SFATA is working to Repeal the SF Flavor Ban
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Membership Communication


Dear SFATA Member,

I'm representing you in a coalition effort to REPEAL  the recently-passed flavor ban in the city of San Francisco, CA. This email is to let you know what we are doing and possibly how you can help.

SFATA promptly signed on as an official endorser of a newly-formed ballot committee through which all coalition efforts will be done.  The new committee's sole purpose is to get this flavor ban repealed and do so within a legally formed entity, as required by the election laws.

The Committee has a very long name, as required by the local law, but we will be referring to it simply as "Let's Be Real San Francisco" Committee (or LBRSF) in our communications.

The LBRSF Committee may have to take this directly to the voters of San Francisco, if qualifying for the ballot alone doesn't inspire the Board of Supervisors to repeal it on their own.

If the LBRSF referendum qualifies for the ballot with the minimum number of signatures from San Francisco registered voters, if forces the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to do one of three things.

The Supervisors could just repeal the Flavor Ban by a vote of the Board.  Otherwise, they will have to either hold a "special election" (costing millions) or they may choose to place this "referendum" to repeal the flavor ban on the regular primary ballot in 2018.  

Ok, here is your one chance to see me type the Committee's whole name out.  It's full legal name is:

"Let’s Be Real San Francisco, A Coalition of Concerned Citizens Supporting Freedom of Choice, Adult Consumers, Community Leaders, and Neighborhood Small Businesses with Major Funding by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company"

Here is a letter from the committee introducing their work and inviting you to participate in any way you are able.

Your individual companies who have business interest in the outcome of this flavor ban in a major U.S. city can also sign on individually as endorsers to show this is an industry-wide effort (I.e. demonstrating it is not just "big tobacco" that wants this repealed in San Francisco). 

Some examples of why you may have a business interest in this are as follows:

  • You sell there now, or
  • You were hoping to sell there in the future, or
  • You vape and want to be able to buy there, or
  • You have now learned that bad public policy spreads like a bad rash and we need to stop this nonsense right here and now!

There are some legal restrictions and other things you should know before taking any action on your own to help with getting this passed!!!!!

I would recommend you do all of your work directly as a volunteer or in-kind contributor of the ballot committee, for this reason.

The LBRSF Committee has its own legal counsel.  So, I strongly recommend you be part of the committee and do your work THROUGH the committee.  

In doing so, I promise you will be far better equipped in terms of guidance on best messaging and what activities will actually help win.  

But, you will also be sure you are staying compliant with the local laws governing elections there.  

I can't stress the importance of this enough.  

One well-intentioned (but actually illegally carried out) wildcat support effort can create such damaging headlines that it could throw the entire election to repeal the flavor ban.  

Your tobacco control zealot opponents will certainly be watching to see if you slip up.  Let's not give them anything to find!

See attached form to volunteer or just lend your company's name in support as an endorser of the effort to repeal the flavor ban.

If you don't have time to give, but want to help, you can also make a financial contribution to the committee and let their experts get the most bang for your buck.  See the same attached form for that, too.

First things first, the LBRSF Committee needs to collect a whole bunch of signatures from registered San Francisco voters just to qualify for the ballot. They will have thirty days to collect a minimum of 20,000 signatures!

The clock started running on that 30 days already.  Mayor Ed Lee signed the flavor ban ordinance today and LBRSF Committee filed their official papers as a ballot committee moments ago.  This is officially "go time."

Let's make some history!

Pamela Gorman
SFATA Executive Director

P.S. As the Let's Be Real San Francisco Committee makes more information available, I'll send it along.  This is "hot off the presses" as they say.  
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