In a recent poll by Lake Research Partners, Howard County likely voters made their voice loud and clear in their strong support of multiple potential health measures. Voters gave their big nod of approval to everything from maternity care for uninsured mothers to investments in mental health and complete streets. They also expressed strong support for measures to improve nutrition in the county as well as policies to improve housing and other social determinants of health. Some key highlights:
- 74% support spending at least $10 million on bike and pedestrian infrastructure improvements (54% strongly support).
- 85% support (61% strongly) requiring developers to install sidewalks that connect to well-frequented areas in the county.
- 71% support (54% strongly) charging developers a significant fee for sidewalks, paths, and intersection improvements.
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- 69% of Howard County likely voters think “providing better access to maternity and post-birth care for uninsured and underinsured pregnant women,” is important, including 28% who say it is extremely important. And overall support is significant in all five county council districts.
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Improving access to healthy food and fighting chronic disease
- 80% favor using “county government funds to make fresh fruits and vegetables more affordable for childcare centers,” including 61% who favor it strongly.
- 67% favor requiring “farmers’ markets to accept food stamps/supplemental nutrition assistance program payment cards as a form of payment,” including 49% who favor it strongly.
- 65% favor providing “more farmers’ markets in lower-income neighborhoods, with 44% expressing strong support.
- 67% of voters favor prohibiting “manufacturers from charging more for healthier drinks like bottled water compared to sugary drinks, like soda,” including 56% who favor it strongly.
- 66% of likely voters favor providing “consumers more information by adding warning labels to drinks that have high amounts of sugar,” including 47% who favor it strongly.
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In a county that’s received accolades for its “culture of health” this shouldn’t be a surprise – but the depth of support should be an eye opener, especially for our elected officials. There is work to be done and we need your help. Join with the Foundation and other partners as we work to make change happen in Howard County.