LAAMPP Alumni Continue to Impact Tobacco Control Policy Change in Minnesota LAAMPP Alumni Continue to Impact Tobacco Control Policy Change in Minnesota

Though the Leadership and Advocacy Institute to Advance Minnesota’s Parity for Priority Populations (LAAMPP Institute) runs for 18 months, LAAMPP alumni draw upon skills and connections gained through their participation in their ongoing work serving marginalized communities through tobacco control. With support from ClearWay MinnesotaSM, Vicki Sanders (a current LAAMPP consultant) organized a January 10 quarterly meeting for former alumni and other members of the LAAMPP community to network and to learn from a dynamic speech by political analyst Todd Rapp from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota.

Though the Leadership and Advocacy Institute to Advance Minnesota’s Parity for Priority Populations (LAAMPP Institute) runs for 18 months, LAAMPP alumni draw upon skills and connections gained through their participation in their ongoing work serving marginalized communities through tobacco control. With support from ClearWay MinnesotaSM, Vicki Sanders (a current LAAMPP consultant) organized a January 10 quarterly meeting for former alumni and other members of the LAAMPP community to network and to learn from a dynamic speech by political analyst Todd Rapp from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota.

Mr. Rapp stressed that change is coming from the ground up and declared that smoking and commercial tobacco is not a partisan issue, as it crosses party lines. Addressing the leaders representing cross-cultural communities, Mr. Rapp paraphrased the late Senator Paul Wellstone by stating that we need to speak our minds, adhere to our beliefs and generate solutions because, “We all do better when we all do better.” He highlighted that the tobacco industry targets poor people and people of color, and – making a direct connection to the Raise it for Health coalition– noted that while tax increases are regressive, more so are the health implications for poor people with limited access to health care.

The Raise it for Health coalition is a Minnesota-based coalition with 30 partners, including LAAMPP and ClearWay MinnesotaSM. As part of the Raise it for Health coalition, current and former LAAMPP fellows, sponsored by the Headwaters Foundation for Justice, work as Policy
Champions to educate Minnesota policymakers and community members on how commercial tobacco has a disproportionate health impact on marginalized groups in Minnesota and how raising the price of tobacco is one proven way to help reduce tobacco use.

(Note: The views, opinions and positions expressed by the speaker are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of APPEAL, LAAMPP, ClearWay MinnesotaSM, or the Headwaters Foundation for Justice.)

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