Andrew Johnson Works with City Leaders to Remove Barriers for Urban Farmers

For Immediate Release

11/1/2013

Contact: Patty Day, contact@AndrewMpls.com

Andrew Johnson Works with City Leaders to Remove Barriers for Urban Farmers

November 1, 2013, Minneapolis, Minn. - Andrew Johnson, candidate for Ward 12 on the Minneapolis City Council, is calling attention to another City Ordinance, this time for being unconstitutional. Johnson, in collaboration with Minneapolis City Council Member Cam Gordon and Longfellow business owner Russ Henry, made the case to the Minneapolis City Attorney who agreed that the ordinance restricting the number of days Minneapolis residents are allowed to sell their own produce on their property can no longer be enforced.

The ordinance, City code 535.360(8), states that farmstands can only sell products grown onsite and cannot exceed 15 days in one calendar year. Johnson discovered this ordinance to be in conflict with the State’s Constitution, specifically ARTICLE XIII Sec. 7, which states that, “Any person may sell or peddle the products of the farm or garden occupied and cultivated by him without obtaining a license therefor.” Johnson has drawn attention to this issue on behalf of the many urban farmers now populating the city.

“I want to people to be able to look back and say, ‘Look at this campaign. It had a positive effect on Minneapolis,” said Johnson. “Changing this ordinance will help the local sustainable food economy and will lead to healthy food options for residents, more local jobs, and positive effects on our environment. It’s a really good thing.”

Jillia Pessenda Bovino, Co-Founder of Minneapolis-based California Street Farm said, "The work Andrew has done on behalf of urban agriculture will make it easier for all of us to provide locally grown food to our communities more days of the year, enhancing the local food economy for years to come."

Over the course of his campaign, Johnson has drawn attention to several city ordinances that are outdated or have encumbered small businesses. This summer, Johnson cited the city’s requirements for bread packaging as an example of why Minneapolis’ ordinances should be reviewed. Additionally, Johnson drew attention to an ordinance that required restaurants to construct separate restrooms for men and women. This led to a change in the ordinance, making it easier for small restaurants to open their doors in Minneapolis.

City Council Member Cam Gordon has introduced a request to strike the ordinance currently on the books. Johnson hopes he will get a chance to partner with Gordon, this time as a future member of the Minneapolis City Council, representing Ward 12.

Andrew Johnson is currently the President of the Longfellow Community Council (LCC), the largest neighborhood organization in Minneapolis. He also owns a small business, and through it, performs IT services for an educational non-profit.

Andrew Johnson for City Council Ward 12
3715 35th AveS. Minneapolis, MN55406
612-564-2639
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