[Letter dated November 15, 2012].
Good morning Congressman Oberstar,
It was a pleasure to meet you at the Cook County Active Living Summit in Grand Marais - the person who spearheaded the Safe Routes to School program when it all began. Great work setting in motion a shift in habit about how kids (and parents who walk them there) get to school!
Thank you for leading the Walking School Bus yesterday morning in Grand Marais and for a wonderful presentation on “Love of Place”.
It was confirming to hear your comments about integrating health into transportation and other types of planning, which is a key component in the work I do, as well as that of others in attendance at yesterday’s summit, but a worthy one to be sure.
It was inspiring to hear how a single person can have such a huge impact on changing the direction of people’s thinking and actions, like what Bill Carlson did in Cambridge by creating a boardwalk for kids to safely get to school and what you did in Congress, by creating the Safe Routes to School program that positively encourages so many people to be physically active. I was also inspired by your quotes from Louis Mumford, “The City…is the cross roads of civilzation” and in the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “…go where there is no path and leave a trail”.
Thank you again for presenting at the Cook County Active Living Summit and being an inspiration to me in my bicycling advocacy work.
I look forward to continuing to share active living success stories from northern Minnesota, of how community champions lead change in their communities. I met so many of these local leaders at yesterday’s summit, who have great stories to tell and many more stories to be told as the work continues to progress.
Have a wonderful day!
Natalie Gille, Northern Minnesota Bicycle Friendly Community Program Manager