Re: Hearing at the LA Dept of Public Works on Wednesday, August 17. Ron Finley is called to appear after receiving notice to take down his edible garden.
South Los Angeles has been called a food desert by the US Department of Agriculture because of the lack of access to fresh, healthy, affordable food. The City has recognized this crisis of health and livability on a number of levels. The Mayor has created a food policy council to better address regional food issues; moreover, the City imposed a one-year moratorium on the building of fast-food restaurants over a 32-square-mile area. Still, however, major obstacles to health and access remain.
One solution advocated by local S LA residents--like their counterparts in areas such as Santa Monica and Silver Lake--is home farming, or urban farming (UF). UF is known to have effects not only on ameliorating health issues, but in providing many intangible "soft" structures of a neighborhood.
Ron Finley's garden on Chesapeake Avenue in south L.A. is one such successful endeavor. We, local neighbors and participants in the garden, appeal to the City to allow the garden to stand because of these many tangible and intangible benefits.