STATEMENT BY SUPERVISORS SCOTT WIENER, ERIC MAR AND MALIA COHEN on Prop E results:
“Despite over $10 million spent by Coke, Pepsi and Red Bull- the most ever spent on a campaign in San Francisco- the voters have spoken, and a majority support a soda tax. With Berkeley’s results, and our numbers, we have delivered a double black eye to the beverage industry. The people have prevailed against an onslaught of corporate money. We are excited for our allies in Berkeley, who knocked over the first domino tonight, beginning a nationwide public health movement.
Because of California’s complicated tax laws, we needed 2/3 YES for Prop E to go into effect. Public awareness of the dangers of regular consumption of soda and sugary beverages is growing, and we will continue to look at ways to intervene to reduce consumption, because there are too many lives at stake.
The first domino has fallen, and more cities will be emboldened to follow, because we now know that taxing soda reduces consumption, just as tobacco taxes reduced smoking, and as Mexico’s consumption of soda and sugary beverages has dropped 10% since they instituted their soda tax this year.
We were able to accomplish an incredible amount over 10 months with 1/30th of the funds the No side had. We built an incredible grassroots coalition- health organizations across San Francisco as well as the American Heart Association, California Medical Association, teachers, grocery workers, and so many more.
This isn’t about one soda tax. This is about a national movement that was kicked off tonight, and we are proud to have raised the conversation about the health impacts of soda and sugary beverages, and exposed the beverage industry’s deceptive tactics.
We are grateful to the following people and organizations for their unwavering support. First of all, Dr. Jeff Ritterman, who boldly stepped forward with a soda tax for Richmond in 2012; Dr. Harold Goldstein and the California Center for Public Health Advocacy; San Francisco’s Shape Up Coalition, which laid the groundwork in so many ways, especially Bea Cardenas Duncan, Chuck Collins and Christina Goette; public health advocates Roberto Vargas, Sheffield Hale, Sarah Fine and Janna Cordeiro; Dr. Dean Schillinger; Lena Brook; the San Francisco Medical Society, especially Dr. John Maa and Dr. Lawrence Cheung, who were among the first to step forward with support; the American Heart Association, especially Brittni Chicuatta; the California Medical Association; the California Nurses Association; the San Francisco Dental Society and the San Francisco Dental Hygiene Society; the California Dentists Association; Pastor Aurelius Walker; Robin Dean; Amor Santiago; Kent Woo; San Francisco’s public health and food justice advocates, especially Ryan Thayer and Teri Olle; Maria Stokes and Project Open Hand; the San Francisco Board of Education; the San Francisco Parent PAC; the San Francisco PTA, especially Michelle Parker; Rachel Norton of the San Francisco Parks Alliance; our allies in labor, including United Educators of San Francisco, the United Food and Commercial Worker’s Union Local 648; SEIU 1021; the American Federation of Teachers Local 2121; SEIU Local 87; SEIU-UHW United Healthcare Workers West; John and Lisa Pritzker for their generosity, Rodrigo Santos & Santos and Urrutia; and every donor who supported the campaign; the San Francisco Democratic Party, especially Leah Pimentel, the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, our amazing campaign staff: Todd David, Chris Selim, Jeff Sparks, Niels Smith who have tirelessly organized our campaign for almost a year; and all the interns and hundreds of volunteers who called voters, knocked on doors, and gave their time and energy to get our message out; and political and neighborhood organizations across San Francisco.”