Lane County Initiative to Protect Local Farming Encounters Hurdle; Campaign Still Targeting May 2014 Election

by: Posted on: August 08, 2013

Editor’s Note: Lane County, OR joins Benton County in defending the right to vote on rights-based, food-centric, ordinances in Oregon.

Advocates of the Local Food System Ordinance of Lane County remain invigorated by their initiative and expect to be gathering signatures this fall for the May 2014 ballot.

After filing the Local Food System Ordinance on July 12th, the Lane County county clerk issued her opinion that the initiative contains more than one subject (initiatives must address a single issue) and has denied it for petition circulation.

Support Local Food Rights (SLFR), drafters of the ordinance, are confident that the initiative does meet the single issue requirements and plan to appeal the County’s decision in Lane County Circuit Court.

The ordinance seeks to recognize Lane County residents’ rights to grow and distribute food free from GMO contamination and to save and share seed free from patents. These protections will be achieved by placing the rights of the community over the powers and privileges of agribusiness corporations.

Ann Kneeland, attorney for SLFR, maintains that the provisions of the ordinance are all related to the creation and protection of our local food system and without each, “the local community will not have any power to truly protect local food sources.”

Kneeland goes on to say, “We are confident that the ordinance does meet the single subject requirement and look forward to presenting to the judge.”


For more information on the single subject review visit:

As the appeal process unfolds, Support Local Food Rights is moving forward to build a campaign infrastructure for the May 2014 election.


Establishing Local Food and Farm Rights in Lane County


One Response to “Lane County Initiative to Protect Local Farming Encounters Hurdle; Campaign Still Targeting May 2014 Election”

  • Friends,I am glad that you are taking on this issue and wish you success. My concern is that you may not have a winning strategy. Having worked on many ballot initiative campaigns, some of which were very successful, I understand the barriers to success and the mistakes that can be made with honest efforts, like yours, to make concrete changes to government policies in order to serve the interest of people and Nature.The corporate players who dominate politics are on all levels have lots of money to create barriers to substantive change. They will do whatever it takes to defeat us and, most often, they have plenty of resources to succeed. Even if you manage to beat the odds and qualify for the ballot with your intelligent ballot initiative, you will need to overcome a massive PR campaign to defeat your ballot measure. I know this all too well from experience.And if you manage to overcome the odds and win at the ballot box, the elected officials retain the right to drastically alter of even repeal your ordinance. Given the current makeup of the Lane County Board of Commissioners, they will not hesitate to do this. You will need a strategy to elect new Commissioners to the Board of Commissioners, so that in the case of your success at the ballot, you can prevent the Board of Commissioners from undermining your efforts.There are two positions open on the Board. We already have one announced candidate, Kevin Matthews, running for East Lane County commissioner, who could not be more firmly in support of your goals. I believe that it is critical that you help him get elected. Perhaps, in some ways, this is even more important than your ballot initiative campaign. The same can not yet be said of the other two open positions--in Springfield and West Lane County where there are not candidates ready to announce. But there is still time to find and support good candidates for these positions, with the goal of obtaining majority control of the board for the real public interest.I would like to talk with you and discuss ways I can help you. Although I currently reside in upstate New York, I have some resources I would like to share with you and, I believe, a very good understanding of how to develop a strategy to win on this important issue.Please call me at 845-679-9095 to discuss this most important matter.Sincerely,Gary Kutcher former long-time Lane County resident and activist
    by: Gary Kutcheron: Saturday 10th of August 2013

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Articles On PRESS