Posted: December 21, 2012 at 7:41 pm
Membership Criteria, Expectations, and Benefits
We welcome grassroots, community-based, faith-based and non-profit organizations with leadership of women, youth, people of color, workers, farmers, indigenous peoples, immigrants, queer folks, people with dis/alter-abilities, trans people, and gender-nonconforming people. Membership shall be made up of groups who endorse the Mission, Vision and Operating Principles and organizations which strive to involve the above constituencies in all aspects of community and organizational work: planning, decision-making, implementation and evaluation. Organizations may choose to join as either general or core members, based on their capacity to fulfill responsibilities below.
General Member Responsibilities:
• Uphold and support the mission, vision, and operating principles of the Alliance
• Be involved in food sovereignty work and/or work that intersects with the food sovereignty/food justice movement (e.g. health care reform, labor rights, economic justice, immigrant rights, trade justice, climate justice, water privatization, anti-poverty, anti-oppression, etc.)
• Dedicate time, resources, and effort toward ending racism and other forms of exclusion and oppression evidenced in the food system and perpetuated in our own organizations.
• Inform other members about your work and stay informed about the work of other members
• Take action to support the work of the Alliance and its member groups (e.g., commit to solidarity actions with other member organizations, widely publicize your membership and activities in the Alliance, contribute member/staff time and funds, etc.)
Additional Responsibilities for Core Members:
• Dedicate time and resources toward common ground strategies and campaigns of the Alliance.
• Serve on at least one work team of the Alliance – Grassroots Power and Movement Building, Corporate Control and Policy, Media/Messaging, Fundraising (forming), Building Local Food Economies (forming), etc.
• Commit to take part in racial justice/anti-racism trainings and to actively work to apply anti-racist principles to the work of the Alliance (internally and externally).
• Agree to undertake actions in solidarity with other member groups, that are not within the usual themes, agenda or actions for your organization, at least 3 times each year.
General Member Benefits:
• Be connected to the U.S. and international food sovereignty movements.
• Learn from the experience and knowledge of others in the Alliance.
• Receive recognition and/or support for your food sovereignty-related work from the Alliance and other members.
• For new groups trying to start up local food sovereignty efforts, you will receive referrals to resources to help you to develop your work.
• Access to information and educational opportunities on ending racism and addressing injustice in the food system.
• Broaden the audience for your work.
Additional Benefits for Core Members:
• The right to vote for Coordinating Committee members.
• Opportunity to serve on the Coordinating Committee.
• Participate in decision-making for committees and the overall goals and work of the Alliance.
• Gain broader attention and support for your food sovereignty-related work through promotion to the public by the Alliance (via Alliance website, emails, public events).
• For core member groups aiming to strengthen local food sovereignty efforts, you will receive help and mentoring from more established Alliance members.
If you are an individual interested in getting involved, we encourage you to join an organization that is a member of the Alliance. Please contact us for a list of member organizations.
If you are an organization, network, or alliance interested in working with the US Food Sovereignty Alliance on campaigns and projects but cannot join as a member, you may apply to join as an Affiliate, allowing you to participate in a committee, but not have a vote. Affiliates are determined by the Coordinating Committee.
Process to Apply for Membership
1. Organizations fill out an application for membership (see below), either for Core or General Membership, indicating that they meet the membership criteria, provide information about their organization and indicate that a decision-making body of their organization has made an affirmative decision to join USFSA.
2. The USFSA Coordinating Committee is empowered to approve applications for membership and may nominate new members.
To Apply for Membership, fill out our application here or download a pdf here. Para nuestro Documento de Fundación en Espanol, haga clic aqui; y para nuestro Formulario de Solicitud para Membresía, hago clic aqui.
Structure and Decision Making
The US Food Sovereignty Alliance membership decides the overall political vision and strategies of the Alliance, and carries out the work of the Alliance through committees, ad hoc working groups, and a Coordinating Committee. The Coordinating Committee includes one representative from each of the committees and makes administrative and program decisions during the course of the year.
Additionally, the Coordinating Committee seeks to have balanced representation that is inclusive of all regions and the experiences of those most impacted by the problems and conditions of the predominant agrifood system. All committees, including the Coordinating Committee, hold regular monthly calls and ideally a minimum of one face-to-face meeting per year. The work agenda for the Alliance is set by the membership during an annual assembly. Additional opportunities for the fullest degree of participation and improved communication will be explored.
