Since the 1980s, preemption has been used to undermine grassroots movements across public health issues including tobacco, nutrition, housing and gun violence. But over the last few years, opponents of public health have dramatically accelerated the use of preemption to hinder public health. From e-cigarettes to paid sick days, more and more communities are threatened with losing their ability to protect their own residents. This not only affects the community health and safety, but it can kill effective grassroots movements before they even start.
Maintaining local authority is essential to both preserving democracy and protecting public health and safety. To that end, Grassroots Change, an organization that empowers grassroots leaders to build and sustain effective public health movements at the local, state, and national levels, has updated its state preemption map to reflect the growing threat of preemption in six areas: smokefree laws, e-cigarettes, nutrition, factory farms, paid sick days and guns. In addition to these issues, preemption is also a serious concern in dozens of other arenas including fracking, fire prevention and alcohol policy.
Click on any of these six issues, or on your own state, to see the coast-to-coast impact of preemption on community health and safety.