/>Sunday afternoon, June 26, some of the PRV Steering Committee had a small meeting with a few of the people who have been advancing the local food movement. We learned a fair bit about some of the challenges and bottlenecks that need attention if the Rogue Valley is to become the dynamic food producing region that it can be. We’ll have more to tell you soon, and we want YOUR ideas about where to focus our energy to support local agriculture and enhance the locally-grown food supply.
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States all over the country have begun passing laws that let local governments award more contracts to local vendors, so that dollars from their citizens’ pockets can generate more stable jobs. Oregon has joined them. HB 3000, recently signed into law, says that “contracting agencies” –counties, cities, school districts and others– can award contracts to local businesses for up to 10% more than the lowest bid. (When you factor in tax revenues that come back to local governments — and there are methods that accurately project those amounts–,a $110,000 bid from a local vendor may actually turn out to cost local government less than a remote corporation’s $100,000 bid.)
How soon will local governments in the Rogue Valley start taking advantage of this privilege?
We might have wanted Jackson County to be on the cutting edge of the economic localization movement… but it’s a little late for that. Counties with fewer people and resources are surging forward. The Buy Local Lincoln County Association has put out a clear and simple video on how the economics work. Their projection is that if that county’s estimated 19,000 households all shifted just 10% of their discretionary spending from remote to local businesses, 12o local jobs would be created. And are they needed.
There are a couple of points made in their video that are subject to debate, but it’s definitely worth seeing how this rural Oregon county is getting it together. And if they can……
There’s legislation in the works that could make life much harder for farmers in our valley who grow leafy greens.
Does this sound like it’s moving in the right direction? You might want to weigh in on the issue.
June 8, 2011: Local officials in New York State are striking back at mega-banks that
are tossing their citizens out onto the streets. Good idea?