By Post Staff
“The Soda Tax measure recently passed by the City Council might become Richmond’s sweetback bad tax song if passed. When the voters realize that a 2-liter bottle could add another 67 cents worth of tax, they could feel the sugar blues,” said Lloyd Madden, President of BAPAC (Black American Political Action Committee. Madden warned that “Sugar Tax” is a “tax on poor people.”
Madden said his organization agrees with First Lady Michelle Obama and her programs to increase healthy living and the prevention of childhood obesity.
“We would like to invite the First Lady to come to Richmond to help focus attention on the need for more and better recreational space and equipment,” he said.
BAPAC met with political consultants and have developed a budget for their comprehensive plan to mobilize the entire city. It will include elected officials, community-based organizations, faith-based groups and youth groups to educate the voters to defeat the Soda Tax measure on the Nov. 6 ballot.
BAPAC will hold community education meetings throughout the various neighborhoods and with citywide civic groups. “Though the intent of the measure sounds good, it could have an adverse economic impact by causing people to increase their out-of-Richmond shopping in an effort to economize. Therefore the projected $8 million in revenue could be reversed and wind up hurting our local businesses,” said Madden.
The organization plans to meet with individual businesses, the Chamber of Commerce and other business groups to raise funds and build a coalition to raise funds to support their targeted advertising campaigns to the voting precincts.
“While it is laudable to race to be first in anything, let’s try to be the first city to provide diabetes prevention education and increase our exercise and recreational activities,” said Madden.
BAPAC announced its media campaign will begin after the June 5th primary election.