In two months, Berkeley voters will decide whether ours will be the first U.S. city to enact a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (or tie with San Francisco which has a similar measure on the ballot). When I heard about the soda tax, “Measure D,” I immediately cast aside most of my to-do list (cleaning the oven survived the purge but colonoscopy did not) and volunteered to help the Healthy Child Coalition trounce Big Soda.
A judge ruled this week on what to change, and what to retain, in the ballot materials for the "soda tax" set to come before Berkeley voters in November.
Though they were arguing about sugar, Councilman Laurie Capitelli and Los Angeles PR man Matt Rodriguez were anything but sweet to each other at a Monday debate about a ballot measure set to come before Berkeley voters in November.
The Berkeley City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to include a proposal that would tax distributors of sugar-sweetened beverages on the November ballot.
Berkeley officials voted Tuesday night on ballot language related to a November 2014 soda tax proposal, but exactly what sort of fundraising request might come before voters to help the city’s parks remains to be determined.
A second round survey of likely voters in Berkeley reveals the difficulty some likely ballot measures will face for passage in November.
A broad coalition of diverse community representatives came together before the Berkeley City Council recently to call for Council support for two very important “Healthy Berkeley” initiatives. One involves a city parks bond proposal, and the other a proposed tax on sugary drinks.
UPDATE, March 27: As expected, the Berkeley Unified School Board last night voted to commit $485,000 for the coming year to its gardening program, under the terms outlined it the proposal that called for gardening classes for pre-kindergarten through grade 7. [See the full proposal on the BUSD Board meeting agenda packet, starting on page 54.] Commenting on the move, Martin Bourque, executive director of the Ecology Center, said Berkeley was showing leadership in finding money from its budget for the pioneering program after losing nearly $2 million in federal funding. “Who else is stepping up like that on their own dime?” he said. “Berkeley is leading the way.”
Berkeleyans seem eager to enact a new tax on sugar-sweetened drinks, but less likely to support other potential ballot measures being considered by the City Council.
No city has yet been successful in passing a sugar-sweetened beverages tax. Will Berkeley be first?