I’ve been working with farmers of color and farmer advocacy organizations to write and pass a bill in California to acknowledge the distinct experiences of minority farmers, or “socially disadvantaged farmers.” There’s a federal distinction, but with the new administration and their cutting of resources for farmers and people of color, we wanted to create a state definition.
The definition will hopefully make it easier in the future for California resources to be reserved for socially disadvantaged farmers. It won’t undo the violence, theft, and marginalization inflicted on farmers of color, but this is a start towards equity.
Today was a big first step in that direction. Assembly member Aguiar-Curry, Beth Smoker of PANNA, Javier Zamora of JSM Organics, and I stated our support for the bill to the California Assembly Agricultural Commission. They unanimously passed it!
Next step: Assembly Appropriations Committee. San Diego friends, if you can spare the time, please call San Diego Assembly member Gonzalez Fletcher’s office to express your support. She’s the Chair of Appropriations, so our local voices have a state impact.