Content: The Academy is currently promoting three active action alerts! Take Action by submitting an automatically generated letter to your congressional representatives.
HEROES Act (H.R. 6800) – The HEROES Act adjusts federal food assistance programs to provide food insecure Americans with help during this uncertain time. Key provisions in the HEROES Act include a 15% increase in the max benefit for SNAP through September 30, 2021 as well as an increase in the minimum benefit from $15 to $30 per month. The Act has passed the House of Representatives, was considered in the Senate by the Housing, Community Development, and Insurance Committee on June 10. It is currently awaiting further action by the Senate.
MNT Act (H.R. 6971) – The Medical Nutrition Therapy Act expands access to MNT for several diet-related diseases covered under Medicare Part B. Such added coverage includes prediabetes, obesity, HTN, eating disorders, cancer, Celiac disease, and more. Expanded access to MNT is especially important for minority populations that have long faced chronic disease health disparities due to socioeconomic inequalities and reduced access to health care, healthful foods, and safe places to be active. This Act was introduced in the House on May 22, and is awaiting further action.
Support Diversity in Allied Health Professions – The Academy has partnered with the National Association for Equal Opportunities in Higher Education to encourage Congress to provide $300 million in funding for minority serving institutions that would support allied health professions programs, including nutrition and dietetics. In addition, we are requesting $10 million for nutrition and dietetics career outreach. This initiative would allow for increased numbers of minority health professionals to provide culturally competent nutrition counselling in communities of color. Additionally, the initiative seeks to increase the numbers of young people of color choosing allied health careers.
Dawn Matusz, BS, NDTR
Public Policy Coordinator
With the primaries now over, the race to the general election will get hot and heavy. The primary is the first step for candidates from both parties to determine who will be on the ballot in November. Each candidate runs against individuals from their own party in an effort to see who can garner the most votes to make them eligible for the general election. Just because a candidate is an incumbent, does not guarantee them a spot for the general. In fact, in this primary, two incumbents were defeated by challengers. In the federal elections, the top vote getter in each party will move on to the general election.
For example, in the 1st Congressional District, Assemblywoman Dina Titus, the incumbent, Democrat, will face off against Joyce Bently, Republican.
Assembly and Senate races follow the same pattern. In some primary races, there was only one party represented. That is because there was just one candidate who filed in the other party. Those two will then be on the general ballot in November. In some cases, there was no challenger from the other party. That happened in Assembly District 1, so Assemblywoman Danielle Monroe-Moreno will automatically be re-elected to her position.
Judicial races are different. If a judicial candidate received more than 50% of the vote, they are automatically elected to that seat. For example, Judge Ron Israel was re-elected to District 8, Department 28 with 50.93% of the vote. In most of the other races, no candidate received more than 50% of the votes so the top two vote getters will be in a run-off in general. An example is District 8, Department 24 where Dan Gillam received 32.16% of the votes and Erika D. Ballow received 23.36 %. Judicial races, by the way, are non-partisan.
Will November be mail-in again? We don't know yet. But I would encourage each of you to find the candidates in your area, read up on them and on the judicial candidates and be sure to vote.
Kara Freeman, DrPH RD, FAND
State Policy Representative