California legislature considers bill that would make farm employers jointly responsible for farm worker conditions
Assemblymember Roger Hernández has proposed legislation (AB 1897) that would make farm employers who use farm labor contractors (FLCs) jointly responsible with the FLCs to ensure (1) that farmworkers are paid proper wages, (2) that all contributions and deductions are reported, and (3) that the FLC obtains valid workers compensation coverage. If passed, employees working on the premises of a farm operator, regardless of whether they were directly hired or hired through an FLC, would be entitled to recourse from either the FLC or the farm operator for a violation of applicable laws.Read more
"A quiet revolution is rumbling through New York's municipal offices as they retool to support the creation of worker cooperatives as a way to fight poverty.
Spurred by the powerful example of immigrant-owned cleaning cooperatives and the longstanding example of Cooperative Home Care Associates in the Bronx - the largest worker cooperative in the country - progressive city council members are allying with a new network of worker cooperatives, community based organizations that incubated immigrant-owned coops and the influential Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies to figure out how the city can encourage this still-tiny economic sector. Once fully in place, New York City will be a national leader in providing municipal support for these democratic enterprises."Read more
California lawmakers on Monday approved a measure making it easier to use alternative currencies [...].
The bill would repeal what backers said was an outdated law prohibiting commerce using anything but U.S. currency.
"This bill is intended to fine-tune current law to address Californians' payment habits in the mobile and digital fields," said the bill's author, Democratic Assemblyman Roger Dickinson in a press release.
He cited the popularity of bitcoin, and added that under the current law, even gift cards and reward points from retailers could be considered illegal.
"In an era of evolving payment methods, from Amazon coins to Starbucks Stars, it is impractical to ignore the growing use of cash alternatives," Dickinson said.Read more
The Neighborhood Food Act is flying through the Senate, passing out of the Transportation and Housing Committee yesterday by a vote of 10-1. Though the opposition continues to push for narrowing the scope of the bill, we are grateful that Assemblymember Bradford is standing firm to maintain the important protections that exist for homeowners and tenants to grow their own food. We are also excited at the level of support AB 2561 is receiving in the Senate and are working to ensure this momentum stays with the bill as it continues through the legislative process.
Wasting no time, the bill will next be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, June 24th at 1:30pm in Room 112 at the State Capitol.
We continue to hear from legislator's offices that they are receiving calls in support of this bill so we know that all your calls are making a difference. You can keep the pressure on by calling in to the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee before June 24th to let them know they need to show support. We've created a list of the committee members with their contact information. Remember to be polite and sincere. You can use the phone script below when you make the call.
"Hi, my name is (your name),
I am a (renter, member of an HOA, gardener, homeowner, landlord, etc.) and I wish for the State Legislature to pass AB 2561, the California Neighborhood Food Act.
Assemblymember Steven Bradford introduced the California Neighborhood Food Act (AB 2561), to increase access to fresh food throughout California. Many Californians NEED more access to fresh food. What better way than to grow it on their own? As a California resident seeking increased access to fresh, local food, I'm calling to urge (Senator's name) to vote YES on AB 2561 at Tuesday's Judiciary Committee hearing. Thank you!"
If you live in the Sacramento area and are interested in attending the hearing, please email neil (at) theselc (dot) org, for more information on joining us to advocate for the Neighborhood Food Act in committee.
As the sponsor of the Neighborhood Food Act, we are so glad the bill passed through the California Assembly!
Now, we need your help telling the Senate that they need to follow the Assembly's lead and vote YES on AB 2561, the Neighborhood Food Act!Read more
Thanks to the hard work of our partner organizations, supporters (that's you!), and Assemblymember Bradford's office, the Neighborhood Food Act passed out of the Assembly!
On Thursday, May 29, the California Assembly voted 53-24 in favor of AB 2561, the Neighborhood Food Act. After several rounds of committee hearings and negotiations with the opposition, we are happy to report that the Neighborhood Food Act will continue through the legislative process and hopefully be signed into law before the end of the summer.
But we need your help!Read more
So there we were, on the brink of changing the world, and we still hadn't found a name for what we were doing! The sharing economy? The community resilience movement? The cooperative economy? The new economy?
Well, at the Sustainable Economies Law Center, our extensive and intensive research has finally uncovered a more precise phrase: The Beatles Economy! Yeah, Beatles. As in The Beatles, who managed to present a comprehensive vision for a better world...in their song titles. Check out our video to learn more!
From May 2nd – 4th, I was a guest at one of the most inspirational and motivating conferences I’ve ever attended, the Jackson Rising New Economies Conference in Jackson, Mississippi. The primary objective of the conference was “to educate and mobilize the people of Jackson to meet the economic and sustainability needs” of their community. The conference did much more than that.Read more
California Department of Public Health adopted all of its proposed additions to the list of allowed foods for cottage food operations throughout California this week. The additions to the list are as follows:
Confections such as salted caramel, fudge, marshmallow bars, chocolate covered marshmallow, nuts, and hard candy, or any combination thereof.
Buttercream frosting, buttercream icing, buttercream fondant, and gum paste that do not contain eggs, cream, or cream cheese.
Dried or Dehydrated vegetables.
Dried vegetarian-based soup mixes.
Vegetable and potato chips.
You can read more about the legal requirements and restrictions that apply to cottage food operations under the California Homemade Food Act on our website here.
Our friends at UC Cooperative Extension are putting on a two-part workshop series at six Northern California locations designed especially for farmers interested in producing value-added products in their home kitchens. Participants will learn about the new California Homemade Food Act (AB1616), which allows individuals to prepare and package certain non-potentially hazardous foods in private-home kitchens referred to as “Cottage Food Operations” (CFOs). The workshop series will cover: CFO Law; food science and sanitation; business operations for CFOs; packaging, storage, and marketing of CFO products; and hands-on demonstrations and tastings of CFO products. $25 with advance registration/$40 at the door, space permitting. For more information and to register: http://ucanr.edu/cfoworkshops.