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Though California is a national leader in tobacco control and enjoys one of the lowest smoking prevalence rates in America, not all of our communities have equally benefited. Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, African Americans, the LGBTQ community, and members of the military are just some of the groups that still have high smoking rates. There are complex reasons why some communities continue to bare a disparate tobacco related burden. An important part of the solution is the cultivation and training of leaders from these communities.
Because of the passage of California’s historic 2016 tobacco tax, thousands of jobs in tobacco control across the state of California will be created. The average student has little knowledge of these career opportunities. The LOOP Leadership Development Program (LDP) aims to build capacity by increasing knowledge and access to these opportunities. We are actively recruiting 12-16 “Fellows” to participate in a vigorous 8-week program. Once successful applicants complete the program they will receive a certificate of completion from the University of California, San Francisco. They will also have ongoing access to a cadre of mentorship and support. We want to help you develop your leadership skills as we guide you through a wide array of career boosting opportunities. Applicants who represent the populations most adversely targeted by Big Tobacco are strongly encouraged to apply.
It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we share the news that one of The LOOP’s technical assistance trainers (TAT), Richard Barnes, has recently passed away. When The LOOP first began back in 2014, Richard was one of the first individuals we invited to become a TAT not only because of his extensive experience and expertise in tobacco control advocacy, but also because of his warm and genuine character.
The LOOP has greatly benefitted from Richard’s contributions which include facilitating trainings around state and local policymaking, as well as the importance of media advocacy. Richard will always be remembered not only as a mentor, but as an inspiration for those committed to making the world a better place for all.
Richard – you will be dearly missed.
On December 12, 2017, the city of San Francisco was saddened to hear about the sudden passing of Mayor Ed Lee. Earlier this year, Mayor Lee helped usher in a landmark flavored tobacco ordinance that would restrict the sale of flavored tobacco (including menthol cigarettes) in San Francisco. When discussing big tobacco’s role within our communities, Lee stated “They’re trying to get vulnerable populations hooked. It’s not one cigarette like somebody might say or trying something out. It is being hooked that brings in the profit that continues the deep advertisements into vulnerable communities. This is about piercing the menthol veil. The candy veil. The false veil of advertising. And I’ll be really glad when this approaches my desk. I’ll be signing it with eager, eager anticipation.”
The LOOP will always remember Mayor Ed Lee not only as an ally in the fight against big tobacco, but also a champion for social justice. He will be greatly missed.