Healthy Portland Initiative
As a public servant, Jim Cohen established a task force that developed recommendations to improve public health in Portland.
The entries below highlight Jim's and the task force's efforts to promote healthy lifestyles in Portland:
- The task force formalized a bike rack policy that led to a rapid growth in number of bike racks through the city, and a new ordinance requiring bike parking on certain new construction.
- It developed a plan to provide water fountains in each school cafeteria within the City.
- It established a "Walk and Talk with the Mayor' program to promote transparent government and healthy lifestyles.
- The task force developed a plan for a new city ordinance banning smoking in outdoor cafes, which Portland passed, becoming the first community in Maine to adopt such a law. A year later, the State of Maine adopted a similar law statewide.
- In 2008, Jim received the Ruth Shaper Award from the Maine Public Health Association for his efforts related to public health, particularly with regard to the smoking law.
Jim currently serves on the steering committee of the City's Communities Putting Prevention to Work program, which was an ARRA funded public health initiative.