For Immediate Release: January 15th, 2019
Sacramento, CA – The California Food and Farming Network and the California Food Policy Council released today the 2018 Food & Farm Scorecard, revealing policy votes of California’s 120 elected state legislators. A super-majority of the bills that aligned with the groups’ position were advanced and only two legislators – both senators – scored 100 percent.
The release comes a week after the inauguration of Governor Gavin Newsom and in the early days of the legislative session, and is meant to bring greater visibility to food & farming issues.
Created by 38 nonprofits advocating for change, the report represents the diversity of food & farming issues facing the state: from hunger and nutrition to farmer livelihood and food chain worker protections. The 2018 Food & Farm Scorecard analyzed 21 bills, tracked 17 of them and 70% of the bills were either killed or adopted in accord with coalition’s position.
Of the bills tracked, only two members – Senator Ben Allen (SD 26) and Senator Bob Wieckowski (SD 10) – earned 100 percent scores. 6 senators and 8 assembly members scored 90 percent or better, the equivalent of an A grade. 24 senators and 52 assembly members scored 70 percent or better, the equivalent of at least a C grade. One Republican – Brian Maienschein (AD 77) – scored a passing grade.
“Food and agriculture touch every Californian, yet few legislators distinguish themselves as champions,” said Beth Smoker, Policy Director at the California Food and Farming Network. “California legislators earned few top marks and lots of passing grades.”
Of the twenty priority bills tracked this year, Governor Jerry Brown was in alignment 90 percent of the time, signing just one bill that reached his desk they opposed.
Two legislators were also acknowledged for their leadership over the past year: Senator Ricardo Lara led efforts to secure rights for sidewalk vendors (SB 946) and Senator Monning led efforts to ensure safe and affordable drinking water for underserved communities (SB 623). The groups also acknowledged California Department of Food & Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross, reappointed by Governor Gavin Newsom, for her leadership over the past eight in advancing years a range of policies including nutrition incentives, historically underserved farmers and healthy soils.
The 6th annual report builds on prior years work of Roots of Change and the California Food Policy Council to both track and score key policy priorities. In addition to tracking votes and the Governor’s actions on key bills, the scorecard contains an analysis of the legislative session, including key items in the budget. A reception for the scorecard release will be held this evening at Mulvaney's Building & Loan in Sacramento. Details are available here: http://bit.ly/FoodScorecard2018
Paul Towers, California Food & Farming Network, 916-216-1082 or firstname.lastname@example.org
California Food & Farming Network (CFFN) is made up of over fifty organizations striving to improve the food and farming system, from across the state. Collectively, CFFN is dedicated to advancing state policies that are rooted in communities, promote fairness and racial equity, secure financial prosperity and advance environmental sustainability. We share information, provide expertise, build alignment and advance policies through the multi-sector network.