Promoting America Walks

Meet Mayor Gordon Petrie!


What’s your day job and how do you think your professional experience fits in with the mission of America Walks?  I am currently the mayor of a small southwest Idaho town, about 25 miles north and west of Boise, Idaho, called Emmett. My previous professional experience is as a trial lawyer, trial judge and as a US Army/Idaho Army National Guard commissioned officer. On the Army side, I have considerable knowledge of and experience with walking. On the mayoral side, I do as well. I am the current 3-time reigning champion of the southern Idaho Mayor/School “Walk Challenge” during the month of October, locally known as “Walktober.”  In 2015, my first crack at it, I walked 534 miles, more than doubling the record. In 2016 I walked 601 miles and in 2017, 650 miles. Simply put, I try to set the example for walking.   We need to get moving and walking is one of the best and least expensive ways to do so.

In a sentence or less, describe why walking matters to you. My wife and I raised two health professionals (family physician and physician assistant) who alerted me to the increase of our country’s body mass index and the serious chronic diseases resulting from it.

Name one thing anyone can do to make their community more walkable.  Obey the local ordinances requiring property owners to maintain the sidewalks abutting their property. Over 80% of the municipalities in the United States have these ordinances and the one thing that inhibits walking is having sidewalks in disrepair.

What’s your favorite place to walk? Around our beautiful main city park. It is exactly one-half mile to walk it. 

If you could go for a walk with any living person, who would it be? My mother. She lives 300 miles to the north of me.

To learn more about Mayor Petrie, read a Case Study on his experience as a Walking College Fellow or his announcement on joining the board of America Walks.