• Petitioned Walter Robb

This petition was delivered to:

Whole Foods
Walter Robb
Whole Foods
John Mackey

Whole Foods: Stop plans in Albany until Gill Tract is a legal community farm.

    1. Martha Pettit
    2. Petition by

      Martha Pettit

      Berkeley, CA

Gill Tract is the last remaining 10 acres of Class I agricultural soil in the urbanized East Bay area. For decades the UC has thwarted attempts by community members to transform the site for urban sustainable agriculture and hands-on education. Occupy the Farm, a coalition of local residents, farmers, students, researchers, and activists are planting over 15,000 seedlings at the Gill Tract and they are working to empower communities to control their own resilient food systems for a stable and just future – a concept and practice known as food sovereignty.

If Whole Foods is truly "intimately tied to the neighborhood and larger community that we serve and in which we live" and "supporting sustainable agriculture" as they state on their website, then they cannot claim innocence in this situation and they are indeed culpable for the long-term impacts of their commercial development if it results in a domino effect that impacts the future of the neighboring Gill Tract.

Currently Whole Foods has considerable power and leverage in the future of how UC Berkeley uses this land and they should use their power for the good of the community if they really stand by the above quotes taken from their website.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 200 signatures
    2. Support Occupy the Farm - Tell the University that Farmland is for Farming!

      Martha Pettit
      Petition Organizer

      Currently, the University is taking police and legal action against the Farm. Now, more than ever, Occupy the Farm needs your support—not just to defend it in this moment, but to show our solidarity for the long-term vision to preserve this precious agricultural land for farming, and not development!

      Please sign this petition to show the University that you support the vision of Occupy the Farm and that you call on them to stop police action so that the farmers may continue to farm!

    3. Clarity around Whole Food's position

      Martha Pettit
      Petition Organizer

      Just to be clear to anyone who is not following this story closely. The agricultural land currently being farmed is NOT where a Whole Foods would go BUT if a Whole Foods was built on the adjoining land (Phase 1) then this land is slated for some type of yet-to-be determined recreational or open space and it is NOT protected for agricultural use alone.

      Whole Foods is currently in a position to be a strong advocate that this adjoining land be preserved for community agricultural use only. Even better, they could provide grants to support such a project and offer to sell food from the farm in their store. Thus far, no one from Whole Foods has made any public statements of support for preserving this land for agricultural use in the long term.

    4. A letter from the Dean of CNR at UC Berkeley

      Martha Pettit
      Petition Organizer

      Dean Gilless: "The Only Way We Can Move Forward... is for the Current Occupation to End"

    5. Reached 100 signatures
    6. Occupy the Farm: Whole Foods or Your Tax Dollars?

      Martha Pettit
      Petition Organizer

      Now, practically overnight, there are people and a fledgling “farm” with hills of newly planted vegetables. It is the latest of the Occupy movements – Inviting the Public “Back to the Land” – and is arguably the most refreshing thing to happen in Albany, or even neighboring Berkeley, in a very long time.

    7. Farm Activists Speak Out to City After Visit from UC College of Natural Res

      Martha Pettit
      Petition Organizer

      Vote in the poll at the bottom that you support turning Gill Tract into an urban farm!

    8. Occupy protest puts senior housing, Whole Foods project in Albany put on ho

      Martha Pettit
      Petition Organizer

      The Planning and Zoning Commission was supposed to consider making a recommendation to the Albany council on whether to approve a package of agreements related to the proposal. The project consists of a 55,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market north of Monroe Street and 175 units of senior housing south of Monroe.

      Albany Community Development Director Jeff Bond said it is rare for an item to be pulled so late, adding, "In their defense in this case, it's a pretty unusual situation."

      Because of the late notice, several people still showed up at the meeting prepared to testify. A dozen people took time to speak during the public comment portion of the meeting, with all but one opposing the project and supporting the farmers.

    9. Reached 25 signatures
    10. PDF of Master Plan for Gill Tract and surronding property from 2004

      Martha Pettit
      Petition Organizer

      Here is a PDF that indicated that the intended use of the space is as "Recreation and Open Space" (from the master plan) - urban farming is an emerging form of recreation, many park systems are starting to acknowledge this.

    11. Reached 10 signatures
    12. Albany: Activists raise stakes with renegade farm

      Martha Pettit
      Petition Organizer

      The university plans a separate project that calls for construction of a for-profit senior housing complex and grocery store on the Village land. The final segment of phase three calls for Little League fields that currently stand on Village land to be moved to the Gill Tract.

    13. Takeover at Gill Tract in Albany Continues, UC Shuts Off Water

      Martha Pettit
      Petition Organizer

      Haddock said students, faculty and community members tried for 15 years to express their desires and dreams to the university for a community garden at the Gill Tract, but met with no success.

      "We're at the point of last resort," she said. "We were not getting anywhere through traditional discourse. The field's been lying fallow since winter, and we're going to cultivate it and make it a hub for urban agriculture and education. We're going to turn this land into something we as a people need."

    14. Cal in a battle over a tract Chunk of land represents UC's original agricul

      Martha Pettit
      Petition Organizer

      The Gill Tract is famous for pioneering natural alternatives to pesticides and preventing billions of dollars in losses to world farming. . . Gill Tract veteran, Lloyd Andres, who directed biological control for the USDA, said the tract should teach how to grow food in a city.

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Robert Benson SAN FRANCISCO, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      I'm an herbalist and I support urban guerilla farming.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Cole Novotny BERKELEY, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      Farm land is for FARMING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Melanie Langlois ALBANY, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      Maintaining this open space for urban farming and education would benefit our community significantly. Let's support creative and positive change!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Lance Schlaffer BERKELEY, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      Please hear our voices. Preserving and cultivating this land as a demonstration farm and research site is in the best interests of the community at large, the mission of the university, and consistent with the ethos of Whole Foods. This land has the potential to be significant as we humans turn our eyes from a use-and-develope-everything mindset towards a more holistic and sustainable existence.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Allison Fitzhugh ISLA VISTA, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      If I still lived in the East Bay I'd be at Gill Tract helping to cultivate that land. I am 100% behind this cause!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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