We spent much of the early part of 2016 doing advocacy on House Bill 2518 (see page 4, line 11), which sought to make school garden food automatically approved for use in the cafeteria. We’re happy to announce that the bill was passed, and signed by the governor! Thanks to those of you who responded to our calls (via facebook and e-blast) to call your representatives and ask for its passage.
Disturbing developments are afoot with regarding to urban agriculture. After all the hard work we’ve done to get this to mayor and council, there is yet again a small group of people trying to make it appear there is widespread opposition to the proposed changes.
Where have those voices been all along? They claim they have been “bullied” into submission, which is patently false, as there’s been many opportunities for public input, and ample invitation from City Staff to comment. In this last ditch effort, their big goal is to reduce the number of animals allowed, and they’ve got the ear of at least one City Councilor, in Ward 6.
Can you help us one last time?? Here’s how:
- Send an email or make a phone call to the ward councilors and/or mayor with your comments. Ward member info is here. A sample letter for you to sign is here.
- Show up at the meeting and express your support for allowing more urban agriculture, specifically the right to have 24, 36, or, on really huge lots, 48 chickens. More info on how the animal units would work is here. Meeting info is below.
- Show up at the meeting, and simply wear one of our awesome chicken buttons. Limited edition buttons in a new color will be available! (See here.)
- Share this blog post on Facebook or with specific friends, asking them to take action.
Urban Ag Meeting Details
Tuesday December 8, at 6pm
255 W. Alameda St.
Think you’re a smarty pants when it comes to food trivia? Well in case you missed our first food trivia night, you’re in luck. It was such a hit, we’ve decided to do it again! This time it will take place at La Cocina, as part of their Tuesdays for Tucson. (10% of their proceeds will benefit the PCFA.)
Show up with a group, or find a team to join when you get there. It’s free and there’s no limit on team sizes, but keep in mind you’ll have to split whatever awesome prizes you might win amongst your team. Whether you like trivia or not, you can come early and mingle/catch up with all the folks in town who care about and are interested in food! Also, hear live music from Robert Mikesell (5-6pm) and Ted Warmbrand (8-9pm). It’ll be great fun for everyone!
[8/6 Update: The Planning Commission has now completed 5 study sessions on this issue and has scheduled a public hearing on
August 19th September 16th at 6:00pm (the meeting was pushed back) after which they will vote on whether to approve the amendment and send it on to mayor and council. If you want to support more urban agriculture in Tucson, please sign our petition and see the bottom section of this page for more ways to help.]
You may have heard that the City of Tucson is considering changes to the zoning code that would make it easier to practice urban agriculture. That means things like allowing people to raise more (and different kinds of) animals, making it easier to have a market or a community garden, and even just clarifying that you CAN grow food in your yard… Exciting, right?
Unfortunately, not everyone thinks so. In a recent public meeting, one such resident spelled our her nightmare scenario, in which “Sustainable Sam” moves in next door and begins growing vegetables in his front yard, raising miniature goats in the back, and keeping rabbits indoors. Unfortunately, this resident (and 1-2 more) have become a vocal (and persuasive!) minority strongly influencing the debate.
We’d like to suggest that Sustainable Sam would actually be a very good neighbor, and might even share his food! We created a calm hen graphic (above), but as cute as she is, she may not change the hearts and minds of the current opponents.
But you can help! How? By doing these things:
- Take a minute to SIGN our online petition and we’ll deliver it to both the Planning Commission and City Council.
- Encourage our Planning Commissioners to approve the urban ag amendments. You can download our letter of support and send it in to this physical address or email address.
- Attend the Public Hearing on
Aug. 19thSeptember 16th at 6:00pm in the mayor and council chambers and support with your presence, by wearing a “Keep Calm Chicken Button” (we’ll provide them!!!), or by making a statement. (To best support the amendments, in 3 minutes or less use any of the talking points from the above letter of support, or tell a personal story about how urban agriculture has positively affected you, a neighbor, or your neighborhood.)
- Join the Tucson CLUCKS Facebook page to link up with other like-minded people, browse their resource links, and geek out on urban agriculture.
- Share this post with as many people as you can (Facebook, twitter, email)