COUNCILMEMBERS LABONGE AND ALARCON INTRODUCE “EAT LOCAL, BUY CALIFORNIA GROWN DAY” RESOLUTION ENCOURAGING RESIDENT TO BUY LOCALLY GROWN FOOD TO IMPROVE THEIR HEALTH, THE ENVIRONMENT AND OUR ECONOMY
06.24.11 Los Angeles -- Councilmembers Tom LaBonge and Richard Alarcon co-introduced a resolution to the Los Angeles City Council to declare Sundays “Eat Local, Buy California Grown Day” in Los Angeles. This resolution is based on the Assembly Concurrent Resolution 42 (ACR 42) which was authored and spearheaded by Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Fiona Ma and was recently passed by the Senate and the Assembly.
“Every day, residents across Los Angeles purchase fresh produce, meats and grains – but too often, we are not aware of where these foods were grown or their path to the grocery store,” said Councilmember Richard Alarcón. “Our “Eat Local, Buy California Grown Day" resolution aims to call attention to the choice that we make when we go into the grocery store – and remind residents that we can improve the health of our families and our environment, support local job creation and improve our economy by making the choice to buy California-grown.”
Councilmember Tom LaBonge said, "I wholeheartedly support the 'Eat Local, Buy California Grown' movement here in Los Angeles, where it's easy to find a farmers market just about any day of the week and get locally-grown fruits and vegetables. To find a farmers market near you, go to www.farmernet.com. Eat Local -- it's good for Los Angeles and California. It's good for the environment, and the fresher, better-tasting food is definitely good for you and your family."
“California produces over half of the nation’s fruits, nuts and vegetables,” said Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco), author of Assembly Concurrent Resolution 42 . “If we don’t support California agriculture, we risk becoming dependent on foreign food from countries with minimal food safety standards.”
California leads the nation as the country’s largest agricultural producer and exporter, accounting for 12.3 percent of the country’s total agricultural production (equaling $34.8 billion in revenues) and 12.8 percent of the nation’s total agricultural exports, yet many Californians still purchase foods from out of state or out of the country. Purchasing locally-grown foods reduces the environmental impact created by transporting foods long distances, provides for a fresher product and ensures high food safety standards. Additionally, purchasing locally-grown foods ensures that dollars are recycled in the local economy and helps California-based farmers and ranchers, of which more than 90 percent of California farms are family farms or partnerships.
According to Speaker Pro Tempore Fiona Ma’s office, the “Eat Local, Buy California Grown Day” movement celebrates the bounty of California, our country’s most agriculturally-abundant state. California farmers grow and produce almonds, artichokes, dates, figs, grapes, raisins, kiwifruit, olives, peaches, pistachios, plums, pomegranates, sweet rice and walnuts as well as raising poultry and livestock. California produces 400 commodities and a significant amount of food for the rest of the country.
By making a conscious decision to Eat Local, Buy California Grown on Sundays, Californians would create a consumption increase of more than 10 billion pounds and $15.6 billion in sales, supporting California farmers who work hard to raise healthy, high-quality food locally and supporting local businesses, communities and families. The “Eat Local, Buy California Grown Day” resolution supports eating foods that are fresher, taste better and produced in an environmentally responsible manner for the benefit of communities, consumers, farmers, businesses and employees. see more photos of this event
Hundreds of friends and supporters joined us at the top of Mt. Hollywood in Griffith Park to celebrate Councilman LaBonge's third-term in office, which officially begins on July 1st. Tom's wife, Brigid, administered the Oath of Office as their children Charles and Mary-Cate looked on. Several of Tom's Council Colleagues were there, including Eric Garcetti, Paul Krekorian, Paul Koretz and Bill Rosendahl. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich was also there for the ceremony. Councilman LaBonge surprised the crowd with a stirring rendition of Elvis Presley's "If I Can Dream" instead of making a speech. KNX Business Anchor Frank Mottek served as the Master of Ceremonies, NFL Hall of Famer and Tom's high school team-mate, Mike Haynes, told stories about his old friend while Olympian Rafer Johnson looked on from the audience. The event coincided with the 30th anniversary of Tom's Solstice and Equinox hikes up Mt. Hollywood. It also honored the Los Angeles Consul Corps of LA's 23 Sister Cities. LAPD and LAFD helicopters buzzed the mountain-top, one blaring "Congratulations Councilman LaBonge".Click here to see more photos of the event
Councilmember Tom LaBonge was officially sworn-in on June 13, 2011 to his third term on the Los Angeles City Council. The Councilman chose the Spring Street steps of Los Angeles City Hall for his final swearing-in ceremony because it was the spot where his former boss and political mentor John Ferraro was sworn-in, and where his grandfather -- LAPD officer Thomas J. Learnihan -- posed with his fellow officers for a photo decades ago. Councilmember LaBonge took the Oath of Office, swearing to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the State of California and the Charter of the City of Los Angeles, as administered by Los Angeles City Clerk June Lagmay. Councilman LaBonge says he's blessed to serve the City and the People of Los Angeles. click here to see more photos of the ceremony
Los Angeles has launched a Tourism Marketing District (TMD) in order to generate funds to more aggressively promote the city as a travel destination. The sustainable new funding stream is projected to yield an estimated $11 million a year. The TMD will be funded entirely by hotel visitors through a 1.5 percent assessment at mid-sized and large hotels in the city and will be administered by LA Inc. The Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau. Among hotels with 50 rooms or more -- the threshold for inclusion in the TMD -- nearly 80 percent voted in favor of the program. Councilmember LaBonge, a member of the Trade, Commerce and Tourism Committee fully supports the TMD as a smart, strategic, and non-tax investment that will support new and existing jobs and provide crucial resources to market LA and attract more visitors to the city. Tourism is the region’s largest industry, employing more than 450,000 people. Business leaders believe that TMD-funded marketing will help draw substantially more visitors to the area. Currently, nearly 26 million people visit the region each year, contributing $12 billion to the local economy and creating $160 million in tax revenue. Click here to read the entire Council Report on the TMD
Under the landmark Sister Cities signpost at the corner of 1st and Main Streets in downtown Los Angeles, in the shadow of City Hall, Councilmembers Tom LaBonge and Dennis Zine joined members of the Los Angeles Beirut community to unveil three benches honoring the five year anniversary of the Sister City relationship between Los Angeles and Beirut. Each concrete and oak bench is inscribed with the Cedar tree logo of Lebanon. One bears the name of Councilmember LaBonge, another the name of Council President Eric Garcetti and on the third is the name of Councilmember Dennis Zine. The City Council also approved the donation of a surlus LAFD fire-engine to Beirut.click here to see more photos
Councilmember Tom LaBonge and officials from the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens and the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association announced the upcoming Beastly Ball fundraising gala on June 18th, 2011 at the zoo. It's the 41st Annual Beastly Ball gala and fundraiser, during which GLAZA raises more than a million dollars for zoo operations. Officials announced that Guns N Roses guitarist Slash will be the recipient of the first-ever Tom Mankiewicz Leadership Award for his support for zoos worldwide and his support for the Elephants of Asia Exhibit. Click here to see more photos
Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa and Councilmember Tom LaBonge helped mark Memorial Day 2011 at Forest Lawn in the Hollywood Hills on May 30. Councilmember LaBonge delivered the keynote address and Mayor Villaraigosa read the Presidential Proclamation from the President of the United States, Barack Obama. Hundreds of people and veterans of several wars were on hand to mark the solemn occasion, honoring the memory of those who died serving our country and protecting the rights and freedoms we hold dear. Click here to see more photos