LETTER: Misleading voters should not be tolerated

Islanders beware I-1634! Paid signature gatherers at the Fauntleroy ferry dock last week were including I-1634 among two other worthy initiatives on their clipboards.

I-1634 is clearly an attempt to make soda taxes illegal in our state, disguised as an anti-grocery tax initiative. Supporters of this initiative call it “Yes to Affordable Groceries,” a blatant attempt to mislead voters who oppose taxes on actual food.

Using the dictum “Follow the money,” I note that the top donors are soda producers, according to Ballotpedia:

1. The Coca-Cola Company: $1,405,749.23

2. PepsiCo, Inc.: $1,059,905.28

3. Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Inc.: $439,803.43

4. Red Bull North America: $34,542.06

5. Washington Food Industry Association: $20,000.00

The American Heart Association, Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition and the Anti-Hunger and Nutrition Coalition filed a petition to appeal the ballot title and summary for Initiative I-634 in the Superior Court of the State of Washington, arguing that the measure’s use of the word “groceries” is misleading to voters and that it is “really an effort to stop other Washington jurisdictions from adopting soda taxes similar to Seattle’s.”

Please write to the Washington State Attorney General’s office to require that the initiative title be changed to reflect the actual intent.

Misleading voters should not be tolerated.

— Andrea Avni

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