Support our legislative efforts - advocating for the continuation of Community Wellness Projects funded by the Unhealthy Food Tax.
Yá'át'ééh relatives and friends,
Our Healthy Diné Nation Act of 2014 is now in the legislative process of being renewed and reauthorized. Ahéhee', thank you to our legislative sponsors Honorable Delegates Amber Kanazbah Crotty, Otto Tso, and Mark Freeland.
Since November 16th, 2020, our Legislation 0278-20 passed in favor passed in favor of the Law and Order Committee meeting, Resources and Development Committee, Budget and Finance Committee, the Health, Education, Human Services Committee, and on Friday, December 11, 2020, the Naabik'íyáti' Committee voted 20-3 in favor. Last week on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020, the Navajo Nation Council passed our Legislation 0278-20, approval and reauthorization of the Healthy Diné Nation Act of 2014 as we now come to the expiration date of the Act in a few days.
Background: Our “Community Wellness Development Projects Fund Management Plan” passed in April of 2015 - a special revenue account of the Healthy Diné Nation Act to ensure the unhealthy foods tax would fund Community Wellness Projects on the Navajo Nation in all 110 Navajo Chapters. Today, over $7.5 million has been raised as of 2019, funding over 1,000 projects.
Grassroots advocacy since 2011. After many years of our collective effort of the #HealthyDinéNation policy initiatives including the sister law of the Healthy Foods Sales Tax Elimination, we are continuing to address the inhumanity of food apartheid that we face on our Diné Nation and the continued presence of harmful foods and beverages that are contaminating our traditional lifeways and foodways. In this COVID-19 pandemic, many of our people are challenged by numerous vulnerabilities with pre-existing health conditions and it is imperative to continue to protect the health and well-being of our tribal citizens and community members. The dominating presence of ch’iyáán bizhool, unhealthy foods and beverages are controlling our food access points more than ever and have increased the risk, exposure, and possible contraction of the novel coronavirus Dikos Ntsaaígíí-Náhást'éíts'áadah for our people. If we are not mindful of this reality and the consequences, the outcome could be detrimental. We have a collective responsibility to steward the way forward in healing and resilience.
Stand in health solidarity with us. We are decolonizing our foodways. We kindly and urgently ask for you to send supportive comments of the renewal - your statement is valuable and crucial in passing this bill once more for our Diné people and community members.
Please send a public comment with the letter below. FYI: anyone can submit comments even if you are not enrolled in our tribe so allies and partners, you are welcome to participate.
Denisa Livingston, Mr. Danny Simpson and DCAA Advocates
SAMPLE COMMENT LETTER, you can copy, paste and customize:
December (enter day), 2020
Office of Legislative Services
P.O. Box 3390
Window Rock, AZ 86515
RE: Legislation 0278-20, Approval and Reauthorization of the Healthy Diné Nation Act of 2014
Dear 24th Navajo Nation Council,
We honor you as our leaders in this renewal of our historical and living law of the Healthy Dine Nation Act of 2014. We appreciate and value your continued support, expertise, and careful stewardship of the historical legislative grassroots efforts that includes the past three administrations and councils of the Navajo Nation Government. These efforts have been and still are deeply rooted in intergenerational collective action, in community, and in relationship to address our diabetes epidemic, to reclaim our identity through traditional healthy food, and to improve the health and well-being of our people through the funding of Community Wellness Projects made possible by our Act.
Based on the intention of the bill to provide support for the Navajo Tax Commission, we appreciate their commitment to continue to works towards effective administration and enforcement of these efforts. We support the DCAA requests to retain the historical and visionary title of the Healthy Diné Nation Act of 2014 with no expiration date, to continue to include alcoholic beverages, newly target marketed food and beverages, and fast food.
Please continue to lead us towards the vision of a Healthy Diné Nation with healthy future generations. Let’s stand in health solidarity of healthful and nutritious food and water as life, ch’íyáán yá’át’éhégí dóó tó éí ííná át’é. Again, we are very appreciative of your continued leadership and guidance of our grassroots efforts.Thank you in advance for your inclusion of community participation and engagement. We look forward to the renewal of the Healthy Dine Nation Act of 2014.
(Include a short description of your organizational partnership or collaboration with DCAA under the leadership of Denisa Livingston, Mr. Danny Simpson, and grassroots advocates.)
(Your Name, name of Navajo Nation Chapter or name Navajo community, Organization and/or Tribe and/or Title)
cc: Diné Community Advocacy Alliance, firstname.lastname@example.org
Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals.