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Advocates Needed for Nov. 1 City Hall Action to Legalize Street Food

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  • Arroyo Seco NC
    Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:26 pm on nelalist@yahoogroups.com Posted by: Mary Tokita mareaucontraire Dear NELA stakeholders: Like Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King and
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 31, 2012
      Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:26 pm on nelalist@yahoogroups.com
      Posted by: "Mary Tokita" mareaucontraire

      Dear NELA stakeholders:

      Like Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi, Los Angeles needs people who take action on their beliefs.

      Hunger still lives here. Our food deserts are thriving, and thousands don't have enough to eat. We hope that you will join the fight to make fresh food more accessible to those who need it most.

      Join us for Hunger Action Day, LA on Thursday, Nov. 1, as our coalition speaks on the steps of LA City Hall and marches into Grand Park, 10 am – 11:30 am.

      Please help our upcoming Protest & Demonstration "grow" into a hugely effective message to our city leadership. Here's what we want:

      FREE FOOD on the streets of Los Angeles!
      - In 2010, the City of LA cited Ron Finley $600 for growing a sidewalk vegetable garden in Exposition Park.
      >- Taco cart vendors, fruit sellers and others are being arrested for selling food on the streets.
      >- Even though people can legally give away food to the homeless, they can still be stopped by law enforcement and other civic agencies...it's possible a community garden would get FINED for a free food stand outside its gates if nearby NIMBY neighbors said we were "attracting undesirables into the area." It's happened.
      For 18 months, Hunger Action LA and local food activists have been working with the LA city officials, including the Mayor, various City Councilmembers, the LA Food Policy Council and other agencies. While they all seem agreeable to these new ideas, these minor tweaks to current city ordinances, there is no concrete action yet from our officials.

      So some of us are going "rogue," and taking our plight public to advocate for positive change. We need you to stand with us.

      Prod our LA City leaders into action to support food justice in Los Angeles. Walk with us as we take to the streets with a protest action that is fun, non-violent and smart. A DEMONSTRATION that entertains as it enlightens. After our media briefing, we'll be marching to Grand Park, where we'll be demonstrating how we can all feed each other.

      We'll also ask you to make a phone call to a city official while you're there.

      This is the coalition to date: Hunger Action LA, Occidental College, the East LA Community Corporation, Homegirl Cafe/Homeboy Industries, Food Not Bombs, and LA Green Grounds.

      Our coalition will ask that the LA City Council approve changes to LA code as follows:

      1. Expand the list of 'approved' street plantings so that it's legal to grow spinach, chard and other food along city parkways, medians, and bus stops,
      2. Protect the right of nonprofits, community gardens, churches and food banks to officially distribute FREE food to homeless and needy people -- without harassment or impunity, and
      3. Create a street vendor licensing program, so that we can enjoy SAFE & LEGAL street food -- taco carts, horchatas, cupcakes, etc., just like NYC and Chicago.

      That last change will include creating some infrastructure to conduct inspections according to health standards. It would ensure food safety, create small businesses and give people in urban food deserts much-needed access to fresh, healthful food.

      Here are the ways YOU can help us:

      1. Join our list of supporters. Post our attached PDFs. Forward this email to like-minded friends, asking them to attend and spread the word.

      2. RSVP to join the protest via MeetUp: http://www.meetup.com/Hunger-Action-Los-Angeles/events/88106982/ Or just email me that you plan to attend.

      3. Here's my BONUS wish: You can come as you are, of course (and please wear comfortable shoes). But costumes would be super effective. If protesters are wearing food-related costumes or other festive attire, they will serve a dual purpose: more attractive visuals for the media AND protection from arrest (the LAPD will look mighty silly cuffing a banana).

      NOTE: I am recruiting an "A-Team" of able-bodied activists willing to wear the FIVE costumes I've collected: Banana, Taco, Pea Pod, Nun and Girl Scout....email me if you want to borrow them and help pull our mobile planters.

      We need your feet on the street, with peaceful energy and passion. Help us take it Gangum Style and Old School, with STREET Theater and Protest songs...

      Thank you for all that you do!

      Your friend,

      Mary Tokita
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