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Election results for FOOD Candidates — Good News

Food Vote 2012: National U.S. Survey
Survey of “community food and farm” leaders and other U.S. residents
Aug. 14 – Nov. 6, 2012

Congratulations to both FOOD candidates identified and vetted through this survey. Both incumbent Congressman Earl Blumenauer (Oregon) and first-time Congressional candidate Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii) won their elections by wide margins. See below for additional information about the results and links to their FOOD platforms.

Thanks to everyone who participated in this survey since August. Next week, I will provide a summary of survey results, with an eye towards making the information useful during the 113th Congress. And it’s not too early to make FOOD a 2014 campaign issue — especially if you’re thinking of being a candidate.


Total # of responses: 217
# of States Responding: 41 + Washington, DC (No responses from: Delaware, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Wyoming)
# of Congressional Food candidates identified and vetted: 2
Earl Blumenauer – Oregon (3rd district)
Tulsi Gabbard – Hawaii (2nd district)
# of FOOD Candidates who won: BOTH

B. Election results for FOOD Candidates: Details

Both Tulsi Gabbard and Earl Blumenauer were identified as FOOD candidates based on the following criteria:

1. Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives
2. Campaign website’s list of issues has a Heading or Subheading that includes the word “FOOD”
3. Promotes Food and Farm Policy to address the set of Interlocking Issues that is the Food and Farm System
4. Promotes Community Civic Engagement (Food Citizenship) as an essential part of a food and farm economy that works for everyone

Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii). First-time Congressional candidate Tulsi Gabbard won 80.6% of the vote in Hawaii’s 2nd district. Of interest to “local food and farm” advocates is the fact that Hawaii has only two Congressional districts. The 1st district is very small in area (less than half of Oahu island), but densely populated. It is 99% urban and includes most of the City and County of Honolulu. The 2nd district (which will be represented by Ms. Gabbard) is 83% urban, 17% rural and covers the vast majority of Hawaii’s land, including more than half of Oahu plus all the other islands.

For more information about Ms. Gabbard and her FOOD platform, see her campaign website: Hawai`i’s New Agriculture—Achieving Food Self-Sufficiency

Earl Blumenauer (Oregon). Incumbent Congressman Earl Blumenauer won 74% of the vote. Oregon’s 3rd district is a primarily urban district, including much of the City of Portland and most of Multnomah County. Cong. Blumenauer has represented the 3rd district since 1996 and has clearly had time to develop a detailed food and farm platform. Cong. Blumenauer’s “Food & Farm Bill of Rights” seems to be one of the most detailed FOOD platforms of any candidate in any jurisdiction.

For more information on Cong. Blumenauer and his FOOD platform, see his campaign website: Food & Farm Bill of Rights

Thanks to a friend of mine who now lives in Oregon’s 3rd district, on Monday I received an email from Cong. Blumenauer suggesting that we talk in the future about this survey and about food policy and food system work. I would assume that Cong. Blumenauer sees the value in developing FOOD candidates. Any legislator naturally wants allies for their legislative proposals — especially an agenda as comprehensive as a Food and Farm Bill of Rights.

I look forward to talking with Cong. Blumenauer and exploring how I might help him find allies for his FOOD platform. I would think that, being a seasoned legislator, he is very open to tweaking his platform to accommodate a national non-partisan, urban-suburban-rural, community food and farm coalition. Luckily, with COMFOOD and other national networks, the coalition is moving towards critical mass.

Thanks to Hawaii and Oregon voters, we now have two FOOD candidates in the 113th U.S. House of Representatives.