AUA is teaming up with the Illinois Stewardship Alliance (ISA) for this yearâ€™s Local Food Lobby Day in Springfield on March 25, and we hope that youâ€™ll join us to make sure that state legislators from Chicago hear us loud and clear!
This is a great opportunity to demonstrate the strength and vitality of Chicagoâ€™s urban agriculture community, so we hope that youâ€™ll come!
The day will start with a legislation overview, training, orientation, and lunch, so fret not if youâ€™ve never participated in something like this before! For more information about the Local Food Lobby Day and to register, see here.
Here is a more in depth look at the policy matters at hand:
- Expanding IL Cottage Food Law to expand list of sellable homemade food products and allow them to be sold through farm stands and CSA in addition to farmers markets. HB2486 can be reviewed here.
- Rewriting IL Co-op Law (originally written for farm co-ops in the early 1900s) to better reflect reality and needs of food/grocery co-ops.
- Creating a program to provide matching grants needed for farmers markets to continue their “Double Up Food Bucks” SNAP incentive programs.
- Amending the Illinois Seed Law to exempt seed libraries from its licensing, testing, labeling, and other requirements. The full piece of legislation (HB2487) can be reviewed here, and we strongly encourage you to call your State Representative in support of the bill before Lobby Day. Don’t know who your IL State Representative is? You can look it up via your mailing address by clicking here.
Let us know if youâ€™re planning on coming by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Weâ€™ll be coordinating rides, so please indicate if youâ€™ll be driving and whether youâ€™ll have room for other passengers from Chicago, or if youâ€™re looking for a ride.