Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Board of Supervisors Fails to Vote

The Local Food Hub suffered a set back today. The Board of Supervisors failed to vote on our proposal.

The morning started off wonderfully as many supporters showed up to speak knowledgably and eloquently in favor of funding. Their clear and heartfelt presentations brought a tear to our eyes and gave us great optimisim. Even the two speakers in opposition stated their support of the concept, but stated they didn't like the idea of municiple funds being allocated.

When the Hub proposal came up on the agenda, the Supervisors started to debate again the Guidelines they had set at last month's meeting. This philabuster went on for 45 minutes and our request to address the Board was denied. They acknowledged that we were the "guinea pigs" as we were the first organization to apply for the monies which have been sitting in the fund since 2006. Then Supervisor Boyd declared they had taken enough time on this agenda item and it was over...

We left the auditorium to be greeted by tv cameras and a swarm of press. "What now?" they all asked...

That is a question we pondered over a martini lunch at Hamilton's where Marisa and I sat at first in stunned silence. As our drinks took effect, we began to digest the morning and our new reality of a big project with great support and little funding. The public support made it clear that this community project is bigger than just us. People see the merits of this plan. Many people took time and energy to compose letters, call their government officials and sat through hours a beaurocratic banter to have their voices heard. We can't let this first set back stop our efforts... But the reality is, this project won't happen without funding. It won't happen without at least $250K in start-up money. If funding doesn't come in the next month, the project won't happen this year and momentum, qualified staff and our energy may be lost.

Next steps are:
-rest, recover and see what the press coverage brings
-meet with our matching fund foundation next week and see what they are willing to commit and how soon.
-reach out to more potential donors and see if any are willing to put up seed money now
-keep our minds open and see what the fates have in store for The Local Food Hub

We welcome your ideas and advice on how to handle the next steps.

We thank you so much for your activism and encouragment. We are hopeful.

with highest regards,
kate, marisa and G.

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