Help DC Convert Vacant Lots into Vibrant Plots!
After months of planning and collaboration, the Urban Farm and Food Security Act of 2014 became law in April 2015. The law was widely celebrated and publicized as a win for urban gardening in DC with the promise that the city would identify DC-owned vacant properties to convert them into farms and gardens while also providing landowners with tax incentives to lease vacant land to farmers and gardeners throughout the city.
However, despite the citys best efforts, the programs that the law established proved difficult for the city to administer. Because of these difficulties, countless community gardens, nonprofits and businesses, like Love and Carrots, that have been planning to locate new gardening and farming operations in the city that would provide widespread benefits and jobs to DC residents through this legislation were stalled and may not move forward without implementation of this legislations programs.
Councilmember Cheh and Chairman Mendelson are preparing to introduce and support amendments to modify the Urban Farming and Food Security Act so the city can overcome these difficulties and effectively implement programs and regulations for this law to work for the communities it is intended to serve. Councilmember Cheh and Chairman Mendelson are planning to introduce and support this amendment soon, but they need as much vocal DC voter support as they can get for it to attract the necessary attention and support from other members of the council.
How DC Residents Can Take Action
Councilmember Cheh and Chairman Mendelson are preparing to introduce this key amendment to the Urban Farm and Food Security Act of 2014 on Tuesday, June 28. Before the vote, let them know that you support their efforts with a phone call, email and/or a tweet. To make things easy, we have provided contact info and guidance to add your voice in support below!
- Call Megan Brown, Legislative Counsel for Councilmember Cheh.
- Phone number – (202) 724-8062
- Ask that Councilmember Cheh introduce the DC Urban Farm Act BSA Subtitle to be voted on June 28.
- If Councilmember Chehs office indicates that they will not introduce the BSA subtitle, ask them to show support for Chairman Mendelsons Urban Farming and Food Security Amendment Act of 2015 to be voted on before summer recess (July 15).
- Call Christina Setlow, Legislative Counsel for Chairman Mendelson.
- Phone number – (202) 724-4825
- Ask that Chairman Mendelson show support for Councilmember Chehs DC Urban Farm Act BSA Subtitle on June 28.
- Ask that Chairman Mendelson prepare and introduce a markup of the 2014 Act (known as the Urban Farming and Food Security Amendment Act of 2015 – B21-0293) before the summer recess if Councilmember Cheh is not prepared to introduce the DC Urban Farm Act BSA Subtitle.
Send an email to both Councilmember Cheh and Chairman Mendelsons Legislative Counsel. A sample email template is provided below if youd like some suggested language.
- Christina Setlow, Legislative Counsel for Chairman Mendelson
- Megan Brown, Legisltive Counsel for Councilmember Cheh
I am a DC resident who believes in the benefits of urban farming to the urban community. I encourage you to take whatever measures are within your power to amend the Urban Farming and Food Security Act of 2014 in a manner that its programs can be implemented, regulated and effectively initiated for our city.
It is my understanding that Councilmember Cheh will be introducing a BSA Subtitle to be voted on at the June 28th vote and that Chairman Mendelson may introduce an amendment to the act. I am expressing my support and desire to push this important legislation through so that it may take effect for DC residents, organizations and businesses.
A concerned citizen
- Tweet @ Chairman Mendelson (click the link to tweet the message below)
- @ChmnMendelson Support DCUrbanAg and @marychehs Urban Farm Act BSA Subtitle on 6/28 OR prepare and introduce markup B210293 by summer rcss
- Tweet @ Councilmember Cheh (click the link to tweet the message below)
- @marycheh Support DCUrbanAg and introduce Urban Farm Act BSA Subtitle on 6/28 OR support @ChmnMendelsons markup B210293 by summer rcss
Ask Friends to Join in Support
- Share this web page with others that care about the future of urban farming, food security and sustainability in the DC community via email and social media.
- Tweet our web page about the actions that friends can take to support this legislation.