Application to Join PCFA Leadership Council is Now Open

We’re looking for dedicated food justice advocates, foodies, and all around good people to join our leadership council! Find the application to apply here

Please submit completed application and a resumé to info@pimafoodalliance.org before 11:59pm on Friday, November 22, 2019. Please also read the following information BEFORE completing the application:

The Leadership Council is the decision-making body for the Pima County Food Alliance. Our monthly meetings are where most of the exciting work and coordination actually gets done. As a group of individuals dedicated to food justice in our community, we discuss project and partnership opportunities, share information, set goals, and strategize about the work necessary to achieve those goals.

The work of Pima County Food Alliance is grassroots, unpaid, completely volunteer, and driven by passion for creating a more resilient, healthy, and inclusive food system. It is important that you understand this before committing to join the Leadership Council! It can be rewarding and foster meaningful connections with other leaders in the Tucson food system; but you need to be at the table, on time, and bring an appetite.

Council members commit to a 2-year term upon acceptance, with an average commitment of 10 hours per month (varying throughout the year). This includes monthly Leadership Council meetings, monthly subcommittee meetings, an annual retreat, larger events several times each year, and individual contributions of time. Leadership Council meetings occur monthly for about an hour and a half. We ask all Leadership Council members to commit to at least 9 meetings per year and join at least one of the subcommittees.

Current Council members will review applications and be in touch with all applicants by early December.

2020 Presidential Candidates on Food and Farming

Which candidates have shown their support for SNAP funding?

(Michael Bennet, Cory Booker, John Delaney, Kamala Harris, Tim Ryan, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren) 

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)’s overarching goal is to improve food security and reduce hunger in the United States. SNAP is a federal program that provides nutrition benefits to low-income individuals and families that are used at stores to purchase food. The program is administered by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and financed by The Farm Bill.

Which presidential candidate said about their participation: “My goals for the #SNAPChallenge are to raise awareness and understanding of food insecurity; reduce the stigma of SNAP participation; elevate innovative local and national food justice initiatives and food policy; and, amplify compassion for individuals and communities in need of assistance”?  

(Cory Booker)

During his participation in 2012, the SNAP Challenge required participants to live on $30 of groceries for one week, in an attempt to understand the reality of relying on SNAP benefits.

Who negotiated $5 billion for commodity subsidies at the expense of smaller reform and aid programs in the 2013 Farm Bill extension?  

(Joe Biden)

Whose administration has been in trade wars with China, Mexico, and others, resulting in $28 billion in aid payouts to U.S. farmers unable to sell their harvests internationally?

(Donald Trump)

Which candidates support the Fairness for Farmworkers Act?

(Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Amy Klobuchar all co-sponsored the bill)

  • The Fairness for Farmworkers Act would grant farmworkers overtime protection.
  • The 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) excluded agricultural workers from minimum wage and overtime protections.
  • Phase-in period period from 2022 to 2025 depending on the size of the employer
  • Written by Kamala Harris, which led to her endorsement by Dolores Huerta

Which candidate hopes to run as “the food candidate” and introduced a bill to eradicate food deserts?

(Tim Ryan)

  • Healthy Food Access for All Americans Act was created to help bring funds to increase healthy SNAP purchases in his district.
  • This bill amends the Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 to require the USDA to update the Food Access Research Atlas at least annually to account for food retailers that are placed in service during that year.
  • Provides incentives in the form of tax credits and grants for food service providers that open grocery stores, mobile markets, farmers’ markets, or food banks in food desert regions
  • A food desert is defined within this bill as an area “more than 1 mile away from a grocery store in a metropolitan area or more than 10 miles away outside of a metropolitan area. It must also meet population requirements and have either a poverty rate of at least 20% or a median family income that does not exceed 80% of the median for the state or metropolitan area.”

Which candidates have endorsed the idea of free school lunch for all students?

(Julian Castro and Bernie Sanders)

  • Free school lunch for all students regardless of income 
  • One in six children go hungry in America today. Instead of shaming students with lunch debts and wondering why they have difficulty learning on an empty stomach, Bernie and Julian want to feed them free breakfast, lunch and snacks. This program would be open to every child, regardless of parental wealth.

Which candidates have supported a ban on factory farming?

(Julian Castro, Tulsi Gabbard, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Marianne Williamson)

According to the Food and Water Watch, “Factory farms perpetuate climate change, produce enormous volumes of manure, pollute the air and water, exploit workers, fuel antibiotic resistance and harm the rural communities they claim to help.” The factory farming bill aims to end factory farming in the following ways:

  • The construction of new factory farms and the expansion of existing facilities should be banned, and we should transition to a more sustainable way of raising animals for food.
  • The EPA should adopt and enforce appropriate environmental rules to prevent factory farm pollution, and state environmental authorities must step up their coordination and enforcement of regulations on factory farms.  
  • Congress should restore sensible farm programs that do not prioritize the production of artificially cheap livestock feed over fair prices to crop farmers, removing one of the major drivers of the factory farm system – cheap feed.
  • The Food and Drug Administration should ban the use of antibiotics in food animals for any non-therapeutic use.
  • The Department of Justice must prevent the continued consolidation of the meatpacking and poultry, egg and dairy processing industries and revisit the mergers it has already approved to ensure that farmers get fair prices for their livestock. The USDA should use its existing authority to stop meat and poultry companies from using unfair contracts to put farmers at a disadvantage.

Who owns a farm focused on regenerative agriculture, carbon farming, and local food sourcing?

