Last May, Councilman Joe Cimperman participated in the annual Community Food Security Coalition, a food policy conference in Portland, Oregon. Turns out, he killed.
"The surprise darling of the Community Food Security Coalition conference last May was a little-known city councilman from Cleveland," Hannah Wallace writes for Faster Times
. "He spoke fervently about his city, a city of flourishing community gardens, backyard bee hives and chicken coops, a city where all farmers markets accept food stamps, where schools get discounts for sourcing local food, and where both trans-fats and smoking on playgrounds are banned. His name? Joe Cimperman."
In this lengthy Q and A, Cimperman discusses some of the efforts that are helping Cleveland become a "food justice utopia," and a model for other cities to emulate.
Cimperman explains how in 2007, Cleveland became the first city to pass an urban farm zoning law, leading to an explosion of community gardens. He says that by 2020, the goal is to have a community garden within five blocks of every Cleveland resident.
He also mentions progressive city programs like urban chickens and bees, farmers markets accepting food stamps, and shoring up food deserts with fresh produce.
"Community gardens just make us a nicer city," Cimperman says in the article. "They make us share more, pay more attention to each others' kids, understand each others' cultures more. There are just so many ancillary benefits to community gardens -- we can't imagine."
Digest the rest here