May 18, 2016 – The Newport fluoridation vote was the first in Oregon since Portland’s landmark vote defeating fluoridation 61% – 39% in 2013. Newport, Oregon voters rejected water fluoridation yesterday by a landslide 64% – 36%.
Clean Water Newport, the all-volunteer grass roots organization headed by Dr. Susan Andersen, ND, led the effort to stop it. Its 20-member leadership team met regularly for nine months to organize and execute the campaign.
Starting last August, the fledgling group stopped an almost-certain decision by the Newport City Council to fluoridate by meeting with councilors, testifying at meetings and providing numerous flyers attesting to fluoridation’s health risks, complete with peer-reviewed scientific documentation. Their efforts led to the Council’s October 19 decision to refer the matter to voters in the May 17 primary election.
In the months leading up to the election, Clean Water Newport volunteers canvassed much of the city, talking one-on-one to hundreds of residents emphasizing one clear message: People should have the right to choose whether they ingest fluoride – it’s not right to force anyone to ingest a drug they don’t want.
This message, along with many other strong talking points, reinforced what fluoridation opponents across the country already know: The more people know about fluoridation, the more likely they are to oppose it.
This vote was more than just about Newport. It was a clear message that wherever and whenever citizens can be fully educated about the issue, fluoridation will fail. It is a house of cards that has already been rejected by most nations, cities, health and medical organizations around the world, and it will fall, hopefully soon, in the United States.
Clean Water Newport is deeply grateful to everyone who supported our cause, allowing us to make a statement loud and clear that Newport would move forward in the 21stcentury, rejecting the faulty science and reasoning of the past.
This victory is dedicated to CWN leadership team member Brian Perkins, a wise, kind and gentle man, who died suddenly of a stroke at 68 just weeks before Election Day. It was Brian’s idea to create the pocket-sized 8-page informational brochure that proved so popular. He also testified at hearings, distributed lawn signs, canvassed several neighborhoods, drove one of our three cars in the Loyalty Days parade, and created, along with his wife Iori, the ingenious Origami folded cranes so popular in the parade.
Brian also recorded two radio spots. When he died, his wife asked that his spots continue to be aired until Election Day. Even though he was no longer with us, his voice lived on, just as it will in Newport for all the years to come until fluoridation is banned forever.
Brian epitomized Clean Water Newport’s leadership team, who gave their time, talents, money and courage in this great cause. It’s something they’ll be able to proudly tell their grandchildren – and anyone else’s grandchildren – all about.