Guest Blogger: Erin Bennett, Idaho Government Relations Director
The Idaho Division of the AHA / ASA hosted the 6th Annual Youth Lobby Day, on Thursday, February 4, 2016. In partnership with Voices for Healthy Kids, the Idaho Walk Bike Alliance, the YMCA, and others, over 75 students spent the day at the Idaho Statehouse talking to Legislators about Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS).
At the Youth Lobby Day, students connected with almost half of the Legislature to share the importance of SRTS, and how health and safety measures can be incorporated into all communities. Legislators joined students on walking meetings, and learned how different infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects can impact opportunities to be physically active. Students were recognized on the House Floor by Legislators, and in the many committee meetings they attended throughout the day.
The impact from Youth Lobby Day carried over into National Wear Red Day on Friday, February 5th when Rep. Gestrin, a recent survivor of quadruple bypass, spoke on the floor about how important physical activity is to taking care of your heart. He complimented the students on their efforts, and encouraged support for Go Red activities and other efforts that can improve heart health.
Overall, the 6th Annual Youth Lobby Day was a success, and Legislators continue to talk about the SRTS program and the students they had the opportunity to meet. We will continue to work on SRTS programs throughout the year, to help improve the safety and access of walking and biking pathways in all communities.