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Letter: How the soda industry in subverting our democratic process

July 9, 2018

The Mercury News,

Jennifer Wilmore,

July 5, 2018-

Re: “Gov. Brown signs 12-year soda tax ban” (, June 28) and “How the majority of Californians feel about soda tax is clear” (Letters to the Editor, June 29): Local representation is precisely what was bartered away to boost a private industry’s profits. Residents’ ability to pass laws in their cities and counties to protect their health is one of their most powerful tools. Soda companies demanded that power be given over to them as a ransom payment for a ballot initiative they themselves designed to be so broad that it would have decimated basic services for town and cities.

Californians want to tax sugary drinks; that’s why they are passing the taxes. The soda industry knows it can’t win the battle of ideas in a fair fight based on the evidence, so it’s resorted to subverting the democratic process in service of its bottom line. If Californians want to limit taxation, there are better ways. We should allow people to vote on local tax policies that are best for their communities, not let Big Business decide for them.

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