News Update July 26th, 2017

To All Those Interested in Food and Justice...

A (usually) weekly update on food issues, promoting access to sufficient, affordable, healthy food ---with a focus on campaigns you can become active in!

July 26th,2017

  1. Senate Proceeds on Shell Health Care Repeal: House Delays Budget Vote That Will  Demolish Many AntiPoverty Programs
  2. Two Good Measures Proposed in DC: Bail Reform and SSI Improvements
  3. Rally Thursday to Support Vendor Attacked by Jackass
  4. Join LA Gardens Advocates at City Hall Friday: We Need Lower Water Rates for Gardens
  5. Andy Fisher Big Hunger: Two Panel Dates Next Week
  6. Governor Signs Anti-Hunger Bill for College Campuses
  7. Food Policy Council Building the New Good Food for All Agenda, August 17
  8. Californians for SSI August In-Person Meet-Up August 17, 10am - 3pm
  9. Support Dine Women at Event This Weekend

1. Senate Proceeds on Shell Health Care Repeal: House Delays Budget Vote That Will  Demolish Many AntiPoverty Programs

As you all know by now, Senator John McCain, recently diagnosed with brain cancer, was dragged all the way back from Arizona to Washington DC where he essentially provided the deciding vote to move forward on a motion to debate repealing the Affordable Care Act. This has a lot to do with food security because health insurance is one of the big pickpockets, along with housing costs and low wages, that create hunger in the U.S.

But this health care program is only one of many programs that support low income people that the Republican controlled Congress wants to eliminate or cut beyond recognition. SNAP is of course another, and there have been a lot of proposals lately on SNAP from different federal corners. While the House Ag Appropriations Committee proposed only modest cuts based on a lower caseload due to an improved economy, the full House budget calls for devastating cuts, and the President’s proposal is even worse. Many proposals base large cuts on restricting further the ability of single childless adults from getting benefits, and on other schemes including charging stores to participate in the program (unprecedented). The good news is that the House won’t hold a vote this week on their budget resolution, but will delay it until after the August recess if not longer.

Orgul Demet Ozturk , an economics professor at the University of South Carolina, has written an article, originally in The Conversation but here linking to Salon, showing who will get hurt the most by cuts in SNAP. Among the interesting points is that he estimates $657 for a family of 4 monthly food bill, while an emergency hospital visit for low blood sugar is $1,387 and inpatient admission is over $17,000---illustrating again the connection to health care.

Who Loses if Food Stamps Are Cut 


2. Two Good Measures Proposed in DC: Bail Reform and SSI Improvements

Strangely enough, not everything being discussed in DC is bad. Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva has according to his press release“introduced the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Restoration Act, which would update the program to meet the needs of vulnerable seniors and people with severe disabilities by raising the asset limit, updating earned and unearned income disregard rules, and modernizing certain financial eligibility rules.”, even as the Republican House budget proposal targets people with disabilities.

Congressmember Grijalva states “Rather than taking away the little it provides to those in need, we must restore the original intent of the program to protect seniors and people with disabilities from the harms of poverty.”For additional details on the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Restoration Act click here and here

Even bipartisanship is still alive …in ways you probably wouldn’t expect.

From Senator Kamala Harris’ press release, “ U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced a bipartisan bail reform bill - The Pretrial Integrity and Safety Act of 2017 - to encourage states to reform or replace the practice of money bail, the requirement that people awaiting trial are locked up in jail unless they are able to pay for their release. Across the country, state and local governments continue to have ineffective money bail systems that negatively impact poor people and people of color.

“Our justice system was designed with a promise: to treat all people equally,” said Senator Harris. “Yet more than 450,000 Americans sit in jail today awaiting trial and many of them cannot afford “money bail.” In our country, whether you stay in jail or not is wholly determined by whether you’re wealthy or not - and that’s wrong. We must come together to reform a bail system that is discriminatory, wasteful, and fails to keep our communities safe.”

“Excessive money bail disproportionately affects communities of color, as studies have shown that African Americans and Latinos are more likely to sit in jail pretrial than white defendants and less likely to be able to post money bail so they can be released. It also has an adverse effect on public safety.”


3. Rally Thursday to Support Vendor Attacked by Jackass

As you may have seen from a video that’s been seen now millions of times, 24-year old street vendor Benjamin Ramirez was attacked by a resident in Hollywood (and not the first time the guy has harassed him.) This incident has shown a spotlight once again on LA City Council and the seemingly endless process of legalizing street vending, which came to a partial solution but needs much further work.

According to “Los Angeles recently lowered street vending from a misdemeanor to a citation.  The City Council said it made that decision amid stepped-up federal immigration enforcement, noting that it did not want anyone deported for selling food on the streets. There are an estimated 50,000 street vendors in L.A. But advocates, including (activist Azucena)Favela, still call on the city to create a permitting system to protect vendors like Ramirez.” (Acuzena Favela created a GoFundMe page to help reimburse Benjamin for his losses in the attack: GoFundMe page)

A rally is planned for Thursday in Hollwyood to support Benjamin.

Something similar happened in New York a couple months ago:

And you may recall that law enforcement attacks on a street vendor in Tunisia sparked “The Arab Spring”


4. Join LA Garden Advocates at City Hall Friday: We Need Lower Water Rates for Gardens

From LA Food Policy Council: Dear Urban Ag Activists –

 As you’ve heard, agricultural water rates in the city of Los Angeles are set to go up nearly 300% over the next few years, and the increases have already begun. Our partners at the Los Angeles Community Garden Council are working to mitigate the potentially devastating effects of these hikes, and have organized a Day of Action at City Hall to make their case to local lawmakers.

