There are so many reasons to vote Yes on San Francisco’s Proposition E, the so called “soda tax”, that it is hard to choose just five. The name “soda tax” oversimplifies a measure that would address the full range of sugary beverages with no nutritional value – everything from energy drinks to “juices” that are mostly high fructose corn syrup and water. In the same way, thinking about Prop E as just a means of raising the price of the harmful drinks that can lead directly to diabetes and metabolic syndrome oversimplifies the benefits to every SF citizen of passing this tax. And the money raised is guaranteed to go to pay for these benefits.
Here are 5 great reasons to vote Yes on E:
No.5 Help kids learn to love foods that love them back! Revenue from the soda tax will help fund cooking classes, school gardens, and nutrition education in city schools. Katie Olender’s excellent article explains why these are vital in helping to raise healthy eaters.
No.4 Quench your thirst for free! Have you started carrying a refillable water bottle, but have trouble finding places to refill? Soda tax money will pay for more water bottle filling stations and drinking fountains all across the city. Heather Knight provides the exact breakdown of soda tax revenue spending in this article. Have I mentioned that the tax revenue is guaranteed by law to be spent in the manner Knight outlines?
No.3 It’s about equity! Soda tax dollars will also pay for quality physical education programs in every city school. Christina Goette’s sharp analysis of this situation makes clear how current funding levels shortchange some children. Plus, some soda tax money will pay for more organized sports and athletic programs for everyone at SF’s many public parks and recreation centers.
No.2 Vote your pocketbook! Diseases caused by sugary drinks are costing us all, whether we are sick or not. Diabetes and obesity cost the taxpayers of San Francisco between $748-945 million dollars annually, with $48-61 million of that directly attributable to sugary drink consumption, according to the official report prepared for the SF Board of Supervisor’s by the city’s Budget and Legislative Analyst.
No.1 A healthy city is a happy city! Prop E revenue will fund better access to healthy food, increased dental health services and chronic disease prevention in low income neighborhoods, and more nutrition education for everyone to help us all take personal responsibility for making smarter, better informed choices about what we eat and drink.
No matter where in SF you live, no matter what your income level is, whether you have kids or you don’t, there is something in Prop E to help every SF resident live a longer and healthier life, guaranteed. Choose health SF – vote Yes on Proposition E!
Read more on soda taxes and Proposition E:
Soda Tax Myths: The Arkansas Argument
Soda Tax Myths: Soda Taxes Distract from Real Issues
Truth an Early Casualty in SF’s Soda Tax Fight
Soda Tax Myths: Are Beverages Being Unfairly Targeted?
Soda Tax Myths: Do Soda Taxes Reduce Obesity Rates?
Can Big Soda’s Statistics Be Trusted?
Soda Tax Myths: Does Big Soda Support Free Choice?
NY Soda Tax Advocate’s Advice for SF and Berkeley
Heartless Big Soda Terrifies Mom and Pop Businesses
Soda Tax Myths: Big Soda Says It’s Your Fault If You’re Fat
Soda Tax Myths: Do All Foods Really Fit in a Healthy Diet?
An RD Explains Why All Foods Don’t Fit in a Healthy Diet: Andy Bellatti
Soda tax myths: Will soda taxes really cost consumers more?
Soda tax myths: Is a new tax “the last thing” Berkeley needs?
Dana Woldow has been a school food advocate since 2002 and shares what she has learned at PEACHSF.org. Follow her on Twitter @nestwife, or read more than 140 characters of her writing in her complete archive.
Soda Tax/Food Politics