing to commit to the five LMCTC goals.
Once I have signed up and committed to the goals, now what?
After you have signed up for LMCTC, your first step is to fill out and submit your medal status survey. Submitting this survey will give you a sense of your starting point on the five LMCTC goals and will help you identify next steps for action and areas where technical assistance might be needed. National League of Cities uses information submitted through your survey to determine what medals you should be awarded.
Your municipality’s/county’s unique survey link was provided in your LMCTC confirmation and welcome emails. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need the link resent. Using the medal status survey template, you can also submit the survey by email to email@example.com.
After I submit my initial medal status survey, what is my next step for moving ahead on the LMCTC goals?
After you submit a medal status survey response, you will receive an email confirmation indicating that your survey has been received. If National League of Cities has any questions regarding the information provided or additional information that is needed, you will be contacted. If you qualify for bronze, silver or gold medals in the five LMCTC goals, you will receive those medals by email at the end of the month.
Your next step is to set priorities for your efforts and design a plan for action or achieving the five LMCTC goals. Your HHS Let’s Move! Advisor is a valuable resource for you at this point in the process and can work with you to set priorities and provide guidance in designing a plan for moving forward to reach five gold medals.
What does the reporting for this initiative look like?
After signing up, you will indicate your starting point on the five LMCTC goals by submitting the medal status survey (the questions are tied to the goals and associated medals). National League of Cities will remind you to update this information on a quarterly basis; however, you only need to update your survey when you have made additional progress.
In order to earn a medal, you must update us of your progress using your survey link. You received your survey link in your confirmation email. If you have misplaced your link, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request the link.
There is no other required reporting for the initiative aside from the medal status survey.
What if I do not meet the benchmarks outlined in the initiative?
The Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC) initiative is designed specifically to help local elected officials succeed in reaching the five LMCTC goals. National League of Cities and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will do their best to help every participating city, town and county meet the gold-level benchmarks for each goal.
Resources and Technical Assistance
What technical assistance is provided to LMCTC participants?
National League of Cities (NLC) collaborates with other nonprofit organizations and federal government agencies to help local elected officials and city/county staff accomplish the LMCTC goals. NLC’s technical assistance includes coordinated access to subject matter experts, opportunities for peer learning, and customized assistance through webinars, conference calls and site visits, as appropriate.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the lead federal agency working on LMCTC. HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) has ten regional offices, each with a staff person, called an HHS Let’s Move! Advisor, who is available to assist you in completing the five goals of LMCTC. Contact your Let’s Move! Advisor.
Is funding available to support our LMCTC efforts?
Although there is no funding specifically dedicated to participating LMCTC sites, National League of Cities (NLC) and its partners disseminate information about opportunities to receive funding from other agencies and organizations that may be related to the LMCTC goals.
Many LMCTC sites have received funding or in-kind donations from local groups such as community foundations, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs, businesses, media outlets, community colleges and universities.
Where can I download the Let's Move! logo? What are the usage guidelines for the logo?
High-quality EPS and JPG versions of the Let’s Move! logo are available for your use. Please follow the guidelines for use.
Medal Awarding and Sharing Success
What happens when an LMCTC site earns a bronze, silver or gold medal?
Based on medal status survey updates received from LMCTC sites, National League of Cities (NLC) awards medals monthly to LMCTC sites that have reached benchmarks in the five LMCTC goals. The 25th of each month is the deadline for survey updates in order to be eligible for medals that month. NLC sends medal awards by email to the local elected official and designated point(s) of contact by the 30th of each month. Click here to view LMCTC sites that have achieved medals.
Will my community’s progress be visible to the public? For example, can people see which cities, towns and counties are meeting benchmarks?
Individual city, town and county profile pages publicly display an LMCTC site’s progress made on each goal. These pages enable local elected officials to share their accomplishments and learn how their peers have made progress. Medal status survey responses are not visible to the public.
How do I add content to my community profile page?
1. Click on your community’s name in the Directory of LMCTC Sites to access your profile page.
2. To add content, scroll down to the bottom right of your page and click where it says, “Are you the local elected official? Click here to update your page.”
3. In the window, enter your municipality’s unique alphanumeric code. This ten-digit code appears at the end of your unique survey link. If you’ve misplaced this code, send an email to email@example.com and request it be resent.
I have a success story to share. Where can I send it?
National League of Cities (NLC) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services collect success stories of LMCTC sites that are using the five goals to create healthy communities for their residents. These stories are featured on www.LetsMove.gov and www.HealthyCommunitiesHealthyFuture.org, in webinars and newsletters, as well as in speaking engagements by senior federal officials and NLC leadership.
Although there is no guarantee your success story will be highlighted, stories that focus on innovative practices used to accomplish the five LMCTC goals, unique partnerships and/or collaborations with other Let’s Move! sub-initiatives are welcomed and encouraged.
Submit your success story by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who is eligible to participate in LMCTC All-Stars?
Only LMCTC sites that have reached gold in all five LMCTC goal areas are eligible to participate. LMCTC Sites are NOT automatically enrolled in LMCTC All-Stars after they reach five gold medals. The city or county must submit the Sign Up Form to indicate their commitment to pursuing new strategies.
What are the All-Star Strategies and how were they selected?
LMCTC sites have expressed that they are interested in taking on more advanced and challenging activities as a next step after completing the five LMCTC goals. The All-Star Strategies are eight strategies identified for cities and counties to further their efforts so children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams. The eight All-Star Strategies can be accessed here. These strategies and associated recommended actions were developed through a review of scientific literature and discussions with city leaders, national nonprofits and federal partners.
How do cities and counties report which strategies and actions they are selecting?
After a city or county submits the LMCTC All-Stars Sign Up Form, they will receive the Strategies and Commitments Form, which is where they will indicate the four (of eight) strategies they are selecting, as well as the specific action they will take within the four selected strategies. NLC will review and approve these selected strategies and actions upon receipt of the Strategies and Commitments Form.
Can cities or counties “count” work previously done to complete four strategies?
A city or county must identify actions that will be new work for their city or county. However, the actions can include work that is currently at a planning stage. This requirement differs from the current five goals of LMCTC, in which a city or county is able to count previous work done.
Can a city or county change their selected strategies and actions over time if one of the strategies or actions proves to be infeasible?
Yes, if a city or county finds that they are unable to complete any of their selected strategies or actions for any reason, they may work with NLC to revise their Strategies and Commitment Form to include different strategies or actions.
How does a city or county report their progress?
Once a city or county believes they have fully completed the selected actions for one of their four strategy areas and is ready to declare that strategy completed, the city or county submits the Reporting Form. The Reporting Form asks for information about the specific work accomplished as well as for documentation that the actions have been completed. Once the Reporting Form has been submitted, NLC will review and decide if the work accomplished meets the criteria.
What technical assistance is available to help cities and counties complete the All-Star Strategies?
Technical assistance provided to cities and counties will include, at minimum, quarterly or biannual calls and check-ins, peer learning opportunities and consultation with subject matter experts. NLC is committed to helping cities and counties locate the resources needed to achieve four strategies, and become an LMCTC All-Star.
Have additional questions? Email us at email@example.com.