Washington DC Council Member Mary Cheh: A Food Difference

by Justin Taylor
Part of the ongoing Politicians Making a Food Difference series

The Hunter College New York City Food Policy Center is excited to recognize the politicians who are working for smart, fair food policy around the country. This week we honor the work of Washington D.C. Council Member Mary Cheh.

Name: Mary Cheh [D-WDC]

Political title: Council Member, District of Columbia Ward 3

Hometown: Elizabeth, New Jersey  

Educational Bio: Douglass College, Rutgers University, Harvard University

What she cares about: Transportation, environment, health, families

What she’s done: Enacted the Healthy Schools Act of 2010, the first bill to target childhood obesity in Washington, D.C., which is becoming a national model for nutrition and physical activity standards in public and charter schools across the country. It established nutritional standards for school meals and set healthy vending, fundraising and prize requirements; and it has since been amended to clarify the definition of processed foods and require that school campuses are tobacco-free.

Introduced the Food Environmental and Economic Development in the District of Columbia Act of 2012 (FEED D.C.), increasing the availability of healthy foods in low-income neighborhoods.

Recent food-related policies she’s supported: Fresh Healthy Mobile Cart Vending Pilot Program in underserved areas to clearly define a “healthy food vendor” as one who sells only fruits and vegetables and to focus the program in historically underutilized business zones.

Water Quality Assurance Amendment Act, which mandates testing for unregulated contaminants in D.C.’s drinking water, establishes a Water Quality Assurance Advisory Panel, and examines unregulated contaminants in wastewater effluent.

Council website: https://www.marycheh.com

DC Food Policy Council: https://dcfoodpolicy.org/2017/10/23/action-alert-healthy-students-amendment-act-of-2017/

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