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May 17th this year (2017) is the when Seattle will propose an ordinance to tax sugary drinks like soda, energy drinks, juice, and sweetened teas at two cents per ounce for distributors.
Like many of the cities working to decrease health risks associated with consumption of sugary drinks, Seattle hopes to deter sugary drink consumption, increase health and fund educational disparities.
Berkeley, in California, has successfully decreased the consumption of sugary drinks by 20 percent. Also, Mexico is continuing to see a decrease in consumption of sugary drinks in the country with the added sugary beverage tax.
The tax in Seattle is being proposed by Mayor Ed Murray who is expecting to raise over 15 million dollars to help fund educational programs that would be recommended by the Education Summit Advisory Group. The funding is planned to help bring equity to the education system, with a two-year breakdown of plans including 3.8 million for increasing innovative school investments, 2 million for growing summer learning programs, 581K for expanding school-based mentoring, 4 million for expanding birth to five-year investments and more.
Other cities like Philly, also have been using the funding raised from taxes to help fund universal pre-k, support community schools, revitalize parks and fund police body cameras.
The plans to fund more education are aimed at primarily focusing on reducing disparities in the city between white and African American/Black students and other underrepresented students.
Latino kids often face higher health risks like diabetes and unhealthy weights. Studies also show Latino kids consume more sugary beverages than their white peers. Having policies that reduce consumption of sugary beverages for all kids and gives more kids an opportunity at an equal education can be a win-win for health and equity for Latinos.
Having policies that reduce consumption of sugary beverages for all kids and gives all kids an opportunity towards a better education can be a win-win for health and equity for Latinos.
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