Berkeley, Calif., could become the first U.S. city to tax sugary drinks.
The Berkeley City Council unanimously decided last week to put the 1-cent-per-ounce tax on the ballot this November.
More than a dozen local groups, from the NAACP to the Berkeley Dental Society, have pledged support for the “Berkeley vs. Big Soda” campaign, which legislators have pitched as a public health and social justice issue.
“Big Soda will claim that we are attacking a product that is beloved by low-income folks,” Council Member Laurie Capitelli said, “but those are the people who are coming to us and asking us to put this on the ballot.”
The American Beverage Association, Coca Cola and PepsiCo have led the battle against soda taxes.