Earlier this month on Wednesday, April 5th over 125 You’re the Cure volunteers, survivors, and American Heart Association staff visited the Capitol in Sacramento to advocate for statewide policies to prevent chronic diseases like heart disease and stroke.
Thanks to our volunteers, California’s Heart at the Capitol was a very successful event! The day started with a brief advocacy training in the morning on the West Steps followed by advocates heading into the Capitol building for legislative meetings. We met with over 80 legislators or their staff to build support and momentum to pass Senate Bill 760 (Complete Streets for Active Living), Assembly Bill 841 (Junk Food Marketing), and Assembly Bill 1003 (Healthy California Fund).
SB 760 will provide strong direction to the California Transportation Agency (Caltrans) to create “Complete Streets,” including safer sidewalks, bike lanes, and crosswalks, on roads owned and managed by Caltrans in our cities, towns, and neighborhoods. Studies have shown that more and better quality sidewalks are associated with higher rates of walking and biking as well as more adults meeting the daily physical activity recommendations.
AB 841 will require that schools only market foods and beverages that meet the “Smart Snack” standards as provided by state law and the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFK). Schools should be places where kids receive a consistent set of messages about healthy eating, and schools shouldn’t be allowed to market products on campus that they are not allowed to sale.
AB 1003 would create the Healthy California Fund by placing a user fee on sugary drinks to diminish the human and economic costs of diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and dental disease. The Healthy California Fund would invest in programs that will increase physical activity in schools, provide nutrition education in schools, provide increased access to clean drinkable water, and increase access to fresh fruit and vegetables in at-risk communities.
Following the legislative meetings, our group returned to the West Steps to listen to some really great speakers. We were honored that Senator Wiener joined us to talk about his complete streets bill and the importance of actively participating in the advocacy. Following Senator Wiener, we had Papa Joe tale his amazing story about his inspiration for being physically active everyday which kicked off our National Walking Day celebration.
To celebrate National Walking Day, our group walked around the Capitol grounds trying to find important memorials and other landmarks around the capitol as they completed a scavenger hunt challenge.
This ended our event, but this was a great way for us to start and continue conversations with legislators as these bills move through the legislative process. Please remember to regularly visit the action center to stay up-to-date on our campaigns. For more photos, please visit here.
If you are interested in getting involved or if you have any legislative questions, please contact me.