Gov. Brown Signs Neighborhood Food Act

Sunset Community Garden

September 26, 2014

Today Governor Jerry Brown signed SELC's Neighborhood Food Act, AB 2561, and several other bills seeking to promote local and sustainable food systems in California.

AB 2561 guarantees tenants’ and members of homeowner’s associations’ rights to grow food for personal consumption by voiding contrary language in lease agreements or homeowner’s association agreements.

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Food Program Newsletter, Fall 2014

Happy Fall! Here at the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC), we've been hard at work sowing the seeds for a more resilient food system. Here's a brief update on some of our accomplishments, on-going projects, and upcoming events. Check it out!

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Governor Brown Signs Cooperative Housing Bill

housing.jpgOver the weekend the Governor signed another bill that Sustainable Economies Law Center helped create! This bill, AB 569, will facilitate cooperative housing development in California, especially the creation of Limited Equity Housing Cooperatives (LEHCs). LEHCs provide residents with a unique form of equity stake in their home that restricts the resale value of shares to keep the prices low when regular market forces would otherwise drive them up.

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Governor Brown Signs Cooperative Housing Bill!

housing.jpgOver the weekend the Governor signed another bill that SELC helped create! This bill, AB 569, will facilitate cooperative housing development in California, especially the creation of Limited Equity Housing Cooperatives (LEHCs). LEHCs provide residents with a unique form of equity stake in their home that restricts the resale value of shares to keep the prices low when regular market forces would otherwise drive them up.

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JOB OPENING at Mariposa Gardening & Design

Mariposa_Gardening_After.jpgThis is a full time position. We offer health benefits, and the potential to work toward becoming a worker-owner. 

Mariposa Gardening & Design is an award-winning landscaping design build company dedicated to building beautiful ecologically sound gardens. Our gardens are designed and built using Permaculture methods. We are looking for the right person to manage the installation of our gardens. We seek someone with the ability to manage a small crew, who can communicate with several entities regarding a job site, and stay organized. Someone with a background in Permaculture is a plus.

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Governor Brown Signs the Neighborhood Food Act!

UPDATE: Click here to read our FAQ on the Neighborhood Food Act

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September 26, 2014

Today Governor Jerry Brown signed Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC)'s Neighborhood Food Act, AB 2561, and several other bills seeking to promote local and sustainable food systems in California.

AB 2561 guarantees tenants’ and members of homeowner’s associations’ rights to grow food for personal consumption by voiding contrary language in lease agreements or homeowner’s association agreements.

AB 2561 preempts landlords from restricting tenants who live in single-family or duplex residences from growing food for themselves in portable containers in their backyards. The bill allows landlords to determine the location of containers, restrict the use of synthetic chemicals, and enter into separate agreements with tenants regarding excess water use or waste collection. Common interest developments are also preempted from restricting members from growing food for personal consumption or donation.

Some 25 organizations supported the bill, including Sustainable Economies Law Center (sponsor), Slow Food California, Social Justice Learning Institute, and Ubuntu Green. Neil Thapar, Staff Attorney at the Sustainable Economies Law Center, said, “As Californians continue to face significant economic and environmental uncertainty, the Neighborhood Food Act is a great step forward towards equitable access to healthy food, developing resilient food systems, and strengthening local economies. People have the right to grow their own food, and this law clarifies that right.”

The bill as originally drafted by SELC, and as introduced in the State Legislature by Assemblymember Steven Bradford, also contained provisions that would overturn local zoning ordinances that prohibit growing food in front yards, back yards and vacant lots in residential neighborhoods and other city zones. This section of the bill was removed in the Assembly Local Government Committee due to opposition from the local government lobby. SELC hopes for future state legislation that addresses the widespread conflicts between city zoning codes and the urban agriculture movement in order to increase access to fresh, healthy and local food for many more Californians.

While there is much work ahead to remove legal barriers to small-scale, sustainable and local agriculture in California, we are pleased with the increasing interest among the State Legislature in addressing these critical issues. Today we are extremely grateful to the many farmers, gardeners, legislators and their staff, nonprofit organizations and community organizers who supported the Neighborhood Food Act.

