Home Articles ‘From The Ground Up’ Boca’s Andy Thomson Earns Recognition For ‘Run The...

‘From The Ground Up’ Boca’s Andy Thomson Earns Recognition For ‘Run The City’ Initiative

Councilmember Andy Thomson made it his personal mission to run the 475 miles of Boca Raton and get to know the city “from the ground up” in an initiative called Run the City.

On April 5, Palm Beach County Mayor Robert Weinroth recognized Thomson and his effort to clean up the city with a Certificate of Recognition from the Palm Beach Board of County Commissioners.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Thomson saw an accumulation of personal protective equipment that had been improperly disposed of on the streets of Boca Raton, posing potential health risks for children, adults and animals. Thomson also noticed trip hazards that posed public safety risks, which catapulted his mission further.

As Thomson gained momentum, civic groups across the city caught wind of Run the City and supported his efforts, running the streets of Boca Raton with trash bags, cleaning up litter and identifying areas inundated with potholes or broken sidewalks. 

In 2021, Thomson said Run the City has collected 1,300 pounds of litter and has identified 325 different safety hazards from the 475 miles that encompass Boca Raton.

“We also identified 325 different safety improvements — broken sidewalks, missing crosswalks, potholes — stuff that may not seem like a big deal. But if you’re in a wheelchair, or if your children are learning to ride a bike for the first time, and I have five of them, those broken sidewalks can be a big deal,” Thomson told the meeting.   

Weinroth presented Thomson with a Certificate of Recognition for starting this program and the growth in numbers it has attracted since its inception. 

“(Thomson) made it his mission to go through every street, making sure the city is looking the way we want it to,” Weinroth said during the meeting. “His program has been embraced by a lot of civic groups in our city and it’s great to see the number of people who come out to join you Andy and I just wanted to recognize you today for that effort.”­

Thomson was elected to the Boca Rota City Council in August of 2018. He currently serves as the vice-chair of the Boca Raton Community Redevelopment Agency that governs Boca’s downtown. He also serves on the governing board of Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency.

In 2020, Thomson was chosen to be part of the inaugural Active People, Healthy Nation Champions Institute by Smart Growth America and the U.S. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention to help develop Complete Streets in Boca Raton.

To follow Thomson’s journey and see updated collection numbers, visit https://www.andythomson.com/run-the-city/.

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