To search for model legislation, research, reports, and more, type your area of interest into the search bar above. You can filter your search by state, level of government, document type, and policy area to match the info you need to your unique community’s progressive goals.
The impetus for this guide and the work it reflects originated with the establishment of USDA's "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" (KYF2) Initiative. Launched in 2009, the mission of KYF2 is to strengthen the critical connection between farmers and consumers and support local and regional food systems. As such, it is closely aligned with the broader mission of USDA to support agriculture, rural development, and healthy nutrition. While there is no office, staff, or budget dedicated to KYF2, Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan chairs a task force of USDA employees representing every agency within the Department in order to break down bureaucratic silos, develop commonsense solutions for communities and farmers, and foster new partnerships inside USDA and across the country.
We consider a food sector "innovation" to be a discrete program, project, or policy that relies on a new business model, or provides new products and services that either deliver or have the potential to deliver significant socioeconomic, health and nutrition, and environmental benefits, with an emphasis on economic development. These can include healthy foods produced entirely in or near a city as well as foods that are produced sustainably, using growing methods that protect and restore the natural environment. Regarding "local food," there are almost as many definitions as there are cities. No single definition, whether based on a geographic boundary or a specific distance, works in each and every city. Thus, the pursuit of a universal definition is of limited value for the purposes of this Roadmap. By comparison, the values of producing food in urban regions are diverse, including the creation of a more self-sufficient food system that is better insulated from global conditions, albeit more connected to local ones. Regardless of where food is grown, caught, or raised, cities can garner most of the economic benefits by expanding the number of local ventures that add value to food through processing, distribution, marketing, service, and sales.
Within cities, residents face stark disparities in their access to fresh, healthy produce, with low-income communities often the most affected by this limited access. Inequitable access to food perpetuates poor health outcomes among low-income populations and undermines efforts to improve public health and promote community. The increase in diet-related diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and some cancers have put us on a path to change modern history: many children born today will have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. In addition to nutritional and health impacts, the flow of food dollars out of the region represent a significant loss for local economies. Yet there are bright spots of innovation, where local policies promote and increase residents' access to healthy food. While there is no single solution to address this large and interconnected system of access to affordable, healthy food, there is a range policy strategies that can help develop local food capacities, enhance public health and improve urban economies.
Passing a local resolution is one way for communities to promote obesity prevention policies. Today more than two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight or obese, and among children and adolescents, 16.3 percent are obese and 31.9 percent are obese or overweight. Obese children are likely to become obese adults: in fact, an obese older teenager has up to an 80 percent chance of becoming an obese adult. The health consequences of this trend are dire. If the obesity epidemic continues unchecked, experts warn that excess weight could reduce average life expectancy by five years or more over the next several decades.
A critical first step when considering a local tax is to review state law to determine what kinds of taxes are authorized for local governments in your state. Whereas states have broad authority to impose almost any type of tax, local governments can only impose taxes that have been specifically authorized by the state legislature or state constitution. Some states grant relatively broad authority for some local taxes (such as business license taxes, which are allowed in every municipality in California), whereas other states require specific state enabling legislation for each local tax. Therefore, it is essential that any local jurisdiction considering a tax consult with a local municipal tax expert to ascertain the available tax options. When crafting a tax law, there are numerous policy considerations that will affect the scope and breadth of the tax, and also the disposition of the proceeds. This document discusses these critical policy considerations, including the effect of adopting different provisions; legal, administrative, and political considerations; and other factors.
Local governments can promote healthy eating and active living in their communities by supporting local farmers' markets. Local farmers' markets provide fresh produce to community residents, support small farmers, serve as community gathering places, and revitalize community centers and downtown areas.
An ordinance requiring contracting companies to maintain, to the greatest extent possible, a workforce composed of 40% qualified Newark residents.
The Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP) was retained by the Portland Independent Business and Community Alliance to collect and analyze data related to the economic impact of businesses in Portland, Maine. The primary purpose of the study was to quantify the impact of locally owned businesses compared to national chains on the local economy. MECEP's analysis found that in general every $100 spent at locally owned businesses generates an additional $58 in local impact. By comparison, $100 spent at a representative national chain store generates $33 in local impact. Stated differently, MECEP found that money spent at local businesses generates as much as a 76% greater return to the local economy than money spent at national chains. These findings are consistent with similar studies conducted in other states and can vary by business type.
A policy on obligations of developers and contractors to seek local employees, service providers and businesses to meet their needs.
Local leaders recognize and often publicly tout the importance of a strong, growing entrepreneurial and small business community. Yet, when it comes to supporting entrepreneurs in practice, many local leaders are unsure how they can make a real impact. Experts suggest that one essential element for entrepreneurial growth is the presence of an "eco system" or "culture." Given the various dimensions and actors that can create eco systems - including universities, large and small businesses and their leadership, entrepreneurial support programs, workforce skills, financing, and probably a bit of luck - do local governments really have a role to play? Research by the National League of Cities' Center for Research and Innovation suggests that they do.