For all the phone calls, framing and other standard grassroots campaign techniques, what distinguished this year's soda tax campaigns in Berkeley and San Francisco was their powerful use of social media, which was amplified by organizations including BMSG.
Berkeley, California, has succeeded in passing a tax on sugary drinks. The win comes in spite of the soda industry's history of underhanded tactics, detailed in previous BMSG research, used to defeat such measures.
Voters in Berkeley have passed the nation's first soda tax focused on prevention and improving kids' health. In doing so, BMSG Director Lori Dorfman explains, the city continues its long history "of being first to a new cause that's later embraced more broadly." This article also appeared on Southern California Public Radio.
The soda industry has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to defeat a soda tax in Berkeley. To raise awareness of such tactics and to make the case for a tax on soda, MomsRising recently co-sponsored an educational panel featuring BMSG Director Lori Dorfman, among others.