San Francisco, Oakland and Albany all have local measures on their ballots that would tax distributors one-cent for each ounce of sugar-sweetened beverages.
Republican political consultant Mike Madrid sees the campaign against soda following the same blueprint as environmentalists who opposed the use of disposable plastic bags in grocery stores.
"For ten years they were unable to get through the Legislature because the plastic bag manufacturers had so much money, and as a result, they took their fights to the local city councils," Madrid says. "After about eight years of doing this, a third of cities passed restrictions, and then the Legislature finally responded."
Lawmakers passed a statewide ban on plastic bags in 2014, which the industry is trying to overturn this election through Proposition 67.
If cities continue to approve soda taxes this November, that could begin to build similar momentum.
But, a statewide soda tax would face a higher bar than the simple majority vote with which lawmakers passed the bag ban. Any new tax requires two-thirds support in the Legislature.
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