All across the country, prevention advocates are picking up their game, pushing our nation forward as we work to create a coherent system of prevention that emphasizes community health and wellness.
New York City’s effort to limit the size of sugary beverages went before the state’s highest court earlier this month. Pennsylvania’s Fresh Food Financing Initiative, which helps small markets increase their capacity to sell fresh fruits and vegetables, has taken wing and been made part of the new federal farm bill with $125 million in new funding. And six new funding opportunities have been announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that can help local communities develop and strengthen efforts to promote prevention and wellness. (Read more about these funding opportunities here.)
In California, May 29 marked the 10th ENACT Day, a day when Californians make their case for legislation and policy change that promotes health, prevention and wellness. This year, members of the Strategic Alliance for Healthy Eating and Activity Environments went all out to make ENACT Day a big success—and we did!
ENACT Day 2014 brought almost 200 California health advocates to the Capitol building. These advocates represented over 50 cities and towns and conducted 40 scheduled visits and 80 drop-ins with legislators or their aides. Back home, e-advocates sent 1098 letters in support of four bills pending before the state legislature. Our advocacy helped tip the balance on one: Senate Bill 1000, which would require warning labels on sugar-sweetened beverages, passed the Senate and headed to the Assembly.
Events like California’s ENACT Day help us maintain momentum and keep our spirits high. As Genoveva Islas, executive director of the Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program, told the crowd gathered on the steps of the capitol in Sacramento: “Your power today is your voice, it’s your presence and it’s your vote. And the people behind us in this building are here to represent you, so let’s not forget that and make sure we hold them accountable to the type of changes we want to see in our community!”
Some ENACT Day participants came to the Capitol, other joined the effort online—and engaged in a lively discussion on Twitter. Take a look at some of the highlights.
The day ended on a high note with victory for Senate Bill 1000. As our colleague Lizzie Velten put it at the end of our video about the day: “You can feel like you participated in something very special today--this is legislation in action and you were a part of it!”