In February, I emailed you to share our legislative priorities this legislative session in Oklahoma. Our goals were to stop efforts to repeal CPR as a graduation requirement in Oklahoma public schools and increase the excise tax on cigarettes to reduce smoking rates in adults and help prevent youth from taking up the habit. Well, I'm happy to report - we were successful on both fronts! More than 250 advocates from across the state sent more than 1,500 emails to their lawmakers in the last four months, and you made a BIG impact!
Let's take a closer look..
- CPR - Thanks to your outreach, the bill that would have removed CPR as a graduation requirement was pulled by its author just an hour after it was placed on the committee agenda!
- Cigarette tax - The successful $1/pack excise tax on cigarettes played an important role in giving our teachers a much-needed salary boost. Unfortunately, our fight is not over yet. There is a petition effort underway that would repeal revenue package that includes the tobacco tax. We strongly encourage you to stand for a healthier Oklahoma and talk to your friends and family about why it's important not to sign this petition. The cigarette tax will prevent thousands of Oklahoma children from ever taking up smoking, and allow thousands more Oklahomans to live longer, healthier lives.
- Early Childcare Education - We made progress on our Early Childcare Education bill, SB 806, that would have made daycares healthier by providing healthier food, limiting sugary drinks, increasing the amount of exercise kids get, and eliminating time in front of a screen. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts and your strong support, we ran out of time when the legislature decided to adjourn three weeks early. The American Heart Association believes in this effort to help curb childhood obesity, and we hope you will stand with us as we continue to build support for this legislation over the next year.
Thank you for making your voice heard at the Oklahoma Capitol this legislative session. We couldn't have done it without you, and we appreciate all of your help! As Margaret Mead said - "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
You're The Cure,
Senior Government Relations Director
Affiliate Grassroots Director