Cities are increasingly recognizing food policy as an important subject to be addressed at the local level. This has been demonstrated in the incorporation of food into municipal planning and policy documents, such as Seattle’s Food Action Plan, New York City’s sustainability plan (PlaNYC), and the Plan for a Healthy LA for the city’s General Plan. In addition, cities are implementing programs and policies to address the challenges faced by urban communities: disparities in healthy food access, diet related disease, food insecurity, and sustainability planning. Behind all of these policies and programs is the policy making process.
This class will engage students in learning about legislative and policy advocacy through the lens of municipal food policy case studies. Materials will include municipal plan documents, local laws, and legal and news articles. Recent or currently active policy issues will provide the subject matter for the course. Students will be assigned to play different roles in the policy making process through mock advocacy exercises, such as city council hearings, lobbying meetings, or stakeholder briefings. Students will produce materials in varied writing formats such as presentations, op-eds, press releases, and/or legislative testimony.