Could not authenticate you.followers
Flanked by agriculture industry representatives, Assembly-member Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco) and Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge, 4th District, hailed the unanimous passage of the “Eat Local, Buy California Grown Day” resolution on June 24 at the Original Farmers Market.
For 77 years, the Market has served as a hub for exactly the kind of local buying that Ma’s bill advocates. Asked how it felt to pass a measure without the usual rancor of Sacramento politics, Ma smiled and said, “Very nice.”
The bill, passed June 23 after less than a month’s consideration by both the State Assembly and Senate, calls on all Californians to “prepare meals exclusively from California-grown ingredients at least once a week.” The day legislators suggested was Sunday, but Ken Melban, of the Irvine-based California Avocado Commission, urged consumers to embrace the resolution, “beyond Sunday…make it a regular part of your day.”
The measure, like all concurrent resolutions, neither requires the governor’s signature nor carries the force of law. Ma, who represents California’s 12th District in San Francisco, introduced a bill in 2010 that would have required state agencies (such as public schools) to buy California produce whenever possible. According to Ma’s chief of staff, Nick Hardeman, the Assembly Appropriation Commit-tee estimated that the measure would have cost more than $3 million annually, a politically unpalatable sum.
“During these tough budget times, the cost to the General Fund outweighs other concerns,” Hardeman said.
Ma said that Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon, 7th District, plans to introduce a resolution, which would also be largely ceremonial, that would mirror the new state measure. However, Ira Brill, of Foster Farms, stressed that acting in the spirit of the “Buy California Grown” resolution would yield genuine dividends for the Golden State.
“If we all simply set aside Sunday, it could mean up to $2.5 billion and 25,000 jobs for the state,” Brill said.
Melban echoed the sentiment, saying that the majority of California’s avocado farmers have harvested the same small groves for generations, and that their public-spirited support helps maintain “a core element in our society.”
The loquacious LaBonge steered clear of such loftiness, grabbing Ma in a big hug before commanding the lectern and taking the microphone, made quite unnecessary by his booming voice.
“Foster Farms is my favorite chicken,” LaBonge proclaimed. “I love being home barefoot, cooking chicken…I like the legs the best.”
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.