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.
On Wednesday, April 30, the Neighborhood Food Act passed out of the Assembly Local Government Committee by a narrow margin. Assemblymember Bradford worked with the Committee to make some tough decisions to address concerns raised by opponents and some members of the Committee. Assemblymember Bradford agreed to remove the city zoning component of the bill and make some further adjustments to the tenants’ rights section, limiting the growing space to the backyard. We do not believe the bill would have passed out of the Committee without these agreements.
The big property owners' lobby, the American Planning Association and the League of California Cities are trying to kill our bill. They do not want to grant all Californians the right to grow food on land they already have lawful access to.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued proposed additions to the list of allowed foods under the CA Homemade Food Act yesterday. These are proposed additions to the list, so the changes to the list will not go into effect for another 30 days and are subject to change based on public comment.Read more
A conversation with SELC's program directors Ricardo Nuñez and Yassi Eskandari-Qajar about the where the sharing economy is at and where SELC believes it should be going. One listener replied after the show, "Gettin to call in to the SELC folks. It does not get any better than that. Thank you."Read more
The Sustainable Economies Law Center has officially submitted a letter of support for AB-129, the California Alternative Currencies Act. This bill makes an important amendment to the California Corporations Code, clarifying that the use and circulation of alternative currencies is not prohibited. While SELC has advocated for removing Section 107 of the CA Corporations Code, this bill still takes a step toward a more resilient monetary system by legitimizing the use of alternative currencies in California.
The term "alternative currencies" can denote a wide range of currency designs and projects, and is not clearly defined in this bill. SELC specifically advocates for "community currencies" - forms of exchange designed to meet the particular needs of specific communities or regions, and that are democratically controlled and managed by the communities using them.
Read more about SELC's Community Currencies advocacy here. Continue reading below for how you can support this bill, too.Read more
Happy Spring, SELC supporters! We’ve been busy preparing the soil of a new legal landscape that supports community resilience. Will you help us sow seeds of resilience this spring?
Help us legalize sharing and grow the movement for more just and resilient economies - join our Community TODAY by becoming a SELC Community Member!
Like a community-supported farm, SELC thrives when our community invests in our work - whether that is an investment of time or money. That’s why we are excited to launch our new Community Membership Campaign! By becoming a SELC Founding Member, you can turn our advocacy campaigns into new laws, grow our community of passionate new economy advocates, and get special discounts and invitations to future SELC events and workshops!Read more
We've been working towards this groundbreaking moment for two years. California State Assemblymember Steven Bradford has introduced AB 2561, the California Neighborhood Food Act, which, if passed into law, will remove zoning law barriers and other obstacles to growing produce for personal use or for sale throughout California.
It's time to legalize front yard and backyard gardens, community gardens and farm micro-enterprises! It's time to bring fresh, local produce to all communities in California, regardless of geographic limitations and socio-economic status!
Now we need your help to ensure the Neighborhood Food Act will become law.
Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) believes that food industry laws should be scale-appropriate in order to allow casual barter arrangements, micro-enterprise, and small businesses to thrive. This winter, California State Assemblymember Mariko Yamada introduced a bill, AB 2505, to allow small-scale home dairy farms to sell and exchange small amounts of excess milk without needing to have a large and expensive processing facility and jump through other legal hoops.Read more
The Arroyo Seco Network of Time Banks (ASNTB) has just launched the first ever small business community revolving loan fund operated by a Time Bank. Two loans have already been granted to community members who qualify as "economically distressed, women, the environment, community sustainability, social enterprises, member of the ASNTB, cooperatives, or other sharing economy initiatives."
The Sustainable Economies Law Center is proud to have provided legal assistance in support of this model organization.Read more