As a minister and father of eight year old twin daughters, health and dental care is a top concern. Making sure that low-income children have every advantage should be a top priority of our city and right now that just isn't the case. Portland, one of only two major cities in the nation without fluoride in the water, is a community where "21% of children suffer from untreated dental decay – that’s forty percent more than fluoridated Seattle Metro." We can change all that by voting yes on 26-151 this May.
The CDC calls fluoridation one of the top public health achievements of the last century, and for Portland this is an issue of equity - which is why not only the medical community backs fluoridation but so does the Coalition of Communities of Color.
I've heard the arguments against fluoridation: It's a conspiracy backed by big money, it will kill dogs and plants, fluoride is bad for kids, kids can get free dental care instead at public health centers and schools, etc. You listen to these arguments and cannot help be reminded of those who deny the science that clearly shows a link between human activity and climate change. The organizers of the campaign to stop fluoride are denying the reality of the scientific consensus that exists on this issue - that fluoride is safe - and arguing that their personal right not to use fluoride trumps the needs of children in our community suffering from a public health crisis. And where is this free, universal dental care I keep hearing about?
Good people can come to different conclusions on difficult issues but Portland has been ill served by the official campaign against fluoride which has used outright lies and fear to fuel their campaign.