We've PASSED the first hurdle - WOOHOO!!!

Posted by Kitty Sharkey , Wednesday, September 17, 2014 11:47 PM

Tonight, the Oakland Planning Commission passed the updated Urban Agricultural proposal including the recommendations put forth by the Oakland Food Policy Council to lift the conditional use permit requirement in commercial and transit zones.  I believe the Open Space recommendation was not included.  Am I correct Esperanza?  

The highlight of the evening for me?  When the Chairperson opened the meeting by saying something like "The rumor that we were there to discuss animal slaughter Is false.  We will not be talking about animal slaughter tonight.  If that's what you came here to discuss you can go home now."

Of course the two animal rights activists that did show up did their best to slip it in.  And although it was tempting to rise to the attack, cooler heads prevailed.  Let it go, Kitty... just let it go...

There were only a few dicey moments when the commissioners considering striking out the reference to animals and livestock in the community garden definition.  But that idea was quickly dismissed once they were informed that this language was NOT a change to the existing code and that striking it would affect various existing operations in the city.

Now the process moves on to consideration by the Community Economic Development Committee of the City Council.  So stay tuned for info concerning the public comment options available for addressing this committee.  

NOW IS THE TIME to write to your council members and express your support for this proposal.  Again, remember to keep it positive and focused on support for this proposed update.  Keep it sweet and simple folks, and avoid mentioning any controversy over raising animals.  It's been a long hard road to get here.  Lets get this thing passed as is ASAP!

Kudos to Esperanza, Aaron, and the entire team over at the Oakland Food Policy Council.  We are lucky to have such a strong woman leading the charge for our right to grow our own food. Whereas I have at times felt too burnt out to fight, Esperanza has been a steady focused guiding light.  Congratulations to her and her team on this historic achievement!!!

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