On Tuesday, November 15, 2016, Makena Binker-Cosen, an active member of The 84’s Statewide Leadership Team, spoke at the Brookline Town Meeting on behalf of a Warrant Article that would tighten tobacco regulations in her town.
The article under review included restricting the sale of flavored tobacco products to adult-only retail establishments, and raising the minimum price of a single cigar to $2.50. The article passed by 178 to 2 votes, creating a huge win for Makena and youth in Brookline.
Not only did she deliver a powerful speech to explain the provisions, but she was recognized by the moderator of the meeting for her poise and persistence in making sure this legislation was passed. To quote Makena, “It is imperative that young people are given the time and space to educate themselves and make an informed, conscious decision about tobacco and their life.” Makena is truly dedicated to the cause and has been invaluable in working toward ending youth tobacco use in Massachusetts. Makena’s success in Brookline Is a great reminder that making your voice heard can have a huge impact in your community.
Rachel Martin, a Program Coordinator with The 84 and resident of Brookline also spoke at the hearing and testified on behalf of the youth she works with by saying, “we give Big Tobacco the opportunity to target youth by letting them sell what they sell and where they sell it. By not doing enough as a town to ensure that the youth cannot buy these products, is to stunt our town’s youth of great opportunities.”
We hope that what happened in Brookline will serve as inspiration for the whole movement to take action towards creating local change!
Congratulations to Makena and the town of Brookline!