Building Public Awareness about FOOD: High Impact, Federal Level Actions for 2012



Food Vote 2012: National U.S. Survey
Survey of “community food and farm” leaders and other U.S. residents
Aug. 14 – Nov. 6, 2012
Week #6: Building Public Awareness about FOOD: High Impact, Federal Level Actions for 2012

Thanks to Arkansas, Texas, and Vermont for weighing in. Fifteen states are still unheard from in this survey.

A. BASIC SURVEY DATA AS OF SEPT. 30, 2012

Total # of responses: 156
# of States Responding: 35 + Washington, DC
No responses yet from: Alaska Delaware Georgia Kansas Mississippi Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey Oklahoma Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Wyoming
# of Congressional Food candidates identified and vetted: 2
Earl Blumenauer – Oregon
Tulsi Gabbard – Hawaii

B. Building Public Awareness: High Impact, Federal Level Actions for 2012

In addition to talking to Congressional candidates about FOOD, constant education of various sectors will build public awareness of FOOD issues in a variety of directions. Survey Question #13 seeks to identify some of those key arenas, both self-education (of food & farm leaders) and education targeted to other groups. Here is some analysis of the responses so far.

SURVEY QUESTION #13. What other actions in 2012 would you promote (or have you promoted) to build public awareness about your and other people’s FOOD concerns? Check your top 5 choices.

Not surprisingly, the top vote-getter (68%) so far is
“Help funders and government officials understand why “community food and farm economies” is a high-impact funding area that can decrease or eliminate most other funding needs.”

This is particularly relevant given the closing of the Community Food Security Coalition due primarily to reduced funding (in a time of tight resources). Relevant to the current conversation about a successor to CFSC, #5 in total votes (40.8%) favored a “national open meeting” to have such a conversation.

Other. Respondents identified a number of other high-impact federal-level action items. These are:

Lobby days
DLH comment: Lobby days at any level can be very effective in (a) helping media understand an issue, (b) showing legislators the strength in numbers, and (c) connecting colleagues face-to-face.

Faith-based work
DLH comment: I believe that 50% of all charitable giving comes through faith-based institutions. And, as a neighbor of mine pointed out recently, even with all the local and state cutbacks, eliminating and closing many emergency service centers (of all kinds), faith-based institutions are still in the communities and are likely not going anywhere.

Co-op style ownership of businesses
DLH comment: In a transitional economy (such as ours), I believe that co-op style ownership is the only way independent food and farm businesses can survive. I would add that transparent books are key to the moral legitimacy of co-ops. (Even co-ops can be co-opted, as the Family Farm Defenders’ “Land of 10,000 Lagoons” awards is demonstrating today, Oct. 3, 2012. Three long-time dairy co-ops, “built with the blood, sweat, and tears of family dairy farmers long ago to serve their own best interests” are being “honored” as the three worst dairy co-ops, which “have become just as unethical, corrupt, and greedy as their corporate counterparts.”

Legislator scorecards: How have legislators voted in the past on specific FOOD legislation?
DLH comment: This simple mechanism is a good way to (a) track FOOD legislation, (b) track individual legislators, and (c) identify trends and patterns over time and over geography.

Aligning Food Day and World Food Day, perhaps as World Food Week
DLH comment: This would enable U.S. residents, especially, to understand how U.S. policies have negatively impacted almost every local food and farm economy in the world.

See below for complete details of responses to this question.

Again, thanks to all survey respondents. This survey will be up through Nov. 6, 2012.

NEXT WEEK: Why the sponsor of the Local Farms, Food and Jobs Act is not a FOOD candidate — yet

Food Vote 2012: National U.S. Survey

 

Building Public Awareness about FOOD: High-Impact Federal Level Actions for 2012

COMPLETE RESPONSES TO QUESTION #13 . What other actions in 2012 would you promote (or have you promoted) to build public awareness about your and other people’s FOOD concerns? Check your top 5 choices.

Listed in order of most votes to least (as of Sept. 30, 2012)
(percentage of total respondents + total # of votes):

Help funders and government officials understand why “community food and farm economies” is a high-impact funding area that can decrease or eliminate most other funding needs
68.0% 70
Social media campaign (e.g., Twitter, Carrotmob) on some nationally coordinated issue
59.2% 61
Participation in Food Day (Oct. 24: “a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food” coordinated by Center for Science in the Public Interest)
59.2% 61
Media teach-ins (coordinated on a national level)
43.7% 45
National open meeting to identify or create a replacement for the Community Food Security Coalition as an umbrella organization (recently announced that it is closing its doors in 2012)
40.8% 42
Webinar or workshop on “Money and Banking Systems for Food System Practitioners”
30.1% 31
Webinar or workshop on “Law-making for Food System Practitioners: Public process, Public policy, and the Legislative Pipeline”
30.1% 31
National strike (e.g., general, by food systems frontline workers — mothers, farmers, food chain workers)
28.2% 29
March (e.g., on Washington, DC, to state capitals, in local streets)
24.3% 25
Webinar or workshop on “Participatory Budgeting for Food System Practitioners”
20.4% 21

Other (please specify).

Items highlighted in orange are high-impact federal-level action items (as discussed above).

1 Lobby Days on local, state, and federal level.

2 I would help organized faith-based work to advocate for sustainable food and agriculture policies and programs.

3 local workshops and movie viewings

4 Food day – should be extended to food 10 days from the international food day to the national one sponsored by CFPI – with events all over the country Webinar on Free Trade Agreements and their effects on food systems

5 My professional work advances food systems change

6 mandate farm bill funding for Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund. and as always, continue to teach, teach, teach everyone who will listen

7 We prefer World Food Day, on October 16, which focuses on the global food system and all of people involved in the struggle for good food. In our estimation, Food Day has limited itself to US issues to the detriment of the movement. We anticipate aligning Food Day and World Food Day, perhaps as World Food Week, in order to make an even bigger splash in the collective consciousness.

8 More local/regional community efforts by attending and being involved with meetings and events related to my countys’ local Food Policy Council

9 Activities on the local level. Promoting local sustainable food practices – coop style ownership.

10 Currently working on developing a food co-op in our small rural village in upstate NY which will provide access to locally produced farmstead food products.

11 Protection of premium farmland is essential for a small island community.

12 Eat lower on the food chain and work to reduce GMO corn and soybeans, and other GMO crops. Diversify crops, plant more hedgerows and conserve the soil.

13 I need to know how my congressional delegates have supported good public legislation so we can hold them accountable the next election round.