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Re: community garden fee hike

  • Subject: Re: [cg] community garden fee hike
  • From: adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 07 Oct 2005 11:55:17 -0400

"Re: Besides getting lots of warm bodies to the next city council meeting and
sending around a petition, any other suggestions for effectively fighting
the increase? Success stories? Strategies?"
 
Part of the best way to get community support for your garden is to get the story out about the good that you that they may not know about. 
 
Put yourself in a legislator's shoes. Most city governments are broke, after standard operating costs, usual governmental waste, internal theft and legislator kick backs are factored in. At the end of the day, there is only so much coming in to pay for what's going out.  Like in your family's budget. 
 
So you have to justify why, with a capital "W" why it's important to the life of your city to subsidize garden costs at the expense of, shall we say, a new text book for the local high school, adequate day care hours, or, for argument's sake, a new 2006 "anti-terrorist" equipped patrol cruiser with custom leather uppholstery and state of the art audio system, to replace police chief's 2004 model. 
 
All of legislative the dresses &  suits at the table across from you will be looking at you at the "testimony table" with beady eyes....
 
So you need evidence:
 
Stuff you should have accumulated as exhibits A - Z. 
 
1) A letter of support from your local city council person(s) whom you've cultivated since the opening of your garden on how pretty, useful at fighting hunger, great at building community and fighting crime by using this space as a garden instead if it been the fallow, garbage and debris filled field of iniquity, filled with crystal meth labs, prostitution, rats, roaches, the bubonic plague, Al-Kaida,  that it had previously been.
 
2) Letters of support, or a statement of support, in person by the director of your local food pantry, ministers, senior centers, individual senior citizens on how your garden/gardeners bringS/has brough  fresh vegetables and sometimes flowers to help feed and brighten the lives of the less fortunate in the community. 
 
3) Statistics on how much food you grow in pounds annually ( if you don't have these statistics, create them) and the demographics of how this food is distributed from your garden - how this fresh food, in season, or preserved helps keep hunger at bay in your community. Have a comparison figure of what that food would cost if goverment money/foodstamps had to pay this money so baby/granny wouldn't starve
 
4) Have about a thousand letters, on different sizes of paper, lined and unlined, that look like they were handwritten on somebody's kitchen table on how important this issue is to a particular neighborhood resident/REGISTERED VOTER. 
 
5) Have garden pictures with above mentioned City Councilperson, State Senator, Congressman, Reverand, Mullah, Granny, Soup Kitchen Operator, Kids and Granny with full baskets of garden grown veggies and fruit. 
 
6) Show as much  ethnic, cultural and economic diversity among the people testifying as you can muster. Again, kids, moms, grannies are great - nobody wants to be seen, especially on TV, radio or in the papers and mean to kids, moms and grannies. 
 
7) Have local first responders, cops, firemen, EMS, talk about how the place has reduced crime, less fires, improved local health, and most importantly has an annual picnic honoring their services to the community. 
 
8) Have an upstanding local merchant ( the guy who sells you pizza and beer, gardening supplies, etc.) landlord neighbor, social worker testify how your garden is a magnet for local business, and helps improve the sense of the neighborhood, or serves as a generally beneficial influence. 
 
IMPORTANT: CONTACT YOUR LOCAL RADIO & TV STATION WITH CRYING GRANNIES AND MOMS ABOUT WHAT A TERRIBLE THING IT WOULD BE NOT TO HAVE THE GARDEN, HOW GOOD IT IS, HOW THE LOSS OF THE GARDEN, THE DESTRUCTION OF THE GARDEN TO SERVE THE SELFISH NEEDS OF REAL ESTATE DEVELOPERS IS A BAD THING, ETC., ETC. HAVE CLOSE UP OF KIDS GARDENING INSTEAD OF STEALING HUB CAPS, ETC.
 
Bottom line: It will be important to poll your gardeners to see how much of an increase they are willing to accept as a follow up negotiating position - and when you get what you want, or as close as you can to it, be sure to be really nice, thank the folks and invite them to the next garden function ( and follow up on this) to take pictures, eat barbecue, etc. 
 
This may seem to be alot, but community gardening is 50% gardening and 100% politics - Firehouses, schools and libraries do all of this and more to keep funded - welcome to the real world. The community garden is just one interest in a field of many competing interests - put on your helmet and shoulder pads
 
Best wishes, 
Adam Honigman
Volunteer, 
http://www.clintoncommunitygarden.org
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: yarrow@sfo.com
To: community_garden@mallorn.com
Sent: Thu, 6 Oct 2005 23:13:14 -0700
Subject: [cg] community garden fee hike


Hi -- I just heard that our local community garden rates are scheduled to
go up from 15 cents a square foot per year to 50 cents -- a rate that will
be unaffordable for many people in the garden. Low-income discounts will
also be eliminated. Plots range from 200 to 900 sq. ft.; most are 300-500.
About 160 gardeners IIRC.

It was a stealth move by the city, which decided to raise all municipal
fees over the summer and was going to spring this surprise on gardeners
Jan. 1, but somehow the word got out sooner. We pay once a year, so this
would have been a huge shock. They reportedly researched the average fee
for community gardens (35 to 45 cents per square foot?) to get closer to
"market rate."

A related issue is that the city has had proposals (so far rejected by
taxpayers) to use the land for a parking garage or library expansion, and
that this may be a way to get rid of any barriers to that use.

Besides getting lots of warm bodies to the next city council meeting and
sending around a petition, any other suggestions for effectively fighting
the increase? Success stories? Strategies?

Tanya Kucak


______________________________________________________
The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's 
services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out 
how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org


To post an e-mail to the list:  community_garden@mallorn.com

To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription:  https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden


______________________________________________________
The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org


To post an e-mail to the list:  community_garden@mallorn.com

To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription:  https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden





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