Council Member Sayers joins Champions Institute

Council Member Sayers joins Champions Institute
Posted on 08/24/2021
Council Member Julie Sayers in front of flag

In support of the Active People, Healthy Nation℠ Initiative, Smart Growth America and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have chosen Lenexa City Councilmember Julie Sayers to be part of the Champions Institute. 

Sayers is one of 21 local elected officials from across the United States selected for the program’s second year and the only person representing the Kansas City metropolitan area. The Champions Institute was created to help local elected officials equitably define, design, build and evaluate Complete Streets in their communities.

This is another step forward for Lenexa’s Complete Streets initiative. After a year-long study, the City Council accepted a Complete Streets Plan in 2019 to guide future infrastructure enhancements and capital improvement projects. Several of the study’s recommendations have already been implemented in Lenexa’s policies and infrastructure network, and more upgrades are planned for the coming years.

Other cities participating in the Champions Institute this year include Phoenix, Ariz.; Orchard Park, N.Y.; Pacific Grove, Calif.; Mesa, Ariz.; Stroudsburg, Pa.; and Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Complete Streets are a network of infrastructure – including a blend of roadways, trails, bike lanes and sidewalks – that create comfortable, safe, efficient connections for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users. These enhancements should fit a city’s unique needs and consider all potential users. Lenexa’s Complete Streets Plan has three key priorities: provide access and connectivity, improve safety and comfort, and encourage a culture of walking and biking. 

Over the next six months, Sayers and the other Champions Institute participants will attend virtual learning sessions designed to make them experts in equity-based principles and train them on steps to achieve Complete Streets. Participants will learn about best practices and challenges from across the country, as they grapple with different strategies in a collaborative and supportive peer-learning environment. Participants will hear from a broad array of national experts and former local elected officials in the areas of public health, policy, street design and project implementation. 

The program funded through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Nutrition, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity. This program is designed to support the Active People, Healthy Nation initiative through developing more activity-friendly routes to everyday destinations.

Published Aug. 24, 2021