City Council Member David Yassky has introduced legislation (Intro. No. 920) to legalize beekeeping in New York City. If adopted, New York City would join the cities of Atlanta, Chicago, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, and Vancouver in allowing people to raise honeybees. The legislation is in the Council’s Health Committee but a public hearing has not yet been scheduled. The non-profit Just Food is circulating a petition in favor of the legislation.
In New York State, the Senate’s Agriculture Committee moved Senate Bill 1676 out of committee last month. The legislation helps to create year round farmer’s markets in cities throughout New York by establishing a regionally based urban greenmarket facilities construction program and providing for planning grants, a revolving loan and a guarantee fund to support construction costs.
A group of grassroots organizations in New York City are developing a greenhouse gas “foodprint” resolution that they hope will be adopted by the City Council. The resolution calls for:
– conditions to enable residents and businesses to adopt low-carbon diets based on local, organic, plant-based foods;
– a foodshed analysis to determine where New York’s food comes from, how it is transported to New York, and the extent to which the region’s foodshed can serve the needs of local residents;
– an expansion of the venues for distributing and buying local and/or organic produce;
– increased support for community gardens and urban farming initiatives; and
– a goal of buying local and organic produce for 20% of the food served in city-run institutions within ten years.