Friday, August 29, 2008

Around Texas

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In Texas, obesity is a major health concern affecting thousands of individuals. The Dept. of State Health Services recently requested $10 million dollars to implement obesity prevention programs across the state. Please tell Texas lawmakers to support this funding request and reduce the burden of obesity in the state.

Obesity is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke and a leading cause of preventable death. All programs that we support are evidence based and proven to work. Please take action and help reduce obesity in Texas.

If you are not already, please join You’re the Cure and help share your voice. By taking action on the above action alerts you can help the American Heart Association achieve its mission of building healthier lives free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Thank you,

Brian Bowser-Grassroots Coordinator
512/433-7169
1700 Rutherford Ln.
Austin, TX 78754
Brian.Bowser@heart.org

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Effort to make Corpus Christi Smoke-Free Underway

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The Smoke Free Corpus Christi coalition continues to make progress in securing growing support for strengthening the city’s smoke-free workplace law. The current ordinance provides smoke-free working environments for employees in most public places, including restaurants and bars in restaurants. However, a loophole exists, which allows smoking in freestanding bars, bowling alleys, and bingo halls. Our volunteers continue their efforts to urge Corpus Mayor Garrett and the city council to approve a new ordinance removing the current loopholes. In doing so, Corpus Christi will join 21 other Texas communities with a comprehensive smoke-free law.

Also, a special thanks goes out to the following volunteers who have attended meetings and/or worked with us on this effort: Dr. Thomas Alexander, Ann Jaime, Dee Labbe, Isabel Menendez and Michele Trevino. We look forward to continuing to work with these volunteers, as well as welcome additional volunteers who would like to work on this historic effort.

Fort Worth Considers Smoke-Free Air Policy

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A recent poll conducted in Fort Worth by the American Heart Association and the Smoke Free Texas Coalition demonstrated that 92% of Fort Worth residents believe secondhand smoke is a health hazard, confirming the grassroots support for a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance. Unfortunately the city council is currently considering an ordinance drafted by the city manager that excludes bars. The Advocacy team has engaged key volunteers such as Dr. Sreenivas Gudimetla, President of the Fort Worth AHA Board, worked with the Coalition to engage in lobbying city council and also activated the grassroots network in an effort to secure passage of a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance.

Last session the Texas Legislature considered a comprehensive smoke-free piece of legislation. The bill passed the Texas House but it time ran out while in the Senate. The American Heart Association as a member of Smoke Free Texas will be strategically working with key communities to secure more comprehensive ordinances across Texas to secure victory at the Texas Legislature during the 2009 Legislative Session.

U.S. House Passes Tobacco Regulation Bill

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Statement by M. Cass Wheeler
CEO, American Heart Association,
on U.S. House of Representatives Passage
of The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act

The U.S. House of Representatives’ historic vote is a testament to how far our nation has come in understanding the deadly impact of tobacco. However, you don't start celebrating when the ball is on the ten-yard line. This will all be for nothing if we don’t score a touchdown with a win in the Senate. Each day, more than one-thousand children smoke their first cigarette. We must act now to protect those children and reduce their risk for smoking-related illnesses such as heart disease and stroke.

The industry has failed miserably in the area of moral responsibility with deceptive marketing practices to addict young and old without any concern for our nation’s public health. Senate leadership should keep this in mind and move quickly to approve the bill before Congress adjourns.

The American Heart Association commends the House for its courageous vote and Representatives Henry Waxman and Tom Davis, Chairmen John Dingell and Frank Pallone, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer for their leadership on this issue. With smoking-related cardiovascular disease claiming the lives of 150,000 Americans each year, we cannot overstress the need for tobacco regulation. We urge the Senate to follow the House in passing this important legislation.

Friday, August 1, 2008

You're the Cure

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I’d like to welcome everyone to the You’re the Cure blog for Texas. While we have posted stories for the past month or so this is my first post as…..myself! So, with that, I suppose an introduction is in order. I’m Brian the Grassroots Coordinator for the South Central Affiliate (Arkansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas). I help manage the You’re the Cure network and drive grassroots support for all our advocacy priorities.

If you’re not already, I’d encourage you to become a member of our You’re the Cure network. Joining You’re the Cure is super easy and fun. Just sign up at www.yourethecure.org and we’ll send you timely action alerts on the issues that are important to you. We count on YTC advocates to share their voice on heart healthy policies like smoke-free air, obesity prevention, and AED placement.

If you have any questions about the American Heart Association’s advocacy department please feel free to call or email me anytime:

Brian Bowser-Grassroots Coordinator
512/433-7169
1700 Rutherford Ln.
Austin, TX 78754
Brian.Bowser@heart.org

I look forward to adding my comments on all of the advocacy news from around our affiliate in the weeks and months to come. Thank you.

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