ACTION ALERT! King County budget eliminates agriculture programs

An Action Alert from Mary Embleton of the Cascade Harvest Coalition:

Dear Friends,

This is a call to action.  We need your help and support to draw attention to King County’s budget process and the Executive’s proposed elimination of all funding for Puget Sound Fresh, WSU King County Extension and core elements of the County’s Ag Programs.  Knowing that local food and farm issues are important to you, now is the time for you to be heard.

The loss of funding support for 2010 will be on top of drastic cuts that all our programs took this year and will result in further loss of programs, staff and over a decade of collaborative partnerships.  The impacts will be far reaching, not only in King County, but for the region and state.  Ongoing and future projects supporting the viability and sustainability of agriculture will be terminated and lost.

Collectively, we are all involved in activism to change the way our world operates, how it looks, and how we relate to one another and the environment.  While our individual reasons for activism are unique, our common goal is to support a food system that honors and rewards the people who grow and harvest our food, protects the earth, and nourishes our communities.  Together, we have made considerable progress over the last 10 years, building a diverse network of individuals and organizations that support this common vision.  Good work is underway and new projects are coming online to help address issues of climate change, water availability and environmental stewardship.  New opportunities are emerging to address important beginning and immigrant farmer issues, particularly accessing land and capital.  The larger community and nation are taking notice of how our food system impacts individual and community health and the environment.  The momentum is with us.

The loss of funding at this time, without  any transition or plan, jeopardizes our ability to address these important issues.

Your individual action is important, collectively it is significant.

I have attached some talking points as a place for you to start.  Please attend one of the budget hearings (schedule below), testify online, and let our County Council and Executive Candidates know how important support for local agriculture is to you/your organization, and ask them to restore funding to these critical programs.

In community,

Mary

This is the link to the Council’s webpage regarding the budget process: http://www.kingcounty.gov/council/budget.aspx

Public Hearings, all begin at 7pm:

• Thursday, October 22 – Redmond City Council Chambers, 15670 NE 85th Street, Redmond

• Thursday, October 29 – King County Council Chambers, 516 Third Avenue, Room 1200, Seattle

To submit testimony online (300 words or less), please go to: http://www.kingcounty.gov/council/budget/Testify_Online.aspx

Council Members:
Bob Ferguson, [email protected]
Larry Gossett, [email protected]
Kathy Lambert, [email protected]
Larry Phillips, [email protected]
Julia Patterson, [email protected]
Jane Hague, [email protected]
Pete von Reichbauer, [email protected]
Dow Constantine, [email protected]
Reagan Dunn, [email protected]

Executive Candidates:
Dow Constantine, above
Susan Hutchison, [email protected]

Physical Environment Committee:  Jane Hague chair.
members:  Larry Phillips, Larry Gossett, Pete Von Reichbauer, Dow Constatine
The Council’s Physical Environment Committee is considers and makes recommendations on polices relating to: growth management, including land use development and regulation, comprehensive planning, annexations, and affordable housing; the environment, including salmon recovery, resource lands, surface water management and water supply, solid waste management, parks, recreation and cultural resources, and unincorporated and rural areas, including agriculture and rural services;
transportation, including roads and public transportation.

Meeting Times: Second and fourth Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m.
Council Chambers, King County Courthouse, 10th floor
Committee Staff:
Legislative Analysts:Kendall Moore, Rick Bautista, Paul Carlson, Marilyn Cope
Committee Assistant: Janice Mansfield

Posted in Food Justice Blog Posts.

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