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Ask any Bronx politician and they will tell you the health of their constituents is at the very top of their list of issues that need to be addressed. The statistics are dire: The Bronx has led city rates for obesity, diabetes and asthma for years.
A new study by the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene found that the Bronx's 10457 zipcode has the highest number of people with two sexually transmitted diseases in the city.
It is reports like that that motivated Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz and Sen. Gustavo Rivera to team up to create The Bronx Change Attitudes Now Health Initiative focused on getting residents exercising, eating right, and participating in free health screenings.
The intiative was started in July 2011 in response to a report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that found the Bronx to be the unhealthiest county in New York State. The same study found that the Bronx is still the unhealthiest county in the state this year.
This year the kickoff event for will be held at Crotona Park from 12 to 4 p.m. tomorrow. The event will now features STD testing along with other health testing, exercise classes, martial arts demonstrations and face painting for the kids.
Bronx state Sen. Gustavo Rivera has made it clear he favors Council Speaker Christine Quinn as the next mayor. Now he's endorsing her proposal to change the legal age to buy cigarettes to 21 from 18.
"I strongly support any effort, such as raising the minimum age to buy tobacco, that will reduce our youth's access to these products and prevent them from becoming lifetime consumers, " Rivera said in a statement.
Rivera was the first state legislator to endorse in the mayoral race when he announced his support for Quinn earlier this month.
Quinn, the frontrunner for the Democratic mayoral nomination, introduced her anti-tobacco legislation this week.
Rivera's saw his own anti-tobacco legislation, which banned smoking within 100 feet of all school entrances, passed in 2012.