We’re Putting the “Policy” in Food Policy Council

No really we meant “putting” as in “to put,” not “to putt.”  Anywho…

At the April leadership council meeting, your leadership council made some difficult decisions about how to prioritize our actions going forward.  The problem, more than anything, is that there is so much to do, and we’d like to do it all.  But in order to be effective, we felt we had to narrow our focus, at least for the immediate future.  With that in mind, we looked at a slew of policy issues that have come up, and analyzed them with the following criteria in mind:

  • How much excitement is there (both generally and within the LC) to accomplish this goal?
  • How important/tied to our mission is the goal?
  • Are there concrete achievements quickly and easily achievable within the goal?
  • How winnable is the goal overall?

With that said, here are the areas of focus of 2013!

Input on Sustainable Zoning Code and Animal Husbandry – The City of Tucson is updating their zoning code to incorporate some sustainable measures, including many food-related provisions.  Our members and associates (such as Merrill Eisenberg and Jaime de Zubeldia, to name a few) have had inp,ut in this process, particularly on the issue of raising animals within city limits.  The updates would loosen up restrictions and allow more animal husbandry within City Limits.  We may, however, run into some opposition from residents concerend about noise, for example.  If and when the City calls a public hearing on the issue, we want supporters to fill the room.  Check out the Tucson CLUCKS Facebook page, or just stay tuned with us and we’ll let you know when the next public hearing is.

Work with City of Tucson as “Convener” on STAR Goal – We were asked by the City of Tucson’s Office of Conservation and Sustainable Development if we would be the lead on the Food Access and Nutrition portion of STAR Communities–a rating system by which communities can assess their sustainability.  On May 29, we presented to the national community utilizing this system (about 30 communities across the U.S. and Canada), and highlighted a small portion of the work we’ve done in this community over the past 3 years.  Our future challenges within this goal will be to think of ways to push ourselves and to push the City of Tucson to continue this type of work.

Finalize, upload to the web, and otherwise distribute fact sheets on food policies – A number of fact sheets were developed under the CPPW grant (which ended spring 2012) by the policy team at the UofA (which helped start the food alliance).  They are in varying states of “doneness.”  We’ll soon by verifying the details of them, making any necessary changes, and sending them out for all to see.

Report on Water and Its Role in Urban Ag – We have an intern from the College of Public Health who’s been learning everything she can about water in Tucson–where it comes from, how much it costs, how urban and rural water rates differ, etc.  Her goal is to understand the role water can (and should) play in creating a more resilient and sustainable local food system.  She’ll be reporting back to both the leadership council and the general membership in the form of various blog posts.


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