Christina Oatfield

Policy Director


Christina Oatfield, Policy Director at the Sustainable Economies Law Center, works with a diverse array of stakeholders to propose and advocate for laws that enable more sustainable, local, and just economies. She has played leadership roles in support of the California legislation to advance homemade food, urban agriculture, worker cooperatives, and affordable housing land trusts and cooperatives. Christina contributes to the law center's publications and educational events related to food law and financing small businesses. She also consults community groups around the nation on policy advocacy. Christina is pursuing an attorney license as part of the Law Office Study Program of the State Bar of California, which is an alternative to law school for aspiring attorneys seeking experiential learning.

Prior to working at the law center, Christina identified insects in an agroecology lab at UC Berkeley, managed a green retail store in San Francisco, and ran an underground restaurant out of her home. Christina earned a B.S. in Environmental Sciences at UC Berkeley where she wrote a thesis about student-run food cooperatives, directed the Sustainability Team student group, and served in student government. During her time as a student she also lived in and served on the board of the Berkeley Student Cooperative, the independent affordable housing organization. She also co-founded the Berkeley Student Food Collective, a nonprofit, member-led organization that operates a grocery store and organizes educational programs around food systems issues. Christina was born and raised in San Francisco, California and has lived in the Bay Area her entire life.


Roles at SELC

Program Areas

  • Co-Lead: Food

  • Support: Grassroots Finance

  • Support: Farmland
  • Support: Compost
  • Support: Legal Profession


California Legislation

  • AB 1616 (Gatto), the California Homemade Food Act, California “cottage food law” (signed into law in 2012)

  • AB 2561 (Bradford), the Neighborhood Food Act, provides rights to grow food to tenants and homeowners in HOAs (signed into law in 2014)

  • AB 569 (Chau), a bill to facilitate affordable housing cooperatives (signed into law in 2014)

  • AB 816 (Bonta), Worker Cooperative Corporation Act (signed into law in 2015)

  • SB 577 / AB 2751, the Local Economies Securities Act, seeking to open opportunities for ordinary individuals to invest in small businesses, farms, and community-owned renewable energy enterprises (died in 2016)
  • AB 1810 (Levine), the California Seed Exchange Democracy Act, to facilitate seed saving and sharing (signed into law in 2016)

Writing / Publications

  • blog posts here and here

Personal Interests

  • Kale salad

  • Chocolate

  • Dogs

  • Fabric and sewing

  • Resisting car culture

Education and Training

  • B.S. Environmental Sciences, University of California at Berkeley

  • Law Office Study Program, State Bar of California, in progress



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