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[IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A graphic image with four panels that provide examples of issues on which local communities often legislate, like gun safety.]
Karen Showalter's picture

Preemption policies prohibit local governments from passing laws or ordnances that are more robust than what exists at a higher level. For example, a preemption policy could prohibit a city council from passing a soda tax because one doesn't exist at the state level, or a borough council from passing a plastic bag ban because one doesn't exist at the state level. Preemption is a sneaky tactic used by trade associations and lobbyists to stifle local efforts to build healthy communities. 

Preemption laws are being passed at the state level around a wide set of issues, from paid sick days to tobacco. And preemption laws already exist in 46 states around gun safety. For example, right now Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto is challenging Pennsylvania preemption laws that prohibit the City of Pittsburgh from passing aggressive gun safety legislation following the Tree of Life shooting.

While preemption seems abstract and technical, there is hope.  As advocates and leaders it's essential we understand and recognize preemption efforts, as they will affect our work. Take a moment to watch and share the educational video below to be sure your network knows about preemption and is ready to act when a preemption fight arises in your state. Scroll down for links to some of MomsRising's partner organization leading work on preemption across the country, too. 

Watch and share the video: 

Learn more about preemption: 

Communities across the country are building a world where all of our kids and families can thrive. And parents have helped lead the way.


But what if your city, town or county was barred from following the will of the people and making these good things happen? 

Right now, corporate interests are working to pass state-level “preemption” bills that stop local communities from passing policies promoting public health, safety and economic well-being, that are supported by people and local leaders. 

Preemption is part of a national coordinated campaign by corporate lobbyists and trade associations to silence our voices in order to protect their profits and line their pockets. 


Who should be making decisions about our own communities? Us. But preemption takes our power away, weakens local democracy, overturns local elections, and ends local control over issues we care about. And stifles innovation to boot. 


There is hope. We have the power to fight back. Parents have won great things for our communities. And we will win at defending them too. But it’s going to take all hands on deck to make it happen.

Here's what you can do: 

Watch the video to learn more. Share it with your friends. Speak out about preemption efforts in your state. Find links to partner organizations leading the charge below. 


Find out more from partner organizations leading local campaigns around preemption:

  • Voices for Healthy Kids Preemption Messaging Tips   
  • Voices for Healthy Kids Preemption Advocate Fact Sheet
  • Voices for Healthy Kids State Decision Maker Fact Sheet
  • Local Solutions Support Center. The Local Solutions Support Center (LSSC) is a coordinating hub that provides local governments, elected officials and advocates with the strategies, tools and assistance needed to defend local democracy and discourage the use of preemption that limits the ability of cities to protect people’s civil rights, solve problems, and improve lives.

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