Help clear the Air

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Contact your elected officials!  Tell them you want smokefree air!

Federal

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Congress:  The House of Representatives and the Senate, are responsible for passing legislation that affects the entire country.  This is generally a slow process as described so well in “Schoolhouse Rock”.  Federal legislation can be heavily influences by lobbying by special interests.  If you are interested in knowing where the tobacco industry (or another lobbying group) spends its money, you can visit OpenSecrets.org.  Regional interests can also slow down or torpedo legislation.  As each state has two senators, states that have interests in a particular industry, like tobacco, can frequently block legislation that may be popular in much of the country.

To find your representatives, click here:

State

States can move more quickly than the federal government and are able to enact laws that are in the interest of their citizens and not preempted by federal law (like establishing a military).  Special interests do heavily lobby state representatives also, which can make passing seemingly popular and common-sense measures hard to pass.  Despite those efforts, many tobacco control measures do get passed in states like California so let them know what you want.  You can find your state representatives at openstates.org.

 

LocalCity Hall Sign

Cities and counties are usually the first to act on measures of interest to the public as they are closest to residents who can speak at council meetings.  Lobbyists are generally less present, unless it is a major metropolitan city that is setting a precedent that the state might follow.  If you want to contact your city council member(s), look up your city council on the internet.  You can send an email or speak during public comment session at a council meeting.

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