What: Join “Friends of the Farm,” an autonomous international collection of compassionate beings, to demand that the Mayor and City Council of the City of LosAngeles intervene in the imminent destruction of one of the most successful, autonomous community projects and an exquisite landmark of Los Angeles:
The South Central Farm, the largest urban farm in the U.S.!
Why: February 5, 2006: The official eviction notice may be served within days! For 13 years, 350 families have tended a 14-acre urban farm in the middle of South Central Los Angeles. In between freight lines and warehouses, in the shadows of the downtown skyscrapers grandparents and their grandchildren are growing their own corn, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes and other staples has helped make good nutrition affordable. Traditional crops blossoming from heirloom seeds like chipillin, alachi, quelite and pipicha have helped keep meso-american culture and natural medicine alive. This urban farm, the largest in the U.S., provides a safe, children-friendly environment for 350 families and thousands of visitors who come to the lively farmers market on Sundays or other social/cultural events hosted at the farm. The farm is also an oasis of green-space that helps to create wildlife habitat and to lessen air and water pollution in the surrounding community.
The City of L.A. acquired the land in the late 1980s through eminent domain and a 4.7 million dollar settlement, but abandoned plans to build a trash incinerator after community protests. In 1992, in the wake of the uprising the mayor at the time mitigated this project to the community to quench the social and economic inequalities that initially sparked the uprising. In 1994, officials transferred title to the Harbor Department for 13.1million dollars, which contracted with the L.A. Regional Food Bank to operate a community farm on the property. In 2003, the City Council agreed to sell the 14 acres back to the original owner, private developer Ralph Horowitz, for 5.1 million dollars and who wants to demolish the urban farm to build a warehouse. The 350 families (“South Central Farmers”) and community supporters of the South Central Farm have been camping out in the field since July of 2005 to prevent Ralph Horowitz from destroying this vibrant urban farm that provides significant benefits to the city of Los Angeles.
The struggle to save the South Central Farm is about food security, environmental and social justice: all communities deserve safe access to nutritious food, parks, gardens and safe place for children, youth and their families. The South Central Farmers are self-sufficient and are working diligently to protect this community asset.
We want the mayor and community to call for an investigation of this illegal sale and immediately resolve the threat of physical eviction. Approximately 8 million dollars of the citizen’s money has already been squandered and over 350 families will be immediately pushed deeper into poverty. Don’t let them take food out of our children’s mouths. It is a basic human right to feed yourself and your family!!
How: Actions for the week of 2/5/06-2/11/06: 1. Write or call in to “Ask the Mayor on CBS2, KCAL9, and ABC7 News”: Every week, Mayor Villaraigosa goes on television to broadcast answers toquestions community members have phoned or emailed in to the station.
Follow these links and address the mayor:CBS2 /KCAL9: http://www.cbs2.com/askthemayorABC7: http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=features&id=3255086
2. Call the mayor’s office and demand for a “Town Hall” meeting to review his plans for saving the South Central Farm. In his campaign to become mayor and serving as mayor, he advocated earnestly for the preservation of the South Central Farm. So now that farmers are facing an oncoming eviction to be carried out by the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department......where is his plan?!?!
Contact Mayor Antonio Villariagosa:Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgPhone: (213)978-0600
3. Join the delegation of the South Central Farmers for Public Comments atCity Hall this Friday, February 10, 2006.Place: Los Angeles City Hall200 N. Spring St.Los Angeles, CA 90012In the Council Chamber, 3rd floor@ 10:00am(arrive early at9:00am to sign in)- Be sure to wear green to display your solidarity with the farmers!!
4. Camp out at the Farm!! Spend a night of solidarity with the farmers. Youcan make friends around a camp fire. We have music nights, film nightsand potlucks. Please take this opportunity to bring supply donations of water, flashlights, batteries, food, firewood, blankets, tents and anything else possibly needed. If you plan to camp out, please RSVP with the farmers. Contact them through their website www.southcentralfarmers.com or email them at email@example.com.
We want this to be a dynamic campaign of support for the South Central Farmers!We are the community! The fate of this struggle which the farmers have carried for almost three years is in our hands. They have done and will continue to do their part in this struggle but success will not come without the efforts of the extended community.
We are joining the farmers in voicing Aqui Estamos y No Nos Vamos!!----------------------------------------------------------------------------------Any questions and ideas regarding this alert should be addressed to “Friends of theFarm”. You may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information on the South Central Farmers, please visit www.southcentralfarmers.com