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Governor Arnold and Community Gardens?

  • Subject: [cg] Governor Arnold and Community Gardens?
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 8 Oct 2003 15:04:07 EDT


When interesting events like the California Gubenatorial election occur, the first question community gardeners should ask (after picking themselves off the floor, in either glee or shock) is, "Is this good for community gardeners?"

My feeling is that the volunteer energy, work by local residents in fighting hunger and the self-reliant ethos of community gardening should be attractive to those on the right as well as those, like me, who are liberal, yellow-dog Democrats.

A tour of a tidy and productive California community garden that produces food for low income residents on a volunteer basis (at little or no cost to the State of California) would be a great photo-op for the new governor, at the very least, and might actually get his support as a kind of self-reliance project.  A point of light.  And being in some ways a social progressive (or a conservative of a pramatic nature) the concept of community gardens might get support from governor-elect Schwartzeneger in a way that other food security efforts might not. 

Looking for cultural contexts: While a quick search of the web didn't get me the Austrian allotment garden organization link, allotment gardens, "kleingartens", or recreation gardens, exist around Vienna and other Austrian cities.  Often, and interestingly, many of the folks (though certainly not all) engaged in this pursuit in the German speaking countries can be quite conservative in their politics. I mention this because it might give a context for those Californian community gardeners who might wish to reach out to the new governor directly, might want to be aware of.

Community gardens do not require heavy governmental support and do much good for their neighborhoods.  And if more hungry get fed at low cost, it might be the kind evidence of good governance that this new California State administration might find attractive.

Of course all politics is local, and Californians in Sacramento, San Francisco, San Diego and other urban areas where Community Gardens are currently being run, would have to decide on the strategies and approaches they want to follow.

What can Governor Schwartzeneger say? No?  But it would be interesting if our community gardens pique his interest.

Best wishes,
Adam Honigman
Clinton Community Garden  

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