COALITION WINS FUNDING FOR D.C. HEALTHY SCHOOLS ACT

 

Coalition Wins Funding for D.C. Healthy Schools Act

 Earth Day Network Heads Coalition, Petition and Ad Campaign to Counter Soda Lobby

 

WASHINGTON, D.C.,May 27, 2010 — The Support Healthy Schools Coalition, formed by Earth Day Network and Campaign for Healthy Kids, helped to garner enough public support to fund the D.C. Healthy Schools Act. On Wednesday, D.C. City Council passed a six cent sales tax on soft drinks, sports drinks and other sweetened, non-alcoholic beverages that will cover the $6 million program.

The coalition, comprised of more than 30 area businesses, organizations and physicians, delivered over 7,000 petition signatures to Councilmember, Mary M. Cheh, who introduced and shepherded the Healthy Schools Proposal. Councilmember Cheh leveraged the outpouring of support from District residents and groups, as produced by the Healthy Schools Coalition, to win funding for one of the most progressive pieces of healthy school legislation in the country.  

“The District has just become a national leader in this watershed moment for raising health and wellness standards in schools from this generation forward,” said Sean S. Miller, Director of Education at Earth Day Network. “The Support Healthy Schools coalition generated support for concerned citizens in the District to pass this act, and we look forward to replicating this model in other cities until the Healthy Schools Act becomes a national standard.”

In just two weeks, the coalition gathered thousands of petition signatures, wrote thousands of e-mails, generated hundreds of calls to Council representatives, placed online ads and organized demonstrations. The tenacity of this coalition persevered over big budgets spent by American Beverage Association lobbyists who opposed the tax to fund the D.C. Healthy Schools program.

About Earth Day Network
Earth Day Network was founded on the premise that all people, regardless of race, gender, income, or geography, have a moral right to a healthy, sustainable environment. Our mission is to broaden and diversify the environmental movement worldwide, and to mobilize it as the most effective vehicle for promoting a healthy, sustainable environment. We pursue our mission through a combination of education, public policy, and consumer activism campaigns.

Earth Day Network campaign and programs are predicated on the belief that an educated, energized population will take action to secure a healthy future for itself and its children. The organization has a global reach with a network of more than 21,000 partners and organizations in 190 countries. Earth Day Network is a 501(c)3 organization located in Washington, D.C.

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Contact:

Jennifer Resick

202-518-0044, ext. 21

resick@earthday.net