Happy Meal Ban Hinges on Swing Supe Bevan Dufty

Categories: Government, Health
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Does Bevan Dufty want that Happy Meal?
Supervisor Eric Mar's attention-grabbing plan to mandate only acceptably nutritious restaurant meals be permitted to come with toys -- complete with a "multigrain amendment" -- yesterday cleared a Board of Supervisors committee.

The full board will vote on the measure on Oct. 19. Given the composition of the board, chances of passage are about as good as the Hamburglar saying "robble robble." But, with a mayoral veto promised by Gavin Newsom, eight votes are required for an override. Once again, it all comes down to Supervisor Bevan Dufty. We reached the supervisor this morning. 

Dufty's response to queries about how he'd vote recalled the old joke about a rabbi deciding a dispute between two men. The first man states his case, and the rabbi responds, "you're right." The second man then chimes in, and the rabbi responds, "you're right." The rabbi's wife then shouts, "they can't both be right!" To which the rabbi responds, "you're right, too!"

The District 8 supervisor has talked to folks on both sides of the issue. He can see how they're both "right." But he's not willing to favor either with his vote. Yet.

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Supervisor Bevan Dufty
Proposal author Supervisor Eric Mar "Has been very thoughtful in his first two years as a supervisor.I really want to accord him a measure of respect. He's been a good colleague to me for two years, so I don't want to rush to judgment," said Dufty. "I haven't sat down and talked to the mayor yet. I did meet with the franchise owners. The city established a number of laws they abide by -- minimum wage, mandatory sick pay, Healthy San Francisco. Those are all things I've supported. So they go further than a lot of quick-service restaurants."

Dufty is running for mayor -- and when asked if he'd be the mayoral candidate opponents could characterize as having taken toys away from kids, he laughed and said he's "been focused on other things." But he still wouldn't reveal his voting plans. He couldn't say what he'd need to see tweaked in the legislation for him to say yes or if he could accept the status quo. He says he simply hasn't made up his mind and knows he doesn't need to until the 19th.

"I'm 96 days out from leaving the Board of Supervisors, and there are issues I'm very focused on," he said. "I've been trying to watch this [the Happy Meal legislation]. I haven't been fully focused on this, but I am now. ... I'm not ready to take a position yet." 

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