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This is the executive summary of Minneapolis 2040 regional development plan. Critically, this plan rezoned the entire city of Minneapolis eliminating single-family zoning. They did this to address the affordable-housing crisis and confront a history of racist housing practices.
Communities around the country are looking to promote healthier eating by encouraging urban agriculture. "Urban agriculture" is an umbrella term encompassing a wide range of activities involving the raising, cultivation, processing, marketing, and distribution of food in urban areas. In many communities, urban agriculture takes the form of backyard gardens and community gardens - places on public or private property where neighbors gather to cultivate vegetables and fruits, and even keep bees or raise poultry and small livestock. The food in community gardens is typically grown for the gardeners' own consumption or donation. Urban agriculture also encompasses urban farms (also called "market gardens" or "entrepreneurial agriculture") - enterprises, both for- and nonprofit, that grow produce on a larger or more intensive scale for sale.
This initiative prohibits law officers from engaging in biased based profiling on the grounds of actual or perceived race, national origin, color, creed, age, alienage or citizenship status, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or housing status. The initiative establishes avenues for persons injured by biased based profiling to bring a civil case or administrative procedure for injunctive or declaratory relief.
In recent years, cities have become the drivers of government innovation. As urban growth has exploded over the past half century - increasing from a third to nearly 60 percent of world population today - local officials have been forced to solve problems and generate new ideas, policies, and approaches. From New York to Medellin to Copenhagen, mayors and city managers are finding novel ways to address some of the biggest challenges facing society, whether combating entrenched poverty, financing new infrastructure projects, or protecting the environment.
For millions of Americans, accessing healthy food is no easy matter. In low-income communities, liquor stores and gas stations proliferate, while farmers' markets are hard to find. Nationally, 11.5 million low-income people live in low-income areas where the nearest supermarket is more than one mile away. Although areas with limited access to affordable and nutritious food (known as food deserts) have great demand for healthy food, traditional financial institutions - like regional or national banks - often are reluctant to invest in food retail development projects in these areas. At the same time, development costs are often higher in underserved urban and rural communities. Bringing healthy food to food deserts requires tenacity, ingenuity, and a significant investment of capital. Financing healthy food retail development often means combining private dollars with grants and loans from government agencies. These public resources can reduce risks associated with private capital investment in low-income communities.
In an attempt to promote model hiring policies in the private sector, several cities have also required employers that receive local government contracts to adopt the same hiring policies used by the city to remove barriers to employment for people with criminal records. For example, Boston, Cambridge and Worcester, Mass., as well as Hartford and New Haven, Conn., now extend their city "ban the box" policies and other local hiring reforms to their vendors.
Since 2000, the number of farmers markets across the United States has increased 80% to reach over 5,000 by 2010. Farmers markets seem to be popping up everywhere: they can be found in neighborhood parking lots, at bus and train stops, and even in front of hospitals. Their popularity is testament to the multiple benefits they bring to customers, vendors, and communities: stimulating economic growth and job opportunity, revitalizing downtowns, creating active spaces, and helping to preserve farmland and minimize sprawl. Farmers markets are not only great community places and excellent shopping destinations; they are also key ingredients in our country's fight to combat diet-related illness such as diabetes and heart disease, and are increasingly being developed to reach lower-income customers. Indeed, the power of markets to bring together diverse types of people and to serve all income levels makes them ideal venues to promote public health.
As has been widely reported, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of farmers markets in the United States in the last ten years from some 1,755 markets in 1994 to 4,385 in 2006. Over three million consumers shop weekly at these markets, where an estimated 30,000 small to mid-sized farm operations and food entrepreneurs earn a partial or full living selling their local products. USDA has projected roughly $1 billion in annual consumer spending in urban, suburban and rural farmers markets. This remarkable increase has been made possible because of the groundswell of interest in farmers markets at the community level. Grassroots organizations - churches, downtown associations, chambers of commerce and community food activists - are increasingly becoming market organizers and/or sponsors, and are expanding to new locations and communities. Today, farmers markets vary in size from a few vendors to many hundred, with management ranging from a vendor-volunteer to a professional management team. Farmers markets are located in economically, ethnically and socially diverse neighborhoods and, increasingly, are gearing their efforts toward improving access to fresh food for all community members. This has included a growing number of farmers markets that accept FMNP coupons and EBT/Food Stamps.
A city thrives when its residents thrive. Yet many families, even though they are employed fulltime, continue to struggle to meet their families' basic needs. Local elected officials across the country have discovered a way to strengthen working families while bringing more federal dollars into the local economy: by connecting eligible workers to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
Michigan students are increasingly diverse but their teachers are not. Access to high-quality education and care is also limited to children of color. They are more likely to change schools and have absences, and hence may cause cumulative educational inequities. Policy recommendations are listed in the report.