Christina Oatfield

Grassroots Finance Attorney

[email protected]

Christina Oatfield became an attorney in 2018 after six years of study under the guidance of practicing attorneys through California's Law Office Study Program. During this time she developed expertise in securities law as it applies to small businesses and organizations raising money locally.

From 2011 through 2018 Christina worked with the Law Center as legislative advocate for 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 and agricultural regulations and grassroots finance (i.e. securities law).

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, served in the ASUC student government, lived in and served on the board of the Berkeley Student Cooperative, and co-founded the Berkeley Student Food Collective, an independent nonprofit, member-led organization that operates a grocery store and organizes educational programs.

Christina was born and raised in San Francisco, California and has lived in the Bay Area her entire life. She now lives in Berkeley.

Roles at Sustainable Economies Law Center

  • Support: Grassroots Finance
  • Support: Policy
  • Support: Legal Cafe


California Legislation

Christina has played a leading role as an advocate for the following 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 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

Education and Training

  • B.S. Environmental Sciences, University of California at Berkeley (2010)
  • Law Office Study Program, State Bar of California (2017)

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