Contact Information
Neil Thapar, Staff Attorney
Email: neil@theselc.org
Phone: (510) 398-6219
2323 Broadway, #203 Oakland, CA 94612

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Upcoming Fall Events!

Join_Us_SELC_.jpgOn Sunday, September 21st, over 300,000 people from across the globe gathered in the streets of New York to demand action on climate change. Here in the Bay Area, we're co-creating a solutions-based movement to transform our economies - read on for all the ways to get involved in the coming months! 

IN THIS EVENTS BLAST

A Fall Celebration, Conferences, Workshops, Happy Hours, Oh my!

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Why Local Currencies Could Be On The Rise in the US - And Why It Matters

index.jpgBy Katie Gilbert

"As of this summer, you can be broke in Santa Barbara, California, and still afford organic produce from the farmers’ market. You can be dollar-broke, that is—but if you have enough Santa Barbara Missions tokens jangling in your pocket, earned in exchange for helping out at a number of local nonprofits, you’ll be set."

Read the full article on Forbes.com

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The Future is Bright for Community Choice Energy in California

Community_Choice_Renewable_Energy_Photo_Cred_to_Reclaim_Power.jpgOn August 30, a bill that would have upended the ability of California communities to choose their electrical power sources was defeated in the state senate. AB 2145 was rejected thanks in large part to the outpour of grassroots opposition by a coalition of local governments, elected officials, and nonprofits like the Sustainable Economies Law Center, who pegged the bill as a power grab by utility companies. 

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Big win for community choice energy

Community_Choice_Renewable_Energy_Photo_Cred_to_Reclaim_Power.jpgOn August 30, a bill that would have upended the ability of California communities to choose their electrical power sources was defeated in the state senate. AB 2145 was rejected thanks in large part to the outpour of grassroots opposition by a coalition of local governments, elected officials, and nonprofits like the Sustainable Economies Law Center, who pegged the bill as a power grab by utility companies. 

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Sustainable Economies Law Center Submits Recommended Changes to CA Money Transmission Act Regulations

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In 2010, the California legislature passed the Money Transmission Act (2010), a sweeping law intended to regulate the payments industry and other activities broadly defined as "money transmission." Though the law was written to “protect the interests of consumers of money transmission businesses . . . [and to] maintain public confidence in financial institutions,” the proposed regulations erect significant financial and compliance barriers for small-scale and cooperative enterprises whose services may include "money transmission."

In particular, community currencies, lending circles, online peer-to-peer distribution platforms, and other small-scale enterprises that involve sending money or stored value may be implicated by pending MTA regulations.

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U.S. Seed Libraries Mobilize to Protect Their Right to Share

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By: Cat Johnson

September 8, 2014

In June, officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture alerted the Joseph T. Simpson Public Library in Mechanicsburg that their seed library was in violation of the Pennsylvania Seed Act of 2004. According to officials, the library would have to follow the prohibitively expensive procedures of large-scale commercial seed companies or only offer commercial seed. The first option is impractical and the second option would gut the exchange of its primary purpose to serve home gardeners who want to save and exchange their own seed. 

The Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) reported in a recent article on Shareable.net that the Pennsylvania law may only apply to commercial seed operations. Despite what may be an incorrect interpretation of the law, other states are now considering adopting Pennsylvania's seed library protocol. This could kill a fast growing U.S. seed library movement.

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Oakland's Alternative Incubators

Oakland Local

Oakland Local's Eric Anderson wrote an article describing the turn toward business incubation centers building a new and just economy. Read the article below!

 

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Oakland's Alternative Incubators

Oakland Local

Oakland Local's Eric Anderson wrote an article describing the turn toward business incubation centers building a new and just economy. Read the article below!

 

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Nuestras vidas Nuestros trabajos

Fusion Latina!BASTA! Nuestras vidas! Nuestros trabajos! Aprenda cómo iniciar un negocio cooperativaEste sábado en Richmond, aprender cómo las empresas propiedad de los trabajadores construyen la riqueza de la comunidad y la salud individual.

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