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To celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Let’s Move Campaign, First Lady Michelle Obama traveled to Atlanta to visit elementary schools and to address a large and enthusiastic crowd (which included Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed) gathered at North Point Community Church. The mission of the Let’s Move Campaign is simple: raise a healthier generation of kids. The campaign focuses on increasing physical activity and on improving the nutritional quality of food that kids eat.

The First Lady mentioned how national, state, and local policies can encourage healthier living among kids. She specifically referred to the provision in the Affordable Care Act that now allows kids to access free preventive care screenings under their insurance plans. She likewise talked about initiatives to bring salad bars into school cafeterias.

But what really seemed to resonate with those in the crowd was when she acknowledged how hard it is as a mother to make sure that her kids eat healthy and lead active lives. She commented on how sometimes it’s easier to allow kids to sit in front of the tv for a couple of hours to keep them preoccupied, or how tiresome it gets to negotiate with her kids day after day to try to get them to eat healthy come-cooked food instead of the fast food that they really want to eat. She recognized that it’s easy to say that we want our kids to be healthy, but it takes a high level of commitment to see that they are.

One charge that she made to all adults in attendance was that we need to set the example for the kids in our lives.  We need to eat healthier.  We need to be active.   For tips on how, visit the Let’s Move website.  After all, kids aren’t the only ones who should get to run around and play!

Joann Yoon, Assoc. Policy Director for Child Health

Voices for Georgia’s Children

Georgia owes the Federal Unemployment Account about $620 million in loans taken out to pay unemployment benefits during the economic downturn. Under current regulations, states will be required to repay these federal loans, plus 4% interest. With double-digit unemployment figures, expectations are that Georgia borrowing will accelerate through the first quarter of this year. Labor Commissioner Mark Butler predicted it could reach $820 million in April. Georgia has the 16th highest loan balance nationally and the fifth highest among southern states behind North Carolina, Florida, South Carolina and Kentucky.

Where will the money come from to repay this debt? Higher unemployment taxes? Fewer unemployment benefits? Cuts to social services? An amount of this magnitude combined with Georgia’s existing and significant revenue burden would most likely affect children in struggling families.

President Obama is proposing to give states a two-year delay before automatic unemployment tax increases would hit employers, and before states would have to start paying interest on the loans. Perhaps by then, more people will be working and more families will be functioning at an economically stable level.

Learn more about the President’s Proposal by clicking here.

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