On March 18, APA Los Angeles hosted an evening forum at the Southern California Gas Company Tower in downtown LA. 40+ planners were treated to a detailed discussion on policies surrounding urban agriculture development.
Planners are excited about local food, healthier eating, and sustainable cities these days. And that has sparked a renewed interest in the development of urban agriculture around Los Angeles. Unfortunately, many communities are bogged down with a bureaucratic nightmare of urban agriculture laws, ordinances, and regulations. Curren Price, Clare Fox, Mark Glassock, and Goetz Wolff discussed the emerging policy issues surrounding urban agriculture in Los Angeles. They explored the barriers that currently exist, lessons that can be learned from other jurisdictions, and what they believe the policy priorities should be moving forward to help spur urban agriculture developments.
Councilmember Price initiated the discussion by explaining his efforts to implement AB 551 at the local level. Afterwards, Clare talked broadly about the different types of urban agriculture and went into detail about the work of the LA Food Policy Council. Mark provided a wonderful presentation on the LA Neighborhood Land Trust and spoke about the truth regarding vacant land in Los Angeles. To conclude, Mr. Wolff zoomed out and spoke directly about some harsh realities facing urban agriculture and helped put everything in perspective for the audience.
Thank you to SoCalGas for hosting and thank you to our wonderful panelists for volunteering their time!
Curren D. Price Jr., City Council District 9
Councilmember Price has been an avid supporter of expanding urban farming in Los Angeles. At the end of 2014, Price proposed a bill for landowners to receive tax breaks for leasing vacant property for agriculture with hopes of transforming the plethora of vacant lots throughout the City. The state Legislature approved the Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones Act and the Councilmember wants the law implemented locally. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Price attended school in the 9th district before his family moved to Inglewood. There he graduated from Morningside High, and earned a scholarship to Stanford University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. He later graduated with a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Santa Clara, School of Law.
Clare Fox, Director of Policy and Innovation, LA Food Policy Council
Clare Fox is the Director of Policy and Innovation for the Los Angeles Food Policy Council. She collaborates closely with a large network of public, private, non-profit and community sector representatives to catalyze projects and build leadership capacity for a sustainable and equitable food system in Southern California. Her policy areas focus on food access and equity, urban agriculture, street food vending, and food-anchored community economic development. Clare directs the Healthy Neighborhood Market Network, an initiative to bring business and leadership development opportunities and consulting to neighborhood markets in low-income communities who wish to sell more fresh and healthy food. Clare has a bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College and a Masters in urban planning from UCLA.
Mark Glassock, Director of Special Projects, LA Neighborhood Land Trust
Mark Glassock is the Director of Special Projects at the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, a non-profit organization with a mission to build healthier, stronger, and safer neighborhoods through the creation of urban parks and community gardens exclusively in low-income communities of color. In this role, Mark directs the Land Trust’s nearly $15 million capital development portfolio, stewardship of 11 parks and community gardens, youth training programs, and policy change initiatives. Mark holds a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Washington.
Goetz Wolff, Lecturer of Urban Planning, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs
Goetz Wolff’s research and teaching interests center on equity and economic development issues–in particular the reciprocal roles of industries and regions in shaping each other. Wolff works extensively with organized labor, community organizations, public and non-profit agencies, and the private sector. Goetz is currently working on a project, “From Farms to Waste and/or Recycling: Assessing and Improving the Jobs in the California Food Chain” with the California Labor Federation and the LA Food Policy Council. Mr. Wolff is also the Co-Chair of the Good Food Economy Working Group. Goetz has a B.A. in Political Science from Occidental College, a M. Phil in Political Science from Yale, and an A.B.D. in Urban Planning from UCLA.