Combatting and Preventing Preemption: A Strategic Action Model. Bare M, Zellers L, Sullivan PA; Pomeranz JL, Pertschuk M. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. March/April 2019;25:101–103. doi: 10.1097/PHH.0000000000000956.
Our research and practice identified 4 strategic activities to combat and ultimately discourage the introduction of preemption to preserve local control: (1) monitor and anticipate; (2) engage grassroots; (3) unify allies; and (4) utilize media advocacy [See figure above]. The model is circular to demonstrate that in order to successfully prevent and combat preemption, local advocates, nonprofits, practitioners, and other stakeholders should continuously engage in these 4 activities to counter preemption, maintain local control, and support changes in the political culture discouraging preemption. Tobacco control advocates have effectively used these 4 elements to counter and even repeal statewide preemption of local authority over smoke-free policies beginning in the late 1980’s.
State Preemption to Prevent Local Taxation of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages. Crosbie E, Schillinger D, Schmidt, L. JAMA Intern Med. Published online January 22, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.7770.
Taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages can reduce their consumption, generate revenues, and promote public health. However, the beverage industry is using a strategy called preemption that poses a serious threat to the ability of localities to levy such taxes… Since the 1980’s, the tobacco industry has successfully lobbied policymakers for state preemption of local initiatives restricting tobacco advertising and smoking in public places. Lessons learned from experiences with the tobacco industry can inform public health responses to the beverage industry’s advocacy for state preemption of taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages. [Emphasis added]
Sugar-sweetened beverage taxation in the USA, state preemption of local efforts (Letter). Pomeranz JL & Pertschuk M. Public Health Nutrition. 2019 Jan;22(1):190.
Public health nutrition stakeholders in the USA are at a disadvantage compared with their European counterparts because they must simultaneously advocate for SSB taxes while working to counter industry tactics including the use of preemption…
State Preemption of Food and Nutrition Policies and Litigation: Undermining Government’s Role in Public Health
Jennifer L. Pomeranz, JD, MPH, Leslie Zellers, JD, Michael Bare, MPH, Mark Pertschuk, JD. American Journal of Preventive Medicine (2019).
State preemption may hinder public health progress by impeding local food and nutrition policies and government-initiated litigation. Local governments are in a prime position to address fundamental concerns, such as reduction of health disparities, the provision of nutrition information, access to healthy food, and the cost of unhealthy food.
“State Preemption: Threat to Democracy, Essential Regulation, and Public Health” Jennifer L. Pomeranz, JD, MPH, Leslie Zellers, JD, Michael Bare, MPH, Patricia A. Sullivan, Mark Pertschuk, JD. American Journal of Public Health (February 2019, Vol 109, No. 2).
Modern preemption represents the convergence of industry-sponsored deregulation and an undermining of local democracy… State legislatures have gone so far as to eliminate their own ability to act on a wide range of issues while preempting local control over these same issues. States also have enacted punitive preemptive measures [“super-preemption”] under which local governments and officials can be subject to civil and even criminal penalties for adopting legislation that may be contrary to state law.
“Key Drivers of State Preemption of Food, Nutrition, and Agriculture Policy: A Thematic Content Analysis of Public Testimony” Jennifer L. Pomeranz, JD, MPH and Mark Pertschuk, JD. American Journal of Health Promotion (2019).
This study provides new evidence on the arguments made in support and opposition to preemption of food and agriculture policy. Like previous research, we found that proponents of preemption primarily argued that statewide or even federal standards were preferable and that preemption was necessary to protect businesses and consumers. Conversely, opponents primarily argued that local control was necessary and beneficial for local businesses, communities, and community members using arguments related to local democracy, public health, and healthy food access.
The Calorie-Labeling Saga – Federal Preemption and Delayed Implementation of Public Health Law. Block JP. New England Journal of Medicine. May 23, 2018.
The experience of calorie labeling is a cautionary tale for future policies on obesity prevention. It may seem easier to implement some of this policy through federal action than at the state and local levels. But this debacle offers a lesson to advocates looking for a quick federal solution: be careful what you wish for.
The N.R.A. Lobbyist Behind Florida’s Pro-Gun Policies. Spies M. The New Yorker (March 5, 2018).
On the other side of the tape, public officials congregated. Normally, Moskowitz moves with the jumpy energy of a Hollywood agent, but now he was subdued. He wore a charcoal suit, and his hazel eyes were raw and red-rimmed. He had come from the funeral of Meadow Pollack, a senior at Douglas.
Moskowitz shook hands with Dan Daley, a young city commissioner in Coral Springs. “I was talking to one of the Douglas students,” Daley said. “His only words to me were ‘Do something.’ I had to tell him that I legally can’t do anything, because the governor could take away my job if I tried.”