Hey good folk, here is my hodge podge of notes taken during the
conference call. Before getting to the notes (1.4.13, 10.30 am-11.30
am), just want you to know that there will be a meeting at Amy's office, next Friday, same kablam time (10.30)
. with option to join in on a conference call.
Marlon was also present for the call! Much was discussed, and much
action is being taken. Get in touch with Amy Laura if you are interested
in joining in on anything. I personally signed up for meeting with
councilpeople as well as expressed interest in the media effort.
I was 10 minutes late on entering the call, so the context surrounding the lobbyist is unclear to me
Should this endeavor/organization have a lobbyist?
has agreed to take on group as client($3000) to network and personally
set up meetings with councilmembers and aiding with pushing legislation.
Proposed to lobby on our behalf(insider to our outsider-ness)
-We discussed whether or not this was something worthwhile and if we're doing alright with everything on our own.
-general consensus seemed to agree that we're doing alright, but it is worth the discussion
-after the bill goes to the vote, what would
we use the lobbyist for and wouldn't that cost more $$/take more time.
Evaluate and use our individual networks as organizations for outreach(present also was PHS and Field House West).
-can we establish a communications "point person" from PFF/OVaL
to oversee these communications and keep in touch with Amy?
-the website for the bill(I do not know it) is another useful tool
-Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is currently drafting
language to place on physical postcards to hand out which will thereby
be sent to other organizations to use
-A man named Nick offered to get in touch with CDCs across city for further outreach in other neighborhoods
-The language on the postcard was offered to be translated into
several languages to be given out in South Philly refugee neighborhoods
with gardeners there
The strategy seems at the
moment to arrange meetings with individual councilmembers and have
discussions about the benefit of community gardens and do educational
seminars and discussions with them to clarify the function these spaces
-Chair of Sustainability needs to be contacted--does anyone have a rapport with her? If so, let Amy know.
-For these meetings it was proposed that more than a couple people show
up, to have more presence there and PHS will be gathering some of their
Garden Tenders city wide to attend these meetings.
-I, Stephanie, expressed interest in going to these meetings to
have discussions with councilmembers. I am specifically interested in
changing the rhetoric(that is, I think calling community gardens in a
political atmosphere diminishes their worth on the political spectrum
and believe the existing community gardens needs to be lumped into the
overall category of urban agriculture. I would like help in formulating a
cohesive statement about the necessity for our city to begin to think
of community gardens as alternative, viable infrastructure to meet the
changing demands place on resources and distribution in the 21st
century--but be less cerebrally intellectual about it, of course)
-Councilmember Johnathan was mentioned- who are his constituents?
-Councilmember Jones- constituents?
-Councilmembers at large
overall strategy is not to attack the ammendments but to ask that the
entire bill gets voted down to maintain the integrity of the current
-But within this framework our bottom line is that urban ag should not be restricted.
-which brought up the concern that: no one in city council could answer
why community gardens were placed n the "list"(need clarification on
what the list is)
-a potential strategy and talking point with
councilmembers is to find out why community gardens are on this list and
then defend them
councilman O'Neill said he wasn't opposed to community gardens, but
there were just "too many" (round of laughter ensued)
-Another danger that was referenced specifically to
OVaL/PFF was that some councilmembers are concerned that farmers from
"the outside" are coming to neighborhoods and starting things. Amy asked
if we could specifically state our motives to alleviate unfounded
-It was furthermore suggested that anyone from these groups
could simply go to Councilman O'Neill and ask him why. The woman, Rita,
who lives in the area was hesitant to address him because she's been
trying to get land in his district and would prefer if someone else
could do it.
-Amy also suggested that we tread carefully not to spite
ourselves. In our outreach efforts, we need to NOT say that the approval
of this pending legislation would make community gardens illegal
because there is potential litigation to legitimize gardens on CMX2. It
is important for us to use the figure: If "", then 20% of current
gardens will be AT RISK.
Amy also asked for help concerning defending gardens with different language.
-Emerald Street working on this
-this topic was deferred to a smaller working group, for time's sake.
General gist though, is this:
-Reach all major PHL media, neighborhood papers and civic associations
-City Paper and Inquirer(there is currently and interview in the works with the Inquirer about this)
Marlon volunteered to be a contact for reporters
for PFF and also said he would ask others in group about it if anyone
had other interest.