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Please call Senator Hayden today!

April 25, 2016

Immediate and Urgent Call to Action to Support the Urban Agriculture Legislation!

Please post to social media and spread widely.

Please:
1.      Make calls/send emails to Senator Jeff Hayden (651) 296-4261 and Senator Bobby Jo Champion (651) 296-9246 to ask that they include appropriations for SF 3310  in the Senate Finance subcommittee on Equity. They each served as co-chairs of the Senate Equity Committee that could have heard and funded this Urban Agriculture Pilot Project bill. (It is the urban ag. bill so many of us worked on with Rep. Clark). 

2.      Please tell them why you believe that this urban agriculture legislation clearly fits the Senate Equity Committee’s criteria for economic development and jobs for our low-income communities of color and Native American communities. 

3.     Call the state senator that represents YOU and ask them to support the bill (SF 3310). Find your Senator here.

4. Please make calls to Representative Rod Hamilton (651-296-5373)  and Speaker Kurt Daudt (651-296-5364) to ask for an appropriation be made for the bill in conference committee. 

5.    Make your calls NOW. Final budget decisions are in progress. Amendments can be offered to the existing legislation next week.

Again, the talking points:

 * The bill creates funding for a pilot program for Urban Agriculture, throughout the state.

*People in cities and towns with a population of 10,000 or larger OR that have 10% communities of color are eligible to apply. In addition to these cities and town, other nonprofits, individuals, and cooperatives are eligible to compete for funding. Grants will be made through  applications to the MN Dept. of Agriculture.

* At LEAST 50% of funds will go to low-income communities of color and Native American groups. Serving or engaging communities of color and Native communities are also a priority selection criteria, so even more of the funds could be directed to communities most affected by racial disparities. 

* The bill will create jobs, especially for communities of color, increase access to fresh and healthy food in communities, and strengthen Minnesota’s food system resiliency. Living Wage jobs are prioritized as is job training opportunities.

* This kind of legislation is supported by the Department of Agriculture’s report on Urban Agriculture to the legislature, written this year.

* This bill will support small-scale fruit and vegetable production, greenhouse operations, and other high-density food production, as recommended in the Minnesota Food Charter.

* Community members have been working on this bill for four years, and the need for this funding is increasing across the state. It can improve racial disparities in health and wealth-- building important infrastructure to create long-term jobs in urban agriculture.