Just Food and Water and the Headwaters Community Food and Water Bill is a collaborative initiative with both local and national partners to create an economic resiliency program that leads to a regenerative food web with a source-to-table model where no one is left behind.
This effort creates a new economy and publicly-funded source-to-table system to live sustainably not just now, but into the future. It addresses two things simultaneously - legislation as a public agenda that drives economic development, but also building leadership because we need leaders to have a common understanding of what we’re facing.
The Headwaters Community Food and Water Bill depends on our partnership and collective leadership with others in the community who have a shared passion for environmental and economic justice. The Headwaters Bill is the result of collaborative work with grassroots leaders from North Minneapolis who are members of the Environmental Justice Coordinating Council (EJCC).
The Headwaters Bill creates an economic resiliency program which will provide us with the food and water we’re going to need now and in the future. It's not just a nice idea, but a necessity. We’re in an emergency position because of the climate crisis that we need to start doing this now. We need to get the web economy developed and invest in restoring our ecosystems to source our food sustainably.
To complete a Master of Arts in Leadership, I examined the dynamics of the global food economy and the implications for long term water and food security. I found that our public investments fueled an industrial food chain that from source-to-table is unsustainable, creates food and water scarcity and is a major contributor to greenhouse gases. I decided to imagine an alternative to the farm bill: a source-to-table regenerative food economy designed to connect communities as neighbors and set us on a path for success.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT | CLIMATE ACTION
The climate crisis we face today compares to the perilous circumstances at the outset of World War II. Our nation was not prepared to face the threat of Nazi Germany and the Japanese Empire, but with good leadership, the nation mobilized to defeat a powerful enemy. Today, unsustainable food economy is not designed to meet the demands of the climate. We have a short window of time to marshall our public resources together to shape the locally-adopted regenerative food web economy we need to be successful. For those who doubt our capacity to mobilize effectively, we need only remind them of the heroic leadership of our parents and grandparents. The climate emergency is an opportunity to follow their lead and demonstrate courage and determination equal to theirs.
Into the future
With dedicated resources, the food web economy will fuel our capacity to source, serve and preserve food in our state setting Minnesota on a path for success. We have been invited to present the Headwaters Bill at a convening of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators in September.
The regenerative food web design could be incorporated into federal Green New Deal legislation. It could also be incorporated into other state bills and adapted to their state ecosystem - specifically states in the Mississippi River Basin. As the headwaters of the Mississippi, we adopt this plan and have a terrific impact on not only what happens in our state but also downstream. Helping farmers grow what we need sustainably leading to clean water in our rivers and streams which flow south.