Petition to New York City Mayor's Office, New York City Council
Advocate for an Urban Agriculture Plan to Grow More Food and Jobs in NYC
We need an urban agriculture plan, not a website, to grow more food and jobs in NYC. #UrbanAgPlan A comprehensive urban agriculture plan is necessary for establishing an efficient citywide land use scheme for growing food. We need streamlined and effective regulation to expand and strengthen the City’s 900+ farms and gardens – the largest number of any U.S. city - but also better coordination integrating urban agriculture into existing plans, programs, and policy-making processes in city government, and for creating more transparent and participatory processes to enable gardeners and farmers to influence decision-making on urban agriculture. Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, and Denver have plans that have encouraged innovative land and space use, spurred job creation, refined food policy, and supported mission-based gardeners to expand their efforts – why not New York? We supported the original legislation, Intro #1661, proposed by the Brooklyn Borough President Adams and sponsored by Council Member Espinal on July 20, 2017, to expand and strengthen urban agriculture citywide with a comprehensive plan, ensuring access to fresh and local food for all New Yorkers, job creation, and environmental and social resiliency. On October 26, forty-six urban agriculture advocates, including the Design Trust for Public Space, testified in the Committee on Land Use to inform the legislation and, ultimately, the Plan. The revised Intro #1661-A is a completely different bill that we cannot support. Now the New York City Council proposes to scrap the comprehensive urban agriculture plan in favor of websites to share information. Creating websites does not require legislation, and much of the data proposed to be included in the websites can already be found on existing platforms, such as NYC Park’s GreenThumb. Furthermore, websites will not address the more fundamental issues of resource gaps within urban agriculture or of the lack of coordination, integration, transparency, and equity in decision-making processes related to urban agriculture. We urge City Council Members and the Mayor’s Office to reconsider and return to the goal of developing a comprehensive urban agriculture plan that will maximize the health, social, economic, and environmental benefits of farming and gardening for all New Yorkers. We only get one chance to do urban agriculture legislation right. Join us to deliver this message to the Mayor’s Office and City Council Members before they vote on Monday, December 11, at 1:30 pm, by signing this petition. We also encourage you to talk to your Council Member in advance and attend the public session on December 11. ... The Design Trust for Public Space project on urban agriculture, Five Borough Farm, was a multi-phased project conducted in partnership with Added Value, NYC Parks, and Farming Concrete. Five Borough Farm offered a roadmap to farmers and gardeners, City officials, and stakeholders to understand and weigh the benefits of urban agriculture, and made a compelling case for closing resource gaps to grow urban agriculture throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The first phase of the Five Borough Farm project resulted in policy recommendations, including for the creation of an urban agriculture plan, that would: establish goals, objectives, and a citywide land use scheme for garden and farm development integrate urban agriculture into existing plans, programs, and policy-making processes in city government address disparities in access to funding, information, and other resources by creating more transparent and participatory processes to enable gardeners and farmers to influence policy and decision-making. Our recommendations, released in 2012, align with the original legislation proposal Intro #1661 that Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Council Member Rafael Espinal have introduced for developing an urban agriculture plan. However, systems of accountability are essential to maximizing the benefits of the Plan for all New Yorkers. The Plan must apply not only to commercial urban agriculture, but also to community gardens, school gardens, permaculture gardens, vertical farms, and all other forms of gardening and farming practice. We urge the New York City Council to incorporate the following three means to ensure accountability in the generation and execution of the Plan: a citywide task force—composed of City agencies, support organizations, and gardeners and farmers representing a variety of types—for reviewing the development and implementation of the Plan. This task force would build off of the Urban Agriculture Task Force with NYC Parks established through Five Borough Farm, and the roundtable convened by Brooklyn Borough President Adams in Spring 2016. open forums at many points in the Plan’s development process, including input-gathering in each borough at spring gardening and farming events, such as GrowTogether and Making Brooklyn Bloom. communication within the City and with gardening and farming support organization and advocate networks, including GreenThumb, NYCHA’s Garden and Greening Program, 596 Acres, and the New York City Community Garden Coalition.
Petition to Facebook
Facebook: Give the "Grow Food Not Lawns" page to the real FNL organization.
Food not Lawns was founded in 1999 by Heather Jo Flores and others from the local Food Not Bombs chapter in Eugene, Oregon. Since then we have been advocating turning lawns into gardens and neighborhoods into communities around the globe. In 2006, Heather Jo Flores published the book, Food Not Lawns, How to Turn Your Yard into a Garden and Your Neighborhood into a Community, and from there, the movement really started to blossom. Since Facebook started, our official page there has been www.facebook.com/foodnotlawns. We also have an awesome International discussion group at www.facebook.com/groups/foodnotlawns.official HOWEVER:In 2012, "Grow Food Not Lawns" started a Facebook page, aggressively promoting their agenda by posting memes and political propaganda on everything from food politics and GMO's to "Kids who grew up in the 70's." Upon closer examination, it was obvious that most of the posts linked directly to "RealFarmacy.com." Owned by "RealFarmacy," the page located at In 2012, "Grow Food Not Lawns" started a Facebook page, aggressively promoting their agenda by posting memes and political propaganda on everything from food politics and GMO's to "Kids who grew up in the 70's." Upon closer examination, it was obvious that most of the posts linked directly to "RealFarmacy.com." Owned by "RealFarmacy," the page located at www.facebook.com/growfoodnotlawns serves the purpose of driving click-through traffic to their profit-driven website. In addition, their pages contain large volumes of plagiarized material: writing and photographs taken from reputable writers in the sustainability movement and reposted, edited, and labeled with the Grow Food Not Lawns mark without any credit or links to the original source. (Numerous examples available upon request.) Heather Jo Flores has received dozens of complaints from supporters of the Food Not Lawns movement who were offended by content from "Grow food not lawns" and mistakenly thought it was affiliated with the book and organization. When contacted by Heather Jo Flores in 2012, the owner of RealFarmacy, Eamon James Cahall, acknowledged starting the Grow Food Not Lawns page after reading the book. But later, this February, he lied about that fact and filed a fraudulent date of first use on his trademark application (USPTO serial #86530292) stating that he had founded the organization in 1982, the day he was born. Through hiring a lawyer and petitioning the USPTO, we have been able to negate the fraudulent application and have now secured this trademark for the legitimate Food Not Lawns network, but "Grow Food Not Lawns" continues to plagiarize, lie, and profit from the illegal use of our name. We are petitioning Facebook to support us, but it is a long and arduous process, costing thousands of dollars paid by Heather Jo Flores out of pocket. Sign this petition to ask Facebook to give the fraudulent Grow Food Not Lawns Facebook page to the legitimate organization. Food Not Lawns is for the people, not for profit! And we do not plagiarize ideas, words or images from other activists. Imagine the good work we can do when we have access to the large amount of followers there! Instead of posting clickbait and stolen articles, we will be able to promote real, on-the-ground community work!