All decisions made in the committees and by the membership are made by consensus. In the event that full consensus is unable to be reached, decision will be made by voting.
Through food sovereignty, the Earth can feed all living things.
Posted: October 23, 2012 at 9:10 pm
CALL TO ACTION
1. With Farmworkers! Stand in solidarity with farm workers and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and send a supermarket postcard or manager’s letter
2. With Family Farmers! Push for transparency in the Trans-Pacific Partnership to make sure family farmers and people who eat are not hurt by this secretly negotiated international trade agreement.
3. With Food Workers! Become an ally of employees behind the kitchen door. Request a raise to the tipped minimum wage of $2.13 an hour for restaurant workers.
4. With Hungry People and the Environment! We’re burning our crops as fuel rather than using land to grow food. Tell the Obama Administration to waive the mandate for corn ethanol.
A. The Alliance’s Mother Earth Rights/Defense of the Commons Team is working to take action for seed sovereignty. Find out more about the Pesticide Action Network North America’s efforts to fight against USDA approval of genetically modified corn and soy seeds. We also want to invite groups to connect their local actions on World Food Day to seed sovereignty, whether it’s challenging corporate control of seeds or doing seed sharing in your community!
B. The Land and Resource Grabs Team is monitoring land struggles. In Honduras, over 40 peasants in the Lower Aguan region have been killed in the past year because they are refusing to give up their land to giant plantations growing African palm oil to produce agro-fuel. Stand with these Honduran peasants. And in Vallecito, Honduras, the Garifunas are struggling to recover their ancestral land, so raise your voice in solidarity with them.
C. Tell Land O Fakes (Lakes) to pay a fair price to its own member dairy farmers and to stop pushing GM. Download the postcard.Tags: Food Sovereignty, Labor & Trade, Land/Resource Grabs
Posted: October 23, 2012 at 9:07 pm
Call to Action
The following Call to Action is adapted from the Call to Action to End the Food Crisis issued by the US Working Group on the Food Crisis in 2008 and endorsed by several thousand organizations and individuals. It is included here as a springboard for future action of the Alliance, with the understanding that it will evolve to reflect new ideas, voices, and perspectives as the Alliance develops.
We call on people across the United States to use our political power and actions to fight poverty by rebuilding local food economies, and specifically for food system changes that:
1) Stabilize prices for farmers and consumers locally, nationally and globally by:
- Ending rampant financial speculation in food;
- Establishing and strengthening publicly-owned domestic, regional, and international strategic food reserves;
- Suspending international trade and investments in industrial-scale biofuels (a.k.a. agrofuels);
- Transforming corporate-oriented food aid;
- Ensuring fair prices to farmers, fishers, pastoralists and other food providers;
- Establishing equitable regional and global trade arrangements that enable countries, communities, and all farmers, fishers, pastoralists and other food providers to meet food and livelihood needs.
2) Balance power in the food system by:
- Reducing the political influence of agrifood corporations on public policy, e.g., by strengthening antitrust enforcement on those corporations and reducing their unregulated market power;
- Convening multi-stakeholder, representative food policy councils at state and local levels.
3) Make agriculture environmentally sustainable by:
- Supporting family farms’ transition to agroecological practices through incentives, purchasing and procurement;
- Halting expansion of government-supported agrofuels (biofuels) and transgenic seeds programs, mandates, and tax incentives and other subsidies
- Directing state and national farm policy, R&D, education and investment toward agroecological farming and sustainable food businesses.
4) Guarantee the right to healthy food by building local and regional food systems and fostering social, ecological and economic justice by:
- Calling on the US to join the community of nations to support the human right to food;
- Supporting domestic food production and independent, community-based food cooperatives and businesses in the United States and around the world;
- Establishing living wages, so that everyone can afford healthy food;
- Implementing full workers’ rights for farm workers and other food system workers;
- Implementing agrarian reform that takes land out of the hands of large corporations and puts it in the hands of communities for local food production.
- Strengthening the social safety net for low-income people across the US;
- Creating a solidarity economy that puts people before corporate profit in the US and around the world.
Through food sovereignty, the Earth can feed all living things.Tags: Corporations & Policies, Defense of Mother Earth, Food Sovereignty, Immigrants, Indigenous Sovereignty, Labor & Trade, Land/Resource Grabs, Local Food & Farming, Popular Education