American Heart Advocates Head to Olympia!

Monday, January 29th, we hosted our Washington State Legislative Lobby Day! We had an AMAZING turnout of advocates from across Washington State. Here's our turnout by the numbers:

  • 8 students from Tukes Valley Middle School DREAM Team
  • 33 Staff & Volunteers
  • 4 Board Members
  • 1 Miss America Opportunity Preliminary Titleholder

Advocates met with 37 different lawmakers and staff to stand up for the health and wellbeing of youth on two different issues:

HB 2058 / SB 5964 Increasing student access to free meals served at public schools

As we know, children are able to learn and play better when they have access to food. Washington has worked hard to improve access to school meals and reduce childhood hunger. However, there are still quite a few children who face food insecurity, which disproportionately impacts low-income students and students of color. This bill will offer school breakfast and lunch to ALL students at no cost, and will help ensure that children have the nutrition they need to grow and thrive at school and beyond.

Commercial Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program Funding

Last year, Washington State invested $5 million in ongoing funding ($2.5 million per year) for commercial tobacco prevention and cessation state funding, which is a small fraction of the $72.5 million recommendation by the CDC. This year, Rep. Paul Harris and Sen. Lynda Wilson has sponsored a budget ask of one time funding for $2.5 million, which will result in our communities have a total of $5 million in 2025. This will help continue to rebuild the system that help keeps people from starting use of nicotine products and helping those who are ready to quit.

I am so grateful for everyone who took the time to join us down in Olympia to advocate for these important issues, and for all the staff who helped us find and recruit people to come to lobby day. Also, big thanks to Kami Sutton-Hieronymus for her work in putting lobby day together; while Kami has always assisted with Washington's lobby day, this was her first as our Grassroots Manager - and she did a fantastic job.


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