Yes on 26-151: The Safe, Effective Solution To Our Dental Health Crisis
Oregon is in the midst of a dental health crisis that is threatening our children’s health and educational success. One third of Oregon children have tooth decay, and that rate is even higher in communities of color, and in many of our Asian and Pacific Islander communities. The solution is a combination of education, better access to dental care, and fluoridated water.
For many of our communities, particularly immigrants and refugees, our children face rampant dental decay. This has lifelong consequences. Asian and Pacific Islander children face a real disparity, with fewer than 15 percent visiting a dentist by age two. Our children who have cavities and are in pain miss more school days on average, have trouble eating and speaking, and have life-long health issues and costs. Dental decay is expensive for individual families, accounts for 30 percent of all healthcare costs for children, and drives up healthcare costs for everyone. And yet it is 100 percent preventable.
APANO, the Coalition of Communities of Color, the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization, the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Oregon, and over 90 institutions and community groups have joined with every major health care organization in the country, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the National Institutes of Health, in recognizing that fluoridation is safe and effective. It’s the best way to ensure that every child, regardless of race, ethnicity or income, has access to the most important cavity-prevention measure.
Studies have shown that fluoridated water reduces dental decay by 30 percent. In the last 40 years, there have been more than 3,700 studies of its safety and effectiveness. Fluoridated water has been used for more than 65 years by hundreds of millions of Americans, and currently 74% percent of Americans drink it every day. It also saves us money: For every $1 spent fluoridating water, a community can expect to save $38 in dental costs.
The Healthy Kids Healthy Portland Coalition has formed to say that Oregon’s dental health crisis is not acceptable for our children and that fluoridating Portland’s water is the right investment to make now for our children’s health and educational success, for social justice and for economic prosperity. We the undersigned community, health and business leaders urge you to vote yes on May 21st to ballot measure 26-151.
Learn more at FluorideFactsPortland.com
Signatories (affiliations listed for identification purposes only)
- Kathy Delumpa Allegri, Allegri Wine & Art Gallery
- Marcelo Bonta, Environmental Professionals of Color and the Center for Diversity and the Environment
- Ronault LS Catalani, Attorney
- Lee Po Cha - IRCO Asian Family Center
- Jennifer Chang, MPH
- Jeannette Pai-Espinosa
- Vui Talitu Dr. Toeutu Faaleava, Samoa Pacific Development Corporation
- Anuradha Jairam, Program Coordinator, Family And Community Empowerment (FACE) a program of MESO
- Rujuta Goankar, MPH
- Dr. Gregory Garcia, MD
- Dr. Melissa Goebel, Internal Medicine, Legacy Health Systems
- Rujuta Gaonkar, MPH
- Dr. Jessica Gregg, Associate Professor of Medicine, OHSU
- Helena Huang, NW Health Foundation
- Dr. Cyrus Lee, President, Chinese American Citizens Alliance - Portland Lodge
- Dr. Junghee Lee, Social Work, Portland State University
- Jaime Lim, Asian Reporter Publisher
- Jason Lim, Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Oregon
- Evelyn Liu, Phoenix Lotus
- Julia Markley, Attorney
- Dr. Connie Masuoka, Dentist
- Kim Nguyen, Interpretation/Translation Services, Portland Public Schools.
- Thach Nguyen, Multnomah County Juvenile Court Services.
- Dr. Connie Nguyen-Truong, Researcher, OHSU School of Nursing
- Suk Rhee, Northwest Health Foundation
- Gauri Rajbaidya, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon
- Christine Chin Ryan, President, Synergy Consulting, Inc.
- Aimee Santos-Lyons, Western States Center
- Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon
- Betsy Tam Salter, Multnomah County Democrats
- Jeff Selby, former JACL President
- June Arima Schumann, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon
- Ping Khaw Sutherland
- Carol Suzuki, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon
- Elizabeth Takahashi, MPH
- Dr. Dennis Tan, MD
- Simon Tam, The Slants and PACE Foundation
- Tuyen Tran, MPA-HA
- Dr Thuy Tran, Rose City Vision Care, Parkrose School Board
- Lillian Tsai, TsaiComms LLC
- Sandy Tsuneyoshi, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon
- Dr. Farzin Turk, Dentist
- Dr. Anselmo Villanueva, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon
- Joseph Wahl, former President, Oregon Buddhist Temple
- Khalid Wahab, JD MPH, Former Chair Oregon Environmental Justice Task Force
- Mari Watanabe, Oregon Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs
- Bing Wong
- Byron Wong, Thymos and Bigwowo.com
- Hyeyoung Woo, Sociology, Portland State University
- Dr. Phil Wu, Kaiser
- Jean Yamamoto, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon
- Helen Ying, Chinese American Citizen’s Alliance Portland Lodge
- Julie Yu, MD
- Justin Yuen, Small Business Owner