PHI Statement on Oakland SSB Excise Tax
STATEMENT FROM MARY A. PITTMAN, PRESIDENT AND CEO, PUBLIC HEALTH INSTITUTE
PHI joins Oakland businesses and residents in enthusiastically supporting the Oakland City Council’s unanimous vote to place a $0.01 per ounce Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Distributor’s Excise Tax on November’s ballot.
The Public Health Institute is based in downtown Oakland, and many of our staff, partners and colleagues call Oakland their home. As a longtime advocate for making healthy options more available and accessible, PHI sees Oakland’s soda fee as a strong and ethical step towards making our city a healthier place for everyone.
Sugar-sweetened beverages have no nutritional value, and are amongst the biggest contributors to diabetes and other chronic diseases that disproportionately impact our poorest communities. It is time that big beverage companies dip into their millions of dollars of profits and help pay for the damage their products cause. The health impact fund generated through the excise tax will help balance the scale by bringing much needed resources to the schools and communities that need it most.
PHI is proud to endorse the Oakland distributor excise tax. We believe in the power of Oakland’s community members to win this fight, in spite of the millions of dollars that the beverage company will pour into this initiative. PHI will be standing and fighting right alongside Oakland.