My name is Tyshaun Johnson. [I am] a junior at Asheville High School, a youth leader with Asheville’s Real Food Active Living team and, most importantly, a citizen of the great republic we all know as the United States of America.
Now, I know you all must be wondering what I could possibly have to say — [what] to tell you, at my age, that will add any enrichment to your life, but I would ask you to set aside your preconceived notions for youth for the duration of this letter. The cause for this letter to the people of Asheville is an outrage known as House Bill 683, also known as the “Anti-Bloomberg Bill,” which would “restrict local governments from limiting the size of sodas above a particular size.”
In addition limiting size, this bill would also take away the right of the people to sue industries for weight gain, obesity or any health conditions associated with obesity. This bill is a rushed work in reaction to the scare Mayor Bloomberg gave the nation in New York City, and is not fit to be passed in this nation.
While I do acknowledge that it is absurd for a person to blame and sue one company for them being obese or overweight, since it is most likely the result of many variables, such as lifestyle and dietary habits and not simply one product, this one potential positive part of this bill doesn’t in anyway make up for the fact that [it] would take away the rights of local governments to make what may become necessary changes to their policy.
If this bill were to pass, it would undermine the liberties this republic has worked so hard to establish. This brings me back to the reason for writing: I am asking you, the people of Asheville, for support, or to be more specific, I am asking you to not support this bill that would undermine the rights and power of local government.
— Tyshaun Johnson