It can take public health advocates years to get a law passed that is designed to help residents make healthier choices. And all it takes is the stroke of a pen to stop that work in its tracks.
State legislatures are increasingly using the tactic of preemption to prevent local towns, cities and districts from passing local legislation to address public health issues. For example, if a city is working to pass a sugary beverage tax, a state legislature can attach language to a bill saying that only the state can regulate in that particular area.
As state legislatures kick off their sessions, health advocates are working to find ways to identify and prevent such preemptive measures. You can learn more about the issue during a Jan. 28 webinar, which will study preemption, how to recognize it and whether there is anything you can do to address it.
Roberta Friedman, director of public policy at the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity, is scheduled to moderate the webinar, and speakers will include Ian McLaughlin, a senior staff attorney and program director at ChangeLab Solutions, and Ted Mermin, co-founder and executive director of the Public Good Law Center.
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Leaders are people who are actively working - either professionally or as volunteers - to change policies and environments to help children eat better and be more active. We use the following criteria to evaluate whether to approve an applicant for Leader status with the Voices for Healthy Kids Action Center.
Do you meet the criteria below? If so, register as a Leader here. There is no cost to be a Leader.
At least one item must be checked within each of the following two categories:
1. Applicant is focused on changing policies and environments
They are working on one of Voices for Healthy Kid's six issue areas:
Ensure foods and beverages in schools meet dietary guidelines
Expand community access to high quality food
Expand physical activity programs in and out of school
Improve built environment in communities to increase physical activity
Use pricing strategies to promote purchase of healthier foods
Use regulation/policy to reduce youth exposure to unhealthy food marketing
They are working on other obesity-related issues, such as:
Their primary focus is working on individual behavior (e.g., teaching kids about food, play, etc.), but they have access to organizations that could provide opportunities to change environments, such as
Public Health Agencies
Their project is commercial, but contributes positively to changing policies and environments, such as:
2. Applicant is organizing others or contributing to organizing efforts
They are organizing others by:
Providing volunteer opportunities
Building contact lists of supporters to engage in advocacy
They provide support to organizations or leaders doing work changing policies and environments, such as:
They are a leader in a governmental body that may be the target of organizing efforts to change policies and environments, such as a:
Federal or state agency
Mayor or other local executive office
Federal, state, county or local public health department
Federal, state, county or transportation department
Federal, state or local education agency or school board
If the applicant claims to work for an organization, at least one item must be checked below:
3. Applicant works for an organization:
Has an email address that matches the domain of the organization they list
Is listed on the organization website as staff
The Voices for Healthy Kids Action Center is looking for bloggers who can write about issues that matter to our community on a regular basis. If you would like to be considered for this network, please check this box.