• Case Study: Lessons from Two Successful Soda Tax Movements 

    Local soda taxes are policies that work to promote healthy people and communities, and the national grassroots soda tax movement is growing quickly. When sugar sweetened beverages are taxed, people consume less, and the revenue from a local tax is typically used for civic good, including public health, economic development, …

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  • Grassroots Change Interview: Lessons from the Boulder Soda Tax Victory, Part 2

    Local Politics Grassroots movements must work with the people key to influencing, changing, and implementing policies: elected officials, business owners, neighborhood and school advocates, and other leaders. This second installment in the Grassroots Change Case Study: Lessons from the Boulder Soda Tax Victory features Angelique Espinoza, the campaign manager for …

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  • Grassroots Change Interview: Lessons from the Boulder Soda Tax Victory, Part 1

    Inspired by Health Equity On November 8, 2016, voters in four US cities approved soda taxes – San Francisco, Oakland, and Albany, California, and Boulder, Colorado. These communities joined Berkeley, whose voters approved a tax in 2014, and Philadelphia (in June 2016). Cook County, Illinois (including Chicago) followed, on November …

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Grassroots Change Interview: Lessons from the Boulder Soda Tax Victory, Part 3

Part 3: Legal Challenges Distract and delay. Two tactics the tobacco industry used for decades to slow the progress of public health are now being used by the soda industry, which in 2016 filed legal challenges against Oakland and Boulder’s soda tax campaigns and against the City of Philadelphia after …

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Grassroots Change Interview: Lessons from the Boulder Soda Tax Victory, Part 2

Local Politics Grassroots movements must work with the people key to influencing, changing, and implementing policies: elected officials, business owners, neighborhood and school advocates, and other leaders. This second installment in the Grassroots Change Case Study: Lessons from the Boulder Soda Tax Victory features Angelique Espinoza, the campaign manager for …

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Grassroots Change Interview: Lessons from the Boulder Soda Tax Victory, Part 1

Inspired by Health Equity On November 8, 2016, voters in four US cities approved soda taxes – San Francisco, Oakland, and Albany, California, and Boulder, Colorado. These communities joined Berkeley, whose voters approved a tax in 2014, and Philadelphia (in June 2016). Cook County, Illinois (including Chicago) followed, on November …

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The SLO Garden Project: The Creation of the San Luis Obispo County Jail Garden (Part 1)

by Ellie Gertler, Program & Communications Associate, Grassroots Change Grassroots Change welcomes Ellie Gertler, our new Program & Communications Associate. As a junior at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2013, Ellie planned and led a project to build a community garden at the San Luis Obispo County Jail that …

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Funding Grassroots Movement Building

[A] move to a… data-driven, results-oriented approach often works against deeply transformational work of organizations, as it requires a smaller, narrower focus or goals. The focus of the funder is almost always then on whether the recipient organization hit the numerical benchmarks… Some organizations can get stuck trying to make …

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Case Study: How One Texas Town Defeated the Oil & Gas Industry

On November 4, 2014, the people of Denton, Texas voted to ban fracking in their community. The ballot measure was a hard-fought victory for environmental justice and local democracy. Defeated by a grassroots movement, the oil & gas industry responded by undermining the will of the people with statewide preemption. …

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Environmental justice derailed by 154-year-old federal preemption

What do the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 and an environmental justice movement in Benicia, California in 2016 have in common? Unfortunately, the answer is preemption. The modern use of preemption as a political strategy to undermine grassroots health and safety movements is typically dated to 1986, the …

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Federal Preemption Under the Revised Toxic Substances Control Act

The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (HR 2576) reforms the current Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). After some back and forth on preemption and other issues in HR 2576, the House of Representatives passed it on May 24, 2016. After being temporarily stalled in the Senate …

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