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Remembering Congressman Jim Oberstar

by Anne S. on Thursday, May 15, 2014

See how Congressman Jim Oberstar impacted Safe Routes To School, as he is remembered in an article posted today on www.preventobesity.net.

(photo credits: left - minnpost.com, bottom right - bikeportland.org)

Childhood obesity advocates are joining lawmakers in mourning former Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.), who championed Safe Routes to School and a variety of cycling, hiking and walking programs during his 17 terms in Congress. Oberstar died in his sleep on May 3.

Known as the "Father of Safe Routes to School," Oberstar spent decades supporting efforts to make it easier and safer for people, especially children, to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives. In 1991, he played a critical role in ensuring that a federal transportation bill included funding for walking and bicycling. In 2005, he authored and cosponsored the SAFETEA-LU Act, a $295 billion transportation infrastructure measure that included funding to launch Safe Routes to School on a national scale.

"There are now more than 14,000 schools in all 50 states nationwide benefitting from the federal Safe Routes to School program, and we have the late Congressman Oberstar to thank and honor," wrote Deb Hubsmith, director of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, in a blog post remembering the congressman. "In speeches in recent years Mr. Oberstar talked about Safe Routes to School as one of the most important programs he authorized in Congress and one of the programs he is proudest of. We will all miss Congressman Oberstar terribly; the Safe Routes to School National Partnership is dedicated to ensuring that his legacy for Safe Routes to School, healthy transportation and healthy kids will live on." Continue reading here

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