State Alcohol Taxes and Health:
A Citizen's Action Guide

CHAPTER 7

INTRODUCTION

Once you have gathered the facts about alcohol taxes and understand the consequences of alcohol use and abuse in your state, you'll be ready to launch an educational campaign to help put the issue on the public policy agenda. In all likelihood, opinion leaders will not have given much thought to increasing alcohol taxes, and few will appreciate the impact of higher taxes on alcohol-related problems. They may, however, be interested in a major new source of revenues, particularly as states feel the effects of massive budget cuts at the federal level.

A broad-based coalition is the best vehicle to get your message across to a wider range of constituencies. Building a coalition to support your campaign will help you:

  • magnify its impact and bring new voices into the public debate

  • pool resources and knowledge from experts in many areas

  • ignite the enthusiasm of people who may be concerned, but who are overworked or discouraged by past experiences

You can begin building support by forming a coalition of groups and individuals who represent different aspects of your community and have an interest in addressing alcohol-related problems. Support for raising alcohol taxes often crosses traditional political lines, and you may be able to attract a wide range of individuals and groups to your coalition.

Coalition members should have regular opportunities to discuss the coalition's goals and strategies. From the outset, developing a statement of purpose will help focus the philosophy and work of the coalition.

CSPI 1996

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