What a great day for the Western States Affiliate. Our team of volunteers and staff have worked tirelessly for the last several months to support several ballot initiatives that will improve the health and wellness of our communities. I am happy to share that we were overwhelmingly successful!
Here is a summary of some of our initial results:
- Proposition 56 in California: Voters put California’s health and wellness first yesterday by overwhelmingly supporting Prop 56, which will raise the tax on tobacco products by $2 per pack.
Passage of this very important proposition will reduce the number of youth who become addicted to tobacco, increase the number of people who are able to quit smoking, and lessen the tragic and costly burden of death and disease that our state has borne for too long. The impact of their “Yes on 56” vote will be felt for generations.
- Sugary Drinks in Northern California: On a day of unprecedented moves, three Bay Area cities voted to put the health of children and family’s first.
This is how it broke out:
Albany #YesOnO1: 70.67%
San Francisco #YesOnV: 61.87%
Oakland #YesOnHH: 60.75%
It is estimated that the health of nearly 200,000 children will improve with the passage of these measures. If we add Berkeley (the first city in the nation to pass a sugary drinks tax) into the mix, that number rises to nearly 250,000 lives positively impacted. This number doesn’t include those adults living with Type 2 diabetes and other chronic conditions associated with overconsumption of sugary drinks.
- Measure M in Los Angeles: Measure M, will use a half-cent sales tax increase to improve transportation and mobility options in LA County. We believe this measure will improve the health of residents by making it easier for people to walk, ride a bike and be active. With voters passing Measure M, we are on track to achieving the goal of transforming LA County into a community where the healthy choice to be active every day is the easy choice for all, regardless of where you live.
Measure M 69%
Studies have shown that people who live in walkable neighborhoods generally get more physical activity each week and have a lower risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and other diseases, compared with those who live in communities that are less walkable.
- Ballot Question 5 in Las Vegas: Ballot Question 5 will generate significant revenue for walking and biking projects to help create a heart-healthier community.
Ballot 5 58%
This funding will help create a Culture of Health — a community where the healthy choice to be active every day is available to all Las Vegans. Question 5 will improve Clark County’s walkability and bike-ability by increasing access to bike lanes, repaving and building new sidewalks to make walking the neighborhood safer, planting more street trees, upgrading traffic signals and street lighting, and other projects in the Cities of North Las Vegas and Las Vegas.
As you know, changing public policy is key to driving us to our 2020 impact goal to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent, while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent.
To all of our volunteer advocates: from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for the coalition meetings you attended, the calls you made, the social media posts you shared and the conversations that you had on our behalf. Thank you for helping us drive so many important policies to victory. Thank you for being a passionate, caring and thoughtful advocate. Your actions will save lives!