In 2018, the beverage industry pressured California into passing a law that prevents cities from enacting new sugary drink taxes until 2031. In a win for public health and local democracy, an appeals court recently affirmed a previous decision striking down parts of that law. The ruling has far-reaching implications, showing that in an era of abusive preemption, legislation backed by powerful corporate lobbies like the beverage industry can be challenged by citizens and advocacy groups through strategic litigation.
Alongside our partners, ChangeLab Solutions is a proud supporter of this effort to protect local democracy, which has implications for cities and counties across the United States. You can learn more by reviewing our press release and an article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel.
Continue reading for recent highlights of our work — from a blog series on rural health equity to a roadmap for equitable enforcement.
Feel free to reach out with questions or ideas for collaboration — or to connect about the recent ruling on sugary drink taxes.
ChangeLab Solutions has a long history of working with rural communities on policy initiatives to address upstream drivers of health inequity. Our new blog series highlights key learnings from our most recent rural project, Toward Better Rural Futures. We share solutions to support water access; policy and funding initiatives to support better housing quality; and our approach to identifying policies that advance racial and economic justice. Stay tuned for more from our blog series!
In a recent article in Health Affairs Forefront, Sarah de Guia and Ana P. Novais, acting secretary for the Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services, outline their ideas on better engagement and trust building with community partners, which they see as the key to effective public health systems. Drawing on decades of success and learning from their two organizations, they share key lessons that can help strengthen public health through community-led decision making.
Enforcement actions taken in the name of public health can sometimes harm, discriminate against, or otherwise undermine the health of the very people whom the laws are meant to protect. Our recent infographic and fact sheet Understanding the Equitable Enforcement Ecosystem can help policymakers develop equitable enforcement provisions and better understand the roles of key stakeholders in equitable enforcement, particularly in the context of employment and labor standards.
Law and policy are essential for advancing health equity, but public health practitioners don’t always receive training on these topics. To bridge this learning gap, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and ChangeLab Solutions created the Public Health Law Academy, which offers free, on-demand trainings on foundational topics. To earn the Public Health Law Academy Certificate, complete seven trainings in core competencies that all public health practitioners need.
Images: Tony Webster via Flickr, Timon Studler via Unsplash, Black Graphics, Ethos3