Christina Oatfield

Policy Director

Christina Oatfield is our California state advocate for laws that enable more sustainable, local, and just economies. She has played leadership roles in support of California legislation to advance homemade food, urban agriculture, seed sharing, worker cooperatives, affordable housing land trusts, housing cooperatives, and local investing. Christina contributes to the Law Center's publications and educational events related to food law and grassroots finance (i.e. securities law). Christina is pursuing an attorney license through the Law Office Study Program of the State Bar of California, which is an alternative to law school for aspiring attorneys seeking experiential learning.

Previously, Christina identified insects in an agroecology lab at UC Berkeley, ran an underground restaurant out of her home, and was an apprentice at Cutting Edge Counsel in Oakland. While studying at UC Berkeley Christina wrote a thesis about student-run food cooperatives, directed the Sustainability Team student group, and served in the ASUC student government. During her time as a student she also lived in and served on the board of the Berkeley Student Cooperative. 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. She now lives in Berkeley where she is active in neighborhood groups.

Roles at SELC

  • Co-Lead: Food

  • Support: Grassroots Finance

  • Support: Compost

  • Support: Policy


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 (Hueso) / AB 2751 (Brown), the Local Economies Securities Act, seeking to open opportunities for ordinary individuals to invest in small businesses, farms, and community-owned renewable energy enterprises (failed to pass in 2015 and 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





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