Primary Approaches

Upstream Public Health

About the Grant

Support to Upstream Public Health (Upstream) for a time-sensitive project to provide education to build public support for community water fluoridation (CWF). Portland is the largest city in the U.S. that has not adopted CWF. A public vote on May 21, 2013 will determine whether the City of Portland will fluoridate its water supply, which serves 932,000 residents. A vote to approve water fluoridation in Portland would dramatically improve the dental health landscape in the Portland area, decreasing decay by at least 25 percent and saving at least $20 million per year in dental costs. Upstream, along with the many coalition partners active during the City Council effort, is uniquely poised to deliver an educational message about the science and facts about fluoridation. This public education campaign represents a relatively unique opportunity to use a policy issue to bring the issues, challenges, and concerns of low-income people, communities of color and the value of public health into a vigorous mainstream discussion and will convey several important themes and demonstrate broad-based national and local support for fluoridation.