We’re becoming a society where only the top 5% of people can afford healthy, clean, non-pesticide grown, organic food. What kind of society is that?
In 2005, The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability commissioned a study to identify local food production resources in Oakland. The U.C. Berkeley study identified 1200 acres of open space that the Oakland community could use to produce 5-10% of the city’s total vegetable needs, organically, each year.
Yet we have not moved on the plan’s recommendations—despite the City Council’s having approved it.
When he was on the Oakland school board, Siegel led a task force that created a nationally acclaimed nutrition policy, which included education on healthy eating for children and parents, school gardens, and improved, wholesome cafeteria food. As Mayor, Dan Siegel will partner with local communities, nonprofit organizations and city departments to implement the City's plan. He will hire a Sustainability Director, set aggressive goals for urban farming and prioritize getting markets with fresh produce to areas where currently none exist.
Dan Siegel will seek to double the number of community gardens by 2016, which is exactly what the City of Toronto was able to achieve, and put the Oakland plan into action. We have more available city land and a better year-round climate than Toronto. Our tomatoes will taste better.
Additionally we want to double food producing roof-top gardens, bee-keeping and backyard food production.
With the right leadership, Oakland can become a national model for local food production and self-reliance. We just need the right political leadership to get this done.