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Congress to Raise Tobacco, E-Cigarette Purchasing Age to 21


Latino teens e-cigs vaping smoking tobacco 21

Amid mounting health concerns over teen vaping, the U.S. Congress voted on Dec. 19, 2019, to raise the purchasing age for all tobacco products—including e-cigarettes—from 18 to 21, the New York Times reports. President Trump is expected to sign the measure on Dec. 20, 2019. Experts say raising the purchasing age will reduce the number of people who begin smoking at very young age. Nearly 9 out of 10 smokers started smoking by age 18. The rule is also a response to deadly health concerns over teen vaping. The CDC announced in December 2019 that 54 people died and 2,506 cases of lung-related illnesses had been reported due to vaping. “Raising the tobacco age to 21 is a positive step, but it is not a substitute for prohibiting the flavored e-cigarettes that are luring ...

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Free Fruits & Veggies? Thank You, Sugary Drink Tax!


sugary drinks tax revenue funding vegetables and fruits

Sugary drink taxes are bubbling up across the nation. From Philadelphia to Berkeley, Calif., these sugary drink taxes are having an intended benefit—reducing consumption of bad-for-health sugary drinks and driving up water sales. But where is the tax money going? Let's look at Washington, D.C. (11.3% Latino), which recently added a sugary drink tax and is already considering a stronger one, and whether the revenue is benefiting health. New Sugary Drink Sales Tax in D.C. D.C. leaders recently bumped up the local sales tax from 6% to 8% on drinks with natural or artificial sweeteners that contain less than 100% juice or at least 50% milk bought in stores. City council member Mary Cheh pushed for the tax. She moved to insert this tax in the city’s $15.5 billion 2020 ...

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San Antonio to Combat ‘Climate Emergency’ with New Action Plan


Climate Action Plan San Antonio

One of America’s highest Latino-populated cities now has a strategy to address the climate crisis. Earlier this month, the San Antonio (64% Latino) City Council passed Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP) by a 10-1 vote. It outlines objectives that will aim to reduce the city’s greenhouse emissions by 2050 and achieve climate equity for all populations. This plan follows in suit with many cities across the U.S. that are taking personal responsibility for its role in the climate crisis. “We declare that we will not be bystanders,” San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said, according to the Rivard Report. “In no simpler terms, here and around the world, we are in a climate emergency.” What Does the Climate Action Plan Say? The main goal is to make the city and its ...

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Philadelphia Takes the Fizz Out of Sugary Drinks


filling up soda sugary drink for kid's meals

In October 2019, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signed a new law that requires restaurants to make healthy drinks the default drink in kid's meals, over sugary sodas. Kid's meals now will offer a choice of water, nonfat/low-fat milk, or 100% juice. Sugary drinks are not banned. Instead, customers must specifically request them. “Ensuring that these healthy beverage options are available to families is a step in the right direction toward the health and well-being of our city’s children,” said City Council Member Blondell Reynolds Brown, who introduced the law, in a statement. Why Does Philadelphia Need Healthier Kid's Meals? About 66% of American children drink at least one sugary beverage a day. Sugary drink consumption contributes to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular ...

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California Passes Landmark Law: Statewide Rent Control, Eviction Protections


Latino minority family moving into affordable housing for health equity

More than most states, California is plagued by rising housing costs. Recently California lawmakers approved a statewide rent cap, covering millions of tenants, the biggest step yet in a surge of initiatives to address an affordable-housing in the state. California’s housing activists won a major victory in mid-September when the state legislature passed, and Gov. Gavin Newsom signed on Oct. 8, 2019. The New Housing Law The new law is also know as Assembly Bill 1482. The key features of the new law are: The new law will limit annual rent hikes to 5% plus the regional cost-of-living increase, or a maximum of 10% per year. Tenants will also receive eviction protections after living in an apartment for a year, meaning they cannot be ousted without a reason such as ...

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New York City Bans Soda as Default Drink in Kid’s Meals


soda girl drinking sugary drink kid's meal

How bad is sugary soda for your kid? In New York City (29% Latino), an 8-year-old would need to walk 70 minutes from City Hall to Times Square to burn off the 9 teaspoons of sugar in a kid's meal soda. That's why city leaders are making water, milk, and 100% juice the “default beverages” on kid’s menus, thanks to a new law to reduce childhood obesity in an area where 1 in 4 toddlers and preschoolers have at least one sugary drink a day. New York's City's law goes into effect May 1, 2020. “Sugary beverages contain no nutrients that children need, and they are disproportionally marketed to children in low income neighborhoods and communities of color,” said Dr. Judith A. Salerno of the New York Academy of Medicine, in a statement. “We believe that every child should ...

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Climate Strike: Millions of Voices Call for Environmental Action


Climate Strike Crisis Global

Last week, people across the world marched through city streets in hopes of prompting world leaders to act on the climate crisis. Over 7.6 million people participated in this strike from cities in over 185 countries, according to the Global Climate Strike website. These protestors demanded immediate action in the climate crisis from their respective elected officials. This event was inspired by the words and actions of Swedish 16-year-old, Greta Thunberg, who has made significant influences in the current climate crisis conversation — some say she's the spark that lit the Climate Strike fire. "We have gathered today because we have chosen which path we want to take, and now we are waiting for the others to follow our example," Thunberg said at an earlier climate protest in ...

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How Dallas Is Using a Land Bank Program to Drive Affordable Housing


dallas land bank affordable housing

Dallas families needs 20,000 affordable housing apartment or single-family units. That kind of housing shortfall, which can make it hard for Latino and other low-income families to afford health care and other health-promoting assets, requires action from city leaders in a variety of ways. Enter the Dallas Land Bank Program. The program, halted two years ago, is back to provide "lots to builders in underdeveloped parts of town to boost the amount of housing for low to middle-income families," according to Reform Austin. "This is really a great way for the city to take unproductive land, put it back into production, and create affordable housing with this program all at one time," David Drury, manager of the Dallas Land Bank Program, told cbsdfw.com. How the Dallas Land Bank ...

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Transforming Old Buildings into New Affordable Housing


Housing Urban Construction

In recent years, housing affordability in the U.S has emerged as a key issue that increasingly affects low-income households and millions of middle-class renters. People across age demographics' ideals concerning housing are shifting — hoping to find an urban experience. This movement is in contrast with the suburban American dream of the past. However, rental rates are rising and wages are stagnating, which is causing neighborhoods to struggle and putting pressure on the housing development industry. In the coming years, much of the increase in both population and in households will be among precisely those groups that today are being left behind in homeownership growth. Our older and historic neighborhoods now have a new mission to provide homes for the young, for new ...

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