Food Justice for #OurCalifornia

California produces nearly half of the nation’s fruits and vegetables, yet pre-pandemic, yet we were home to the largest adult and child populations of food insecure in the nation, with an extensive network of food deserts across the State. During this pandemic and economic crisis an entirely new and much larger population of Californians found themselves in food bank lines.   This disparity and disconnect has been an intentional and centuries long act – both of public and private enterprises that seek to commodify and exploit the very thing we need most – locally grown & pesticide-free food.  Californians cannot live full and healthy lives while lacking access to locally grown and quality produce, meats, and dairy; while we are sick from Big Ag filling the ground, our water, our air & our food with pesticides.

We cannot achieve food justice for #OurCalifornia without protecting the tribal and food sovereignty of California Indians & Indigenous Peoples.

We cannot achieve food justice for #OurCalifornia:

  • without protecting small farmers and ensuring public-contracts and expanding small farmer State-funded opportunities.
  • without addressing Big Ag corruption and environmental injustices they’ve caused.
  • while exploiting farmworkers.
  • by maintaining means-tested government food programs.
  • by maintaining a war on the Poor.
  • by denying communities the spaces and opportunities to sustainably grow.

Continuing down these predatory paths have limited our abilities to create the sustainable and resilient communities we deserve.

No more.

Since 2014, locally- and sustainably-produced food has been the fastest growing sector of U.S. agriculture and it is time that all in #OurCalifornia participated in and benefited from this farming revolution. When #OurCalifornia’s most marginalized are protected and succeed, we all win.

Food justice must remain a top priority for every community in #OurCalifornia and it will require new paths with a multilayered and intersectional approach to achieve it sustainably for us all.  As your Governor, I intend to End Poverty in California, and this is how I believe ensuring food justice for #OurCalifornia will help us achieve this:

  • Ensure that #LandBack territories have full protections and international rights afforded by tribal sovereignty:
    • Create legislation that bans the State of California or United States Federal Government from dictating the types of food, crops, or sustenance developed on said land. All #LandBack properties can achieve true food sovereignty because my government will honor and elevate tribal sovereignty;
    • Challenge federal law which dictates what can and cannot be grown on tribal land;
  • Expand small farmer land access, farming resources and State support;
    • I believe that direct involvement and consistent avenues via State/public contracts designed to support small farmers will not only strengthen small farmers, but diversify and strengthen economic ties in and between localities;
      • Prioritize California Indian & Farmers of Color who have been historically and disproportionately excluded from land access and farming resources – both federally and locally;
      • This expansion and support will greatly reduce current pressures and financial strains of small farmers unable to compete with the substantial resources available to Big Ag firms. I also realize that additional and local support will be needed for community members, local farmers and small businesses to build resilient and sustainable communities as current economic systems are not conducive for the People, for #OurCalifornia to thrive;
    • State Public Banking program will proudly provide small farmers operating within the State of California and all our Sovereign Nations within with low-cost interest loans to meet community needs;
    • Provide land-grant extension agents to all Farmers enrolled in the program for additional assistance, financial support & protection and actively work to end small farmer exploitation and address agricultural corruption;
      • Prioritize California Indian and Farmers of Color who have been historically and disproportionately excluded from land access and farming resources – both federally and locally;
      • Land-grant extension Agents will be assigned & available at a ratio of 1:4 for California Indian and Farmers of Color historically and disproportionately excluded from land access and farming resources – both federally and locally;
  • Work with the & other grassroots organizations and pillars in the farming community to ensure the needs of ALL our small farmers are met in #OurCalifornia;
  • Challenge the National Labor Relations Act;
  • Developing just and pragmatic policy for undocumented migrant workers in the State of California that expand current protections and services by:
    • Legalizing the status of undocumented migrant workers as a means to increase visibility, protection and combat informal economies that exploit both migrant and non-migrant labor. and reduce the deterioration of general working conditions;
      • Ban State & Locality departments from openly cooperating with ICE & DHS;
    • Deputizing local grassroots organizations successfully meeting migrant worker needs in localities and across the State;
    • Working directly with trade unions, migrant worker collectives and migrant labor activists to create expansive & inclusive legislation;
    • Increasing funding and resources for Information & Consumer Campaigns, so that migrant workers and the general public are aware of both their Federal and States rights;
    • State prioritization of data; Involving local grassroots organizations, migrant worker advocates and activists are directly involved in conducting research and can assist in creating policies for migrant workers in #OurCalifornia;
    • Ratifying the Migrant Workers Convention;
    • Safeguarding the right of migrant farmworkers  to organize;
    • Building capacities through empowerment.  In order to prevent and stop exploitation and abuse, migrant workers must be able to effectively exercise their rights. With the State empowering and developing migrant workers’ leadership capacities – we counteract a system of dependency, and allow for migrant workers to actively engage in and influence the decision-making processes affecting their lives. These capacities are essential if workers are to become agents of their own rights;
    • Increasing investment in State workplace inspection – and specifically in sectors where migrant work is exploited;
      • Promptly enforcing appropriate sanctions for corporate bad actors, illegal actions and abusive employers;
    • Employment inclusion within the State Jobs Guarantee Program;
  • Provide my Office of the Attorney General with the resources and support to formally investigate and prosecute Big Ag firms and their Corporate Empires for the environmental injustices they’ve caused, violating Constitutional & Civil Rights, Unethical/Illegal Business Practices, and lobbying for significant influence and favor of our government officials & corruption:
    • Investigation & Prosecution sets the foundation to ensure our government has addressed Big Ag and their Corporate empires’ corruption, mismanagement and that our government works to ensure it doesn’t continue. It sets precedent and warns others of the outcomes for bad actors. It allows the public to again have competitive and ethical markets for consumption of public goods;
    • Applying sanctions when found responsible for violations of the law will include restitution and up to public domain/asset forfeiture – transitioning all Big Ag corporations in our State into small worker-owned cooperatives or customer-owned cooperatives belonging to every resident of #OurCalifornia;
  • Expand public and farmworker collectives;
  • Utilizing eminent domain we will purchase public land plots (larger and small)  to return spaces to communities for pesticide-free urban farming for public use and consumption;
    • Ex.  Returning the South Central LA Farm to Angelenos;
    • Participants must undergo training focused on “regenerating the soil, ecosystem, and local community”
  • Utilizing eminent domain we will purchase public land plots (larger and small) to return spaces to communities for pesticide-free community gardens and opportunities to expand for public use and consumption;
    • Participants must undergo training focused on “regenerating the soil, ecosystem, and local community”
  • Implementing community gardens on every State property for public use and consumption;
  • Legalizing community gardens at all Universal Housing & Public Housing sites in the State of California;
  • Public Markets
  • Creating an additional #OurCalifornia #SNAPforAllCalifornians program that expands both SNAP participant and food/supplies coverage to ensure it is no longer means-tested but truly robust collective welfare. The coverage will include, but is not limited to:
    • Hot food inclusion
    • Menstrual and sanitary products
    • Diapers
    • Baby Formula
    • Organic Produce & Fruits
    • Sustainably/Locally Sourced Meats
    • Organic Dairy
    • Juice & Organic Juice