Invite Your Mayor to Your Event

Los Angeles mayor greets students at Walk to School Day.

Mayor Eric Garcetti greets students on Walk to School Day in Los Angeles.

 

Maybe your mayor has been involved in Walk to School Day in the past or perhaps not. Either way, we hope you’ll invite your mayor to be part of your 2018 Walk to School Day. There’s nothing like taking a walk to give a mayor or other community leader the sense of the opportunities that walking can provide and any changes that need to happen to make it possible for more children and families to safely travel to school and other destinations by walking or bicycling.

Mayors have been an important part of many of the 50,000 Walk to School Day events held since it began in 1997 when two mayors, Chicago Mayor Daley and Los Angeles Mayor Riordan, led the first events.  Inviting mayors not only helps recognize their role in events over the years but takes advantage of growing interest in community leader-led traffic safety improvements.

Ready to invite your mayor?

See our template invitation letter, ideas for talking points for your mayor and sample Walk to School Day Proclamation

Find more options for what your mayor might commit to doing and the Mayors’ Statement on Safe Walking and Bicycling for Youth on the Vision Zero for Youth website.

Your mayor’s role in the event

As you plan your event, consider when the mayor might speak. For a group that walks together from a single location, the mayor might help kick off the walk. Maybe it makes more sense for the mayor to help congratulate students and families as they arrive at the school and then address the group.

Sometimes inspiration comes from learning about what other communities have done. In 2016, Mayor Lorenz in Powell, Ohio, issued a proclamation emphasizing the importance of the event to his community, and Mayor Hartwell in Madison Heights, Mich., announced a public art competition that promotes biking in the city’s downtown district. Other mayors showcased their talents like Mayor Blackburn in Hood River, Ore. who strummed the banjo while leading a walk to a local elementary school.

Inviting the media is an important way to build excitement and give visibility to your mayor’s commitment to taking action.

Read more on how events like Walk and Bike to School Day can spark change in communities.