Following includes our local and state-level policy initiatives we are leading or supporting in 2018. Additionally, we also work with local jurisdictions in incorporating equitable and sustainable food system measures in planning efforts (General Plans, Climate Action Plans, etc). Legislators, please contact us if you are interested in supporting our food system through policies (Elly Brown!


The Alliance is advocating for the local implementation of Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones (AB551) in San Diego County cities. Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones are parcels of land in which private land owners in urban areas receive a tax incentive for leasing 0.1 to 3 acres of land to growers, farmers, and or/or gardeners for agriculture use for a period of 5 years. The state law (AB 551), passed in 2013, aims to increase land access for urban agriculture through the use of vacant, privately owned land approved by county and city officials. More information and resources here

City of San Diego officially adopted the Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones in Feb 2018. We are advocating for the adoption of this policy in other jurisdictions in San Diego County.


Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones

Carbon Farming is a process designed to maximize agriculture’s potential for moving excess greenhouse gases from the atmosphere into soil and vegetation, building fertility, productivity and resilience. Carbon Farming is a whole-farm approach implementing on-farm practices that increase the rate at which plants transfer carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere to the soil, which then increases water infiltration, water-holding capacity, soil organic matter and promotes long-term carbon sequestration. The Alliance and partners are analyzing the potential of this strategy in San Diego County to incentivize farmers to convert to carbon farming practices. See information on project here. The goal is to incorporate these measures into Climate Action Plans so farmers can be part of the climate change solution. 

County of San Diego has included carbon farming as secondary measures in their final Climate Action Plan. We are advocating for the adoption of this policy in other jurisdiction CAPs. We would also like to see Carbon Farming included as a measurable strategy in future CAP updates. 



Both the CA Legislature and CalRecycle have taken significant steps to enable the growth of small-scale and distributed composting operations, as part of California’s goal to dramatically increase organic recycling by 2020. Around the state, new composting organizations and enterprises are emerging, but multiple barriers inhibit their growth. Small-scale, distributed composting brings a variety of educational, economic, and environmental benefits to communities, and accelerates California toward meeting its green waste recycling goals. The Alliance aims to take local action to work with San Diego Cities and the County to update their municipal code to enable community composting. 

City of San Diego has updated their Municipal Code to enable community composting groups to co-exist with the franchise hauling system. We are advocating for the inclusion of composting operations of all sizes within local and state regulations. 


Community Composting

The future of San Diego Bay’s remaining working fishing harbors are currently being determined by the Port of San Diego’s Central Embarcadero “Seaport” development project. San Diego Bay's fishing harbors, specifically Tuna Harbor in the case Seaport, are a longstanding lynchpin of the Bay's working waterfront. Support a Tuna Harbor that allows our fishing industry to thrive well into the future. Keep Tuna Harbor Fishing to chart a path forward that models a "Win - Win - Win" waterfront redevelopment! Read more on different ways you can support here. inewsource is covers this issue here

Now comes the even more important March 28th meeting regarding the proposed Port Master Plan Update, in terms of land designation, definitions, and possible mixed-use overlay of the Tuna Harbor area. Per the Port, the Board of Port Commissioners is holding the workshop to discuss the following topics. 

*  A bay-wide land and water use designations table
*  A glossary of commonly used terms
*  Policy concepts and updated land and water use maps for our three waterfront sub-districts: North Embarcadero, South Embarcadero and Central Embarcadero 


Keep Tuna Harbor Fishing

Good Food Procurement Policy


Without an intentional way to disrupt the system, the profit-driven US food system will continue its negative impacts, exacerbating the prevalence of junk food without affordable and healthy options in low-income communities, exploitation of food chain workers, mistreatment of farm animals, and environmental degradation. Adoption of the national Good Food Purchasing Program (GFPP) with a formal policy commitment is the solution for large institutions.

Similar to the LEED certification for green buildings, institutions that participate in the GFPP are scored according to values-driven standards in five impact areas: local economies, environmental sustainability, valued workforce, animal welfare, and nutrition. GFPP has been credited as the most comprehensive procurement policy in the nation, and the only one to give equal weight to worker welfare in addition to nutrition and other factors.



AB1871 (Chiu & Garcia) Charter schools: free and reduced-price meals

Sponsor: California Food Policy Advocates

Charter schools: free and reduced-price meals: would require charter schools to offer free and reduced-price meals which would impact 80,000 children in San Diego who don’t already provide this.

Action Alert! Letters of support should be sent to Assembly Committee on Education by April 4th, 2018.

Fact Sheet
Letter of Support

SB900 (Wiener & Arambula) Electronic benefits transfer system: CalFresh supplemental benefits 

Sponsor: Californians Food Policy Advocates

Electronic benefits transfer system: CalFresh supplemental benefits & Budget ask - would enable CalFresh to integrate nutritional benefits that would incentivize locally grown produce.

Action Alert! Letters of support should be sent to Senate Human Services before April 3rd, 2018.

Fact Sheet
Letter of Support

Fact Sheet for accompanying Budget Ask

AB2335 (Ting) Corner Stores/ Nutrition Incentives 

Roots of Change


Corner Stores/ Nutrition Incentives is pilot grant program to provide refrigeration and technical assistance for healthy retail projects in SF, LA, and SD. AB 2335 would create the Small Business Nutrition Incentive Program within CDFA. The program would provide grant incentives to corner stores and other small-scale stores with a limited selection of food products to purchase energy efficient refrigeration. Eligible businesses in the counties of Alameda, Los Angeles, and San Diego and the City and County of San Francisco, would agree to stock fresh produce in the purchased refrigeration units. Additionally, this bill would make adjustments to the Nutrition Incentive Matching Grant Program to allow providers earlier access to the grant funds.

Fact Sheet
Letter of Support

SB5 (De Leon) California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access For All Act of 2018


California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access For All Act of 2018 - Funds conservation initiatives in CA, create and improve parks in urban communities, improve flood prevention system. Continued funding for Healthy Soils Program relies on outcome.

Action Alert! Organizations interested in supporting should fill out the attached Endorsement Form. Please email this form to and (cc’d to this email) by Friday, January 12, 2018

Fact Sheet
Investment Priorities
Endorsement Form

AB 1933 (Maienschein) Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund: Recycling Infrastructure

Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund: Recycling Infrastructure - Ensures that cap and trade funds will be spent on organic and solid waste recycling infrastructure.

Fact Sheet
Letter of Support

AB2909 (Wood) Small Poultry Producer Protection Act

Roots of Change



Small Poultry Producer Protection Act will allow any producer of up to 20,000 animals to slaughter on farm with hired help and to sell as an "approved source" to any willing buyer if the producer registers with CDFA, follows CDFA poultry production, slaughter and handling guidelines. These guidelines will include a traceability system, which could be as simple as an invoice with date, time and place of slaughter identified that must be kept by the buyer for a period of time. Producers are of course would subject to inspection by environmental health officers if there is a complaint, but that is the case already.

Action Alert! Letters should be sent to Chair of the Assembly Health Committee, Dr. Jim Wood by April 17th. The Assembly Ag Committee hearing is on April 25th.

Fact Sheet
Letter of Support (organizations)
Letter of Support (veteran farmers)
Letter of Support (beginning farmers)