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Thu May 4, 2017, 12:01 AM

"Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf backs away from soda tax plan"

More: http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2017/05/03/mayor-schaaf-backs-away-from-soda-tax-plan/
OAKLAND — Facing political and public pressure, Mayor Libby Schaaf on Tuesday backed away from a plan to divert funds from a voter-approved soda tax measure after residents threatened to campaign against her re-election.

Last week, Schaaf unveiled her proposed 2017-19 budget and quickly drew criticism from City Council members, including ally Annie Campbell Washington, for proposing to use the soda tax revenues to help close the city’s budget deficit.

At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Campbell Washington, Rebecca Kaplan and Desley Brooks, the co-authors of Measure HH, said the mayor’s plan would bring a backlash from voters who were promised the funds would be spent to help fight childhood obesity and soda consumption.

They also said “big soda” would use the “bait and switch” on Oakland voters to fight soda tax measures in other cities. Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco and Albany are among the first in the nation to pass such a tax, a growing trend in progressive and urban areas.

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