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

Action Alert:
See AB465 (Ting) action alert below

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. 

Action Alert:
None currently


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. 

Action Alert:
None currently

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

Action Alert:
Port of San Diego is accepting public comments below for the Port Master Plan Update 2017. Please request for Tuna Harbor to have desired amenities to support the growth of the fishing industry as part of the Seaport development. 
Next Port Master Plan Update workshop:
The next public workshop is May 11 at 6 p.m. at the National City Aquatic Center. Everyone is encouraged to attend to advocate to Keep Tuna Harbor Fishing and ensure that the fishermen's infrastructure needs are met. Port staff is working on a draft of specific policy language for the land around Tuna Harbor.

Keep Tuna Harbor Fishing


AB465 (Ting)
Urban Agriculture

Sponsor: SPUR, Pesticide Action Network North America, Sacramento Urban Agriculture Coalition, San Diego Food System Alliance

Assembly Bill 465 extends the Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone Act for 10 more years. Urban agriculture provides many benefits to city residents including: education about fresh, healthy food and the effort it takes to produce it; environmental benefits for the city; community-building; vibrant green spaces and recreation; and a modest source of economic development. Numerous cities and counties across the state have created urban agriculture incentive zones and additional jurisdictions are in the process of implementing them, in accordance with AB 551 (2013). The ten year extension proposed in AB 465, as well as the amendments regarding population minimums and contiguous lots, will help the program continue to provide benefits in cities where it already exists and allow others to start their own urban agriculture incentive zones.

Action Alert:
Fax letter to legislators below.

Letter of Support
Proposed Amendments

INSTRUCTIONS: How to submit your letter in support of the Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones Extension (AB 465)

Letters should be sent to the following offices before the Local Government Committee vote on April 19. Below are instructions for how to submit letters.  

By April 18:

If you have access to a fax machine, please send your letters directly to the following people: 

Assembly Member Cecilia Aguiar-Curry: Fax: (916) 319-2104, Phone: (916) 319-2004
Assembly Local Government Committee:  Fax: 916-319-3959, Phone: 916-319-3958
Assembly Member Phil Ting: Fax: 916-319-2119, Phone: 916-319-2019

If you don’t have access to a fax machine: e-mail your letter to Elly Brown, Alliance Director, San Diego Food Systems Alliance, elly@sdfsa.org, and Elly will make sure the letter gets there.

Thank you for sending a letter in support of AB 465!  If you have any questions, please contact Andrew White in Assembly Member Ting’s office: (916) 319-2019 or Andrew.White@asm.ca.gov

AB1348 (Aguiar-Curry) Farmer Equity Act

Sponsor: Pesticide Action Network North America

AB 1348 adds the definition of “Socially Disadvantaged Farmers” to the Food and Agriculture Code and designates the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) as the coordinating agency for any research and outreach efforts for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers.

Fact Sheet
Letter of Support
Bill Text

AB 1219 (Eggman) CA Good Samaritan Food Donation Act

Sponsor: Californians Against Waste

Encourages increased food donation by offering clear and explicit liability protection for donors, and expanding on existing protections

California became the first state in the country to limit the liability of food donors in order to encourage food donation. In 1996 Congress responded to the need of more uniform protections by enacting the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act which protected good faith food donors from civil and criminal liability. Despite these protections, much of the wholesome surplus food in the state is discarded. A survey conducted by the Waste Reduction Alliance found that 44% of manufacturers, 41% of restaurants and 25% of retailers identified fear of liability as their primary barrier to food donation.

Fact Sheet
Letter of Support

AB 954 (Chiu) - Food Date Labeling Reform

Sponsor: Californians Against Waste

Helps reduce an easily avoidable source of food waste by supporting and promoting the adoption from major industry associations of date labels that use uniform terms for safety, which provides a foundation for consumer education.

