Did you know this week marks the halfway point between SOTC releases? SOTC is the State of Tobacco Control Report, which is released by the American Lung Association each January. In coordination with the national report, the State of Tobacco Control 2010 – California Local Grades report issues grades for all 481 cities and 58 counties in California on policies for smokefree outdoor environments, smokefree housing, and reducing sales of tobacco products.
And here we are six months after the 2010 release and with six months to go before the release of the 2011 grades. This anniversary gives us an opportunity to reflect on the past report and think about the next one.
The past six months since the release of the 2010 SOTC report have been very successful. Numerous cities around the state have already improved their grades this year. And some, such as Pleasant Hill, have been motivated in part by SOTC. Others cities like Alameda, Campbell, and Tiburon are still working on ordinances, but the SOTC report is already a part of their message.
Looking ahead, there is still plenty of time before the January 2011 report for cities and counties to take actions that would improve their grades. To inspire your elected officials, here are a couple of ideas for ways to use the SOTC grades in your campaigns:
1. Provide information to elected officials on what policies would be needed to raise their grade to an A grade or B grade during your one-on-one meetings with them
2. Write a letter to the editor or an op-ed about raising the grades in the local newspaper
3. Speak during public comment periods at council and commission meetings and ask elected officials to raise the city’s grades
4. Create a table comparing the city’s grades to neighboring cities and highlight this on a poster at a health fair, community event, media event or rally
5. Highlight and link to the report on your social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
Have you used the SOTC report in your campaigns? How have you used it?