The concern is that this increased expense will threaten the very existence of many gardens, especially those in underserved neighborhoods, and will deny people the opportunity to provide food for their families. By allowing these hikes to take place, the DWP contradicts the many efforts that the City Council and the Mayor have made in recent years to promote community gardens, urban agriculture and urban greening efforts in general.

We will be asking councilmembers to include long-term budgetary support for gardens that will see increases in the range of hundreds and even thousands of dollars per billing period. We would like to see the city invest in the community garden and urban ag movement.

Please join us for this urgent effort. Numbers will make the difference.

If you intend to come, please RSVP and let us know which council district you live in (if you live in the City of LA). And please wear green!

When: Friday, July 28

8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Where: LA City Hall

South Lawn staircase

1st Street between Main and SpringWe will be presenting all signatures to council members. If you can't be at our Day of Action, sign our petition!


For more information please contact Diana Campos at LA Community Garden Council.

[email protected] or (323) 902-7167

(Thanks to Breanna Morrison and Francesca de la Rosa)


5. Andy Fisher “Big Hunger: The Unholy Alliance Between Corporate America and Anti-Hunger Groups”: Speaking Tour August 1 & August 2

August 1: Santa Monica Farmers Market Events Presents: Andrew Fisher, author of  Big Hunger – The Unholy Alliance between Corporate America and Anti-Hunger Groups

Hunger is a medical condition; food insecurity is a political problem. Is there a cure for perpetual food insecurity in America?  Farmers markets provide a bounty of local sustainable food that is becoming available to more and more people due to the efforts of visionary non profit entrepreneurs who distribute food to the neediest among us.  Meet the leaders who are making food accessible to all, starting right here at the farmers market. 

WHO: Andrew Fisher, community organizer, educator and author of Big Hunger – the Unholy Alliance between Corporate America and Anti-Hunger Groups: Rick Nahmias, Founder and Executive Director of Food Forward: Sam Polk, Founder and Executive Director of Groceryships and Everytable: Frank Tamborello, Executive Director of Hunger Action LA

When: Tuesday August 1st 6:30  pm

Where: The Gallery Food Hall 1315 Third Street Promenade (between Arizona Ave. and Santa Monica Blvd) upstairs patio

 The event is free and open to the public.  Light refreshments will be provided by Everytable. For more info, contact Laura Avery at [email protected]  or 310-458-8712 X 6. 

August 2: Highland Park

DATE AND TIME: Wed, August 2, 2017: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM PDT

LOCATION: L.A. Kitchen, 230 West Avenue 26

Los Angeles, CA 90031

The event will be moderated by The L.A. Kitchen’s Founder & CEO, Robert Egger with panel including Clare Fox from Los Angeles Food Policy Council and Joann Lo from Food Chain Workers Alliance.


6. Governor Signs Anti-Hunger Bill for College Campuses

Governor Brown has signed AB 214, which clarifies some other recently passed legislation to fight hunger on college campuses

The bill’s author, San Diego Assemblymember Dr. Shirley Weber, states that ““Twenty-four percent of CSU students experience hunger, and nearly 20 percent of University of California students do not have access to adequate food or nutrition,” 

According to AB 214 text, the law will simplify the administration of CalFresh for college students. It will also require the California Student Aid Commission to inform students of information that could help them verify their eligibility for CalFresh, and it will clarify definitions of on-campus food retailers required to participate in the CalFresh Restaurant Meals Program

Governor Signs Bill To Fight College Hunger


7. Food Policy Council Building the New Good Food for All Agenda, August 17

From LA Food Policy Council: How can we ensure that every Angeleno has access to good food - food that is healthy, fair, sustainable and affordable? Join the LA Food Policy Council on Thursday August 17th for the 2017 Working Group Summit, #FoodFutures: Building the New Good Food for All Agenda. Weigh in on what's next for food policy in Los Angeles and learn about the ways in which our Good Food movement can better center equity at every level of transformational change in our food system.

At the summit, we'll review the latest updates of the Good Food for All Agenda, a blueprint for policy makers to help steward decisions around food policy in Los Angeles that reflects the priorities of the Good Food Movement.

Thursday August 17, 1 to 5 pm: Location: The California Endowment, 1000 Alameda St. LA CA 90012. Register here:


8. Californians for SSI August In-Person Meet-Up

August 17 10 am-3 pm

Please join us at our planned upcoming August 17 annual meeting in Sacramento, Oakland and Los Angeles to review our work over the past year, and decide on goals, strategies, and tactics for the coming year. Plan on $15 per person for lunch, to be paid at the meeting, or you can bring lunch or plan on one of the many restaurants around the meeting locations.

• Sign up at

CA4SSI Statewide Meet Up

By August 8th, to ensure that lunch is ordered for everyone.

• For more information about the upcoming meeting, contact Jared McCreary at: [email protected], or 951-809-6598

Big Thanks to Disability Rights CA for hosting this important meeting!

August 17th, 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM


350 South Bixel Street, Suite 290 Los Angeles CA 90017


1831 K Street Sacramento, CA 95811


1330 Broadway, Suite 500 Oakland, CA 94612


9. Support Dine Women at Event This Weekend



Diné Weavers Demonstration and Craft Sale

Sunday July 30th, 11a - 3pm
Wishtoyo Chumash Village Highway, Malibu, CA 90265
44904 Pacific Coast

Contact: Luhui (805) 729 - 7692
eMail: [email protected]


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