Fact Sheet
Letter of Support

Oppositions - Budget

AB1617 (Bloom)
Increases in Fisheries Landing Tax




California seafood processors are in a tenuous position as governor Jerry Brown turns to landing fees to close a $20 million budget shortfall. Governor Brown has proposed to raise commercial fishing landing fees roughly 12fold with the 2016-17 budget. The idea is to address a shortfall in the amount the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) spends managing and monitoring the commercial fishing industry which it estimates at $22m and the amount of money the industry pays the state estimated at $5m. This fund covers services “way beyond those related to the commercial fishing industry". The commercial fishing industry is certainly not the only logical source of revenue to fill this shortfall. Article 

Bill Text 

On Friday, 3 March, news emerged that the Trump Administration is urging drastic cuts to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) including complete elimination of the Sea Grant program.  As constituents and beneficiaries of our state’s Sea Grant program, Sea Grant requests the Alliance to write to our local representatives to ask you to request that the Appropriations Committees fund the National Sea Grant College Program (NSGCP) at a level of $80 million in fiscal year 2017 and 2018. 

Action Alert:
Send letter to legislators below

CA Sea Grant Overview
Budget Request Letter Template

Our Two Senators
Sen. Diane Feinstein  http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/
local adr: 880 Front Street, Suite 4236 , San Diego, CA 92101 , Phone: (619) 231-9712 , Fax: (619) 231-1108
D.C. adr: United States Senate, 331 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510, Phone: (202) 224-3841, Fax: (202) 228-3954, TTY/TDD: (202) 224-2501
contact through Feinstein website: http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact

Sen. Kamala Harris: https://www.harris.senate.gov
local adr: 600 B Street, Suite 2240, San Diego, CA  92101, Phone (619) 239 - 3884, Fax (202) 228 - 3863
D.C. adr: 112 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510, Phone (202) 224-3553, Fax (202) 224-2200
contact through Harris website: https://www.harris.senate.gov/content/contact-senator

Your Representative from San Diego (49th-53rd Districts)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California's_congressional_districts (and below)

49th Darrell Issa (Dana Point to Del Mar) https://issa.house.gov
local adr: 1800 Thibido Road, Suite 310, Vista, CA 92083,  ph: (760) 599-5000  fax: (760) 599-1178
D.C. adr: U.S. House of Representatives, 2347 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515-0001,  ph: (202) 225-3906   fax: (202) 225-3303
Contact through Issa website:  https://issa.house.gov/contact
50th Duncan Hunter (eastern San Diego Co.)  https://hunter.house.gov
local adr: 1611 N. Magnolia Ave., Ste 310, El Cajon, CA 92020, Phone: (619) 448-5201, Fax: (619) 449-2251
D.C. adr: 2429 Rayburn HOB, Washington, DC 20515, Phone: (202) 225-5672, Fax: (202) 225-0235
Contact through Hunter website: https://hunter.house.gov/contact-me

51st Juan Vargas (along the border, Chula Vista, National City, Imperial Co.) http://vargas.house.gov
local adr: 333 F Street, Suite A, Chula Vista, CA 91910, Phone: 619-422-5963, Fax: 619-422-7290
D.C. adr: 1605 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515, Phone: 202-225-8045, Fax: 202-225-2772
Contact through Vargas website: https://vargas.house.gov/contact

52nd Scott Peters (La Jolla, Pt. Loma, Coronado, Miramar) https://scottpeters.house.gov
local adr: 4350 Executive Drive, Suite 105, San Diego, CA 92121, phone: 858-455-5550
D.C. adr: 1122 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515, phone: 202-225-0508
Contact through Peters website: https://scottpeters.house.gov/contact/email-me

53rd Susan Davis (Mission Valley, mid city, east of Chula Vista, National City) https://susandavis.house.gov
local adr: 2700 Adams Avenue, Suite 102, San Diego, CA 92116, Phone: (619) 280-5353, Fax: (619) 280-5311
D.C. adr: U.S. House of Representatives, 1214 Longworth HOB, Washington, DC 20515, Phone: (202) 225-2040, Fax: (202) 225-2948
Contact through Davis website: https://susandavis.house.gov/contact

Oppose budget cuts to CA Sea Grant