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Shoreview recognized for tobacco restriction and health promotion efforts
Longtime Shoreview resident Ady Wickstrom may have retired from a two-decade stint on the Shoreview City Council at the end of last year, but she's not necessarily done representing the community after her 20 years of efforts and achievements as a council member.
A coalition of 50 organizations working to prevent young people in the state from smoking — collectively called Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation — honored the city of Shoreview with the “Inspiring Bold Action” award at the 2017 Minnesota Tobacco Control Conference on Jan. 24, and Wickstrom was there to pick up the award on behalf of the city.
The award is meant to recognize “bold efforts to protect future generations by restricting the sale of flavored tobacco products” in cities.
“Shoreview has a long history of leadership in tobacco prevention, including their early efforts to prohibit the sale of tobacco in vending machines and create tobacco-free parks,” said Katie Engman, program director of the Association of Nonsmokers-Minnesota.
Engman, who presented Wickstrom with the award at the recognition ceremony, praised Shoreview for its continued efforts.
“Now with the passage of the flavored tobacco ordinance, Shoreview has once again stepped forward to protect and promote the health of its young people,” Engman said.
Wickstrom played a crucial role in the efforts of creating the city’s tobacco ordinances and was recognized accordingly. She was also asked by Mayor Sandy Martin to share the news at the council’s Feb. 6 meeting.
“This was always your favorite event anyway,” Martin joked to Wickstrom, to which Wickstrom agreed.
“There were only three cities that were given the ‘Inspiring Bold Action’ award at the Minnesota Tobacco Control Conference,” Wickstrom said to a packed city council chambers. “Minneapolis and St. Paul were the other two cities. So we are the first smaller city in the state to get it,” she noted.
According to a statement released by Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation, restricting access to candy- and fruit-infused tobacco products can protect children from using tobacco, “and prevent a lifetime of addiction and disease from smoking.”
Wickstrom, who promoted those restrictions, served on the council for 20 years and decided last year that it was time to wrap up her civic work and turn to a new chapter: retirement.
Technically, Wickstrom, 65, says she retired from her professional career back in 2010, after spending several decades working as a systems programmer at Deluxe Corporation in Shoreview, then nearby at Fair Isaac Corporation, and more recently at the League of Women Voters of Minnesota.
In a past interview, council member Terry Quigley said Wickstrom’s success on the council was due to a combination of being prepared, willing and interested.
“Ady’s council performance has benefited from her intense study of each city issue, her interest and participation in a variety of government organizations and a focus on water, environment and governance,” Quigley said. “The council will miss Ady’s input.”
According to Quigley, Wickstrom’s opinions were “always well-researched and relevant, and never contentious.”
Jesse Poole can be reached at email@example.com or at 651-748-7815.