Our member organizations, and the communities in which they work, have developed innovative and effective solutions to the food and farming problems in their communities. From community gardens, to farmers markets, to pesticide-awareness education, the programs our members have created are successfully addressing the broken food system by increasing healthy food access in low-income areas, reducing greenhouse gas emissions related to food miles, strengthening local economies, and creating green collar jobs.
Because they are effective, we feel that local-level policy should support and scale-up our members’ efforts, as opposed to hindering them. For these reasons, the coalition has created our newest campaign, Grow Local, with the goal of rebuilding just, local food systems through advocating for supportive local-level policy.
Launched in June 2009, Grow Local aims to increase access to land and resources (such as processing and distribution infrastructure, education programs, and markets), for local food production and consumption. Increased access to land and resources will enable our communities to rebuild local food systems that prioritize community health and well-being, as opposed to corporate profit and environmental degradation.
Grow Local focuses on four main policy areas that offer significant opportunities for increasing access to land and resources for rebuilding local food systems:
1. land use / planning in urban and peri-urban areas
2. farmland preservation, especially in the farm-belts surrounding California’s urban areas
3. climate action planning, a process that many municipalities are engaged in to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
4. funding mechanisms for local food system development — for example, a soda tax with revenues directed to a community garden fund.
Because our grassroots members and allies have been so successful in creating effective solutions, we feel that they should be involved in advocating for the policy change they want to see in their communities. To these ends, Grow Local focuses on training our members to advocate for supportive policy. In addition to policy advocacy, Grow Local stresses community organizing as the most effective strategy for creating a unified voice in communities that often lack political and economic power.
In addition to trainings, CFJC is also compiling on-line resources related to rebuilding local food systems, including a model policies document and a mentorship directory. Check back soon for more details.
Click here to read policy recommendation letter CFJC submitted to the City of Oakland for their Energy and Climate Action Plan.
Click here to read the comments CFJC submitted to the City of Berkeley for their Climate Action Plan.
Download a .pdf file of Grow Local here.