Rockland food ordinance proposal includes a "Right to Enforce."  Get a copy - the amended version. Break it down. Okay by you?

By Maggie Trout | Jan 17, 2017
Photo by: Trout Newsflash: Possession of national brand canned spaghetti reported to local foods enforcement squad.

"Statements of Law:  Section 5.4  Right to Enforce.  Rockland citizens possess the right to adopt measures which prevent the violation of the rights enumerated in this Ordinance."  Ah.  So this ordinance would give extraordinary legal rights to measure-taking against people who would, for instance, report "dirty" food to the State, for example?  And then in Section 11.  "Human Rights and Constitutionality.  Nothing in this ordinance shall be construed as authorizing any activities or actions that violate human rights protected by the U.S. Constitution or the Constitution of the State of Maine." 

There Is nothing in the ordinance that prohibits the growing, selling or processing of foods containing additives known or suspected to be harmful to health, nor is there the prohibition of genetically engineered seeds, produce, or animals.


"Sovereignty."  Food, or otherwise, I am a citizen of this sovereign Republic, myself - aren't they?  Aren't you?...

I believe in working to change the laws, and not declaring sovereignty for any reason.  I actually didn't know, until last night, that there were such things as "sovereignists," and frightful numbers of them in this country.  Southern Poverty Law Center has quite the essay about people claiming sovereignty.  Even though I hadn't known of the extent of this, somehow, in my well of ignorance, I knew that claiming sovereignty was a bad idea in this Republic, if we want to keep it such or believe in the messy way it works and work toward maintaining the ideals.

Beyond that, the stated goals do not demand a declaration of "sovereignty" of any kind.

Another reading of the ordinance indicates that the ordinance must come to public referendum in order to reflect the will of the "self-governed," to the extent that the majority of the citizenry is not deprived of access to locally-grown and/or processed foods, save for financial and barriers of physical ability, and education, that ability being available to either grow, (if only in a container), and/or process foods at home, and sell this product to known end home-users, without conforming to state or federal laws.

The stated purpose of the "Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinace is to:

"(I)  Provide citizens with unimpeded access to local food;

(II)  Enhance the local economy by promoting the production and purchase of local agricultural products;

(III)  Protect access to farmers' markets, roadside stands, farm based sales and direct producer to patron sales,

(IV)  Support the economic viability of local food producers and processors;

(V)  Support and promote small-scale, local and backyard farming;

(VI)  Preserve community social events where local foods are served or sold;

(VII)  Preserve local knowledge and traditional foodways."

(Ordinance Amendment No. 35, Section 3, I through VII. City of Rockland, Maine)

Question:  Would declaration of sovereignty require an amendment to the City Charter of Rockland.


There are no impediments to the growing and selling of local foods without this ordinance..  I think we're all facing enough anarchy, and far bigger actual problems, that are not, apparently, of sufficient concern for those pushing these ordinances, who sure don't seem like they're deprived of a single thing.  Stopping corporate food monopolies, would, of course, be much more difficult.  The ordinance still reads very much like an act of sedition.  No need.

If the ordinance passes, would that allow growers and producers to sell their goods at the public landing without having to pay fees to the farmer's market, and, hence, to the city.  That would help a few people.  I think it would be great to have free market days on city property where everyone could bring anything they wanted to sell. 

I'd still like to know who paid what attorney  to write this extensive document.  Nah.  It's a very unfortunate cut and paste, essentially, taken from the movement, and always struck down by the Courts.  More importantly, someone please balance what is, most essentially, the need for agricultural land and healthy soils with, for example, the proposed infill ordinance.  There is no proposal that would ensure that local land would be secured for agricultural practices.


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