March Message

25 March 2013



Dear Friends:

Today we launch a campaign to raise funds specifically to advocate for the issues you told us are critical—an equitable Farm Bill, access to healthy food for everyone, and programs that strengthen local food systems.

Because we do not use dedicated program funding to educate policymakers and advocate for state and national policy in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., we must rely on individual donations. And that means we have to ask you to contribute to our Advocacy Fund.

You’ll be hearing a lot about this fundraising campaign in the days and weeks to come, because it is more important than ever, in the face of debates about Sequestration, Continuing Resolutions, the Debt Ceiling, and competing Budgets that hack away at nutrition, conservation, and other programs that serve our communities and local economies.

CFJC staff works tirelessly to be present in Sacramento and D.C., to make sure your voice and values are heard. Please contribute now so that we can make sure that proposed cuts are not enacted unopposed.

By this time, it is impossible to ignore the fact that who we will be as a country and as a people are hanging in the balance as politicians and pundits argue about the best way to achieve “deficit reduction.” It is too easy to fall into the trap of arguing the merits of one set of program cuts vs. another, and forget that someone other than us is setting the agenda for discussion and argument.

Who decreed we have to decide between feeding our children and paying farm and food producers a decent living? Indeed, how can we in good conscience ignore the effects of those decisions as we move onto the next debate?

One of the things that CFJC does on your behalf is to remind policy makers and other advocates that what is done in Sacramento and D.C. has dramatic effects on families and individuals in our communities at a time when more and more people are falling into poverty—when more than 46 million people are struggling to put food on the table.

Make a donation to ensure that your values and voice, that the needs of our children, our families, and our people are paramount.

It seems that we live at a time when we are redefining how we live with and care, or not care for one another.

I have always taken it for granted that in our representative democracy, our republic, the social contract dictated that we build and maintain a foundational safety net for those not able to take care of themselves, and/or their family(s). That we achieved this through a combination of faith-based efforts, “charity” or nonprofit organizations, good neighbor policies, and governmental programs was something of which we could all be proud.

But last week in D.C. it was pointed out to me that my long-held belief in a traditional safety net is no longer shared by all.

It was explained to me that today Congress is comprised of many people who simply do not believe that government should have a significant role in providing the safety net. That the safety net should be provided exclusively by charity and faith-based efforts.

I don’t know why it has taken me so long to come to an understanding of what is actually going on in Congress, and I want to thank those D.C. insiders who took the time to sit me down and explain.

Now, when I view the financial debates in light of this new (to me) information that a significant Congressional faction believes government should not be in the business of caring for our people, it does make a bizarre kind of logical sense. Of course the debate is always about cutting services—because they actually believe government should not be providing services at all.

So then, this is what we are up against. For CFJC it means that our work is clear before us.

It also means that you are challenged to weigh in, as well.

CFJC is positioned to advocate for your beliefs and values, for as long as we are able. Please make a contribution now, to make sure that we continue to do so.

Perhaps one of the hardest lessons I’ve had to come to accept in this process is that there really are no “bad guys” in the larger policy making arena. Instead, I have to accept that differing beliefs dictate different behaviors, and consequently, different funding priorities.

That may be true. However, I choose to believe that my role at CFJC is to advocate for the kind of world and country I believe you agree we want to have.

Which means we fight for government funding for the kind of Farm Bill and other programs that we need to have in place.

Over the past two years CFJC fought hard alongside our partners to be at the table where these fundamental discussions and decisions are taking place. Please make a donation now to the Advocacy Fund so that we can hold that space to uplift your voice and values, and bring back sanity and common sense to the policy making arena.

Once again, on behalf of the CFJC staff and volunteers, thank you for your personal commitment to the health and well-being of communities across the country.

For those of you who haven’t done so already, please, if you are able, click on this link to make a contribution to the Community Food and Justice Coalition, so that we can continue to speak out and work on your behalf.

Thank you.

Best wishes.

YAN e-sig



Executive Director

Community Food and Justice Coalition

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CFJC promotes the basic human right to healthy food while advancing social, agricultural, environmental and economic justice. Through advocacy, organizing and education, we collaborate with community-based efforts to create a sustainable food supply. We envision a food system in which all activities, from farm to table, are equitable, healthful, regenerative and community-driven.

If you believe in these principles JOIN CFJC NOW.

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