Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s soft drink ban seems to be inspiring similar proposals.
NEW YORK—The controversial large sugary drink ban (or “soda ban”) that is set to start on March 12 has already inspired councilmembers in Washington, D.C., to discuss a similar ban.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has incurred cries of freedom-stomping by a wide range of people and groups, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, for his concept of banning drinks larger than 16 ounces with more than 50 calories in restaurants across the city.
Now a suburb of D.C. looking to ban soft drinks at schools. And last night most candidates for an at-large D.C. Council seat said they would implement a similar ban to New York’s, according to the Washington City Paper.
Some of the candidates said they favor a tax on soda instead of a ban, while one said he opposes both despite admiring Mayor Bloomberg.
“I love Mayor Bloomberg,” said Republican Pat Mara. “He’s one of my favorite mayors.”
Yet several candidates last year (Michael Brown and Vincent Orange) who said they support a ban, and who were elected, haven’t taken any action yet.
An effort by D.C. Councilwoman Mary Cheh in 2010 to tax sugary drinks didn’t get passed.
Mark Boughton, mayor of Danbury, Conn., recently took to Twitter to post an article about Bloomberg’s ban and later responded to a resident’s inquiry about a ban ever happening in Danbury with “Never!”
In a related proposal, California State Senator Michael Rubio introduced a bill in early February that would ban people who use the federal food stamp program in the state from buying sugary sodas. Any drinks that contain more than 10 calories per 8 ounces would be banned.
“If this program doesn’t work and they want to to shoot it down, they better come back with a solution because the reality is this; we have a crisis in this state,” said Rubio, according to KGET.Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal, which passed nearly unanimously through his hand-picked Board of Health, is set to start on March 12 but could get stalled by a pending lawsuit. The groups behind the lawsuit allege the ban is infringing upon personal rights and have asked a judge to, while he mulls over ruling on the lawsuit, stall the ban. The ban will cost businesses to comply.
A recent poll by Quinnipiac found more people oppose (51 percent) than support (46 percent) the ban, similar numbers to a poll carried out after the ban was first announced.
Of the five boroughs in New York City, only people in Manhattan (57 percent to 39 percent) said they support the ban. The poll was of 1,017 New York City voters with a margin of error of plus, minus 3.1 percentage points.