(Tom Steyer)

In addition to being an active philanthropist on climate change, Steyer with his wife, Kat Taylor, own and operate the 1,800 TomKat Ranch in Pescadero, California.

Who called for farm-to-table restaurants in every community as a solution to poor nutrition? 

(Beto O’Rourke)

Source: https://civileats.com/2019/05/29/where-the-2020-presidential-candidates-stand-on-food-and-farming/

Mayoral Candidate Stances: Food Policy Issues

We have reached out to all mayoral campaigns asking for answers to the questions below. We are waiting for responses and will continue to post as soon as we hear from the others.

break

Regina Romero

Data from 2015 tells us that 1 in 5 Arizonans (15.8%) report food insecurity. The designation of Tucson as a City of Gastronomy has proven to be a big boost for tourism, how can we leverage this designation to address issues like hunger and food access?

Addressing the issue of food insecurity must begin with recognizing how serious of an issue this is. I believe that we need to double down on existing efforts that have proven to be effective as well as explore new, innovative ways to reduce food insecurity in conjunction with community partners.

I have supported the work that the City currently does in partnership with the Community Food Bank through our General Fund grants program, and will seek to expand this investment as Mayor. The City also works in collaboration with Las Milpitas and community gardens across Tucson, especially in food deserts and other stressed communities. I also helped develop Tucson Water’s Community Garden water rate and helped ensure that the city offers vacant city parcels for the purposes of growing food.

Just after Tucson’s UNESCO designation, I worked with the Southwest Folklife Alliance on a food ethnography project on the South 12th Avenue corridor called the Barrio Foodways project. Our community learned important lessons about our culinary heritage in addition to launching their own catering collective. This is a perfect example of how the City can collaborate with non-profits and organizations to leverage the UNESCO designation and work on creative projects to address food insecurity.

break
break

Our 2019/2020 policy platform includes water rates for urban agriculture within Tucson city limits. How will you lead and respond to climate change within the City and County? How does water conservation fit into your climate change policy?

Tucson Water’s residential water rates, which are designed to promote residential water conservation, are not compatible with urban agriculture. In 2017, I worked with community gardens and Tucson Water to develop Tucson’s new community garden rate which recognizes the Plan Tucson goal of promoting urban agriculture by waiving fixed monthly fees and using a non-tiered rate structure. As Mayor, I will work with the community to more widely promote the community garden rate. I will also work to develop an urban agriculture water rate as none of our current residential, commercial or industrial rates are appropriate for agriculture.

A Climate Action Plan is a central pillar of my campaign and it includes aggressive goals to combat global climate change and ensure that Tucson is a livable community for generations to come. My plan includes electrifying our transit system and vehicle fleet, planting 1 million trees to cool our City core and combat the urban heat island effect, and installing thousands of new solar panels on city facilities – all in an effort to make our city 100% carbon neutral. You can read more about my plans to address climate change at the local level here.


break

For the last 3 months, we have researched the feasibility of adopting the Good Food Purchasing Program in Tucson with the intention of finding ways to increase local foods at institutions in Tucson. How will you incentivize institutions, like the City of Tucson, to purchase local goods and services to benefit our local economy?

I am a true believer in local foods and supporting local business. I practice this ethic in both my personal consumption choices as well in policy making. I worked with LocalFirst and others to pass a city ordinance that gave preference to local institutions in the city’s procurement process. Unfortunately, this preference was later overturned at the state level. However, I remain committed to pursuing any and all avenues to achieve a similar result.

I am also proud to have the endorsements of House Democratic Leader Charlene Fernandez, as well as a majority of the House Democratic leadership. As Mayor, I will use my relationships at the State Capitol to fight back against efforts to micromanage cities across Arizona and ensure that our ability to self-govern is respected.

We also need to focus on food security by looking at which City regulations are inhibiting local food production and consider making significant alterations. For example, I supported the relaxation of codes concerning farmer’s markets. I would welcome the opportunity to work with the Pima County Food Alliance and other organizations to identify opportunities to not only remove barriers, but incentivize local food production.


break

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, food constitutes 20 percent of the waste stream entering municipal landfills. As Mayor how will you improve city of Tucson’s capacity to rescue and repurpose surplus food (feeding people, feeding animals or the soil) to combat hunger and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from food “waste”?”

Part of the solution is consumer education. Over the last 40 years, Tucson Water has developed world renowned conservation and education programs as Tucson has become internationally known for our water conservation efforts. We need to apply what we have learned at Tucson Water to our Environmental Services Department to develop recycling and food waste reduction programs. The city currently charges environmental services customers $.45 cents per month to help defray the increased costs of paper and glass recycling. As Mayor, I will direct our Environmental Services Department to use those funds to start educating our residents – especially our youth – on reducing, re-using and recycling all kinds of products including food.

We also need a residential compost program to take the pressure off of our landfill and reduce greenhouse gases as well as to expand our commercial recycling program. We have willing partners in the community like the Compost Cats at the UA and the San Xavier District and need to take the next steps to reduce food waste and landfill deposits. Furthermore, I want to work with Pima County Health Department on creative ways to address health code challenges with repurposing food.

Trivia Night Benefiting PCFA

Pima County Food Alliance is partnering with Geeks Who Drink to host our first-ever Quiz for a Cause! Team up with your friends and join us at Hotel Congress for a night of trivia and fun. The winning team will win a cash prize! Suggested donation of $5 cash/person to benefit the mission of Pima County Food Alliance.

When: Tuesday, August 6th, 8 PM to 10 PM
Where: Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St.

Let us know if you’re coming and invite your friends!