Urban Farmers for Food Freedom has been super excited to bring miniature goats and baby chicks out to multiple elementary and middle schools in the Visalia Unified School District to teach students More »
Hello everyone, Gingi Freeman here! Just a quick update on Urban Farmers for Food Freedom in the news!
Univision Channel 21 News sent a reporter out to my house Friday night to cover my story and touch on aspects of the “great goat controversy” (as I like to call it!) including the Freedom of Information Act e-mails and the fact that the North Side of Visalia – made up primarily of Hispanics – has little to no representation in matters such as the ordinance we are trying to change.
Click the link below to watch the video!
Stay tuned to 1680 AM in the Central Valley this weekend to listen in on my interview with Weaponized Media Talk Radio! Not only is a great show, but I’ve got some breaking news to share with everyone, and you can hear all the details during the show!
These guys are just great and I had an absolute blast in the studio with them. Just real awesome folks! If you haven’t had a chance to listen in on one of their shows, check them out at http://weaponizednews.com/ or stop by their YouTube channel to scroll through the archives.
Huge thank you to these fellas for reaching out and letting me share my story and rally the community for a return to Constitutional values and individual rights – despite overbearing government intrusion and control. I hope I have the pleasure of being back on the show in the future as this fight for food freedom progresses!
American rock band REO Speedwagon played at the Fox Theater in downtown Visalia last week, and when confronted with the “great goat controversy”, lead singer Kevin Cronin donned an “I’m Pro Goat” sticker and PROUDLY proclaimed himself to be pro-goat!
He was shocked and dumbfounded that an agricultural city like Visalia would deem miniature goats illegal, when major metropolitan cities like San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago and New York allow them as pets with no problems.
Susan Walsh and Urban Farmers for Food Freedom volunteer Rosalind Smith were able to meet Kevin prior to the show to pose with two miniature African Pygmy goats, with Kevin sporting an “I’m Pro Goat” sticker on his water bottle.
As much as our anti-goat, anti-majority opinion elected officials want to believe that Visalia is a sprawling metropolis unsuitable to these tiny adorable creature, it was abundantly obvious to this internationally acclaimed band that not only is Visalia a great place for miniature goats.. but it would put us in step with major cities like San Francisco that ALREADY ALLOW MINIATURE GOATS!
For those of you not in the know, REO Speedwagon is rock band that reached national fame in the 1980’s. Over the course of its career, the band has sold more than 40 million records and has charted thirteen Top 40 hits, including the number one “Keep On Loving You” and “Can’t Fight This Feeling”.
A big thank you to REO Speedwagon for supporting our cause! <3
Earlier this week, the City of Visalia delivered city staff e-mails regarding miniature goats and chickens to Urban Farmers for Food Freedom in response to the Freedom of Information Act request the group issued earlier this month.
A large percentage of e-mails regarding chickens and miniature goats are missing, however. The city said they have deleted most of the e-mails as part of a city-wide policy to dispose of all digital correspondence after 30 days.
State government code requires most types of public record to be maintained for at least two years, but it gives a lot of leeway to local governments to develop their own policies. Visalia’s city policy of deleting all e-mails after 30 days make the public’s ability to monitor government actions troublesome.
Despite the missing e-mails, the statistics on correspondence reveal that over 85% of citizen e-mails to the City Council members were strongly pro-goat and pro-chicken – a far cry from the “1%” that Mayor Nelsen claimed at the June 1st meeting when he voted against the majority in favor of suppressing food freedom and property rights in Visalia.
The FOIA e-mails also reveal that despite Mayor Nelsen’s claims of transparency and willingness to “consider the issue open-mindedly”, he was simultaneously assuring the anti-goat and anti-chicken minority that he is anti-goat and anti-chicken and “will continue to be so”. These e-mails date prior to the June 1st meeting where he voted against legalizing backyard chickens.
Gingi Freeman states: “As a mother pleading with my city mayor to listen to my story, to consider my predicament, and asking him to join the majority of the city in seeing justice be done by me and my daughters – to know that this man looked me in the eye and assured me that he was open to dialogue and would personally research the issue, and gave me his word that he would vote the values of the majority and follow the will of the People, even if that differs from his own personal beliefs – and to know that it was all just political double-speak and a cruel façade? It’s heartbreaking to me to know that not only does my family’s plight, my property rights, and my children’s nutrition come in second to Mayor Nelsons personal opinions, but the majority of Visalians are swept aside as well.
I just don’t understand why Mayor Nelson, Link and Collins would be so against such innocent and harmless creatures that they would breach their sworn duty to represent the People, and vote contrary to the will of their constituency, leaving my daughters without their vital source of milk.”
A lot of Visalian’s are now wondering: Why e-mail your City Council Members if your e-mail is ultimately ignored and counts for nothing? Over 85% of e-mails were pro-chicken and pro-goat, but were ignored – quite literally, as Mayor Nelsen, Bob Link and Greg Collins did not respond to a SINGLE pro-goat or pro-chicken e-mail sent to them, but responded to EVERY SINGLE anti-chicken and anti-goat e-mail with warmest regards.
Why host a public comment session during city meetings if the community voice goes unheard? On the May 4, May 11 and June 1 city meetings, out of public comments for and against owning miniature goats and chickens, over 85% were pro-goat and pro-chicken at EACH MEETING. But again, this did not stop Mayor Nelsen, Bob Link and Greg Collins from ignoring the majority in favor of their own pre-conceived prejudices and personal opinions.
The job of our elected officials is to be honest and accountable representatives of the People. The Clinton-esque inability of the city to provide full transparency and disclosure regarding the FOIA request due to public records being destroyed is especially disconcerting when our city is facing it’s own slew of scandals – from violations of California’s Voting Rights Act to gerrymandering accusations to double standards, misrepresentation and abuse of power in City Hall meetings.
Visalia has recently shifted to district elections in direct response to the way current elected officials are conducting business and making it hard for citizens to get involved in the democratic process.
The inflated sense of power and disconnect from the citizens displayed by current Council Members who have sat in their positions for as long as 16 years (as in Council Member Bob Link’s case) have caused many to demand accountability and true transparency from their elected officials.
In upcoming election seasons, I urge you to remember how your Council Members voted. Did they listen to the majority and do their job as elected officials? Ask yourself – “Who does my Council Member work for?”
We have been receiving international support in our efforts to legalize small food producing animals in Visalia, California. Worldwide, people are speaking out in support of this basic human right. Feeding your children superior nutrition should NOT BE A CRIME!
UK author and poet David Albert Yates penned a poem about the Gingi Freeman and her goats. Check it out below, and be sure to follow Yates on Twitter @MrRhymes or check out one of his books on Kindle by CLICKING HERE.
Breast is best
so they say,
sayings of long ago
back in the day.
Back to a time
when milk was prime,
twas fed to kids
and not a crime.
Our mutual exchange
of feed for milk,
before spider goats
were bred for silk.
Those were the days
we thought wouldn’t end,
and they really don’t have to
we just simply defend.
If we stand and fight
and show our might,
to exchange and rearrange
all laws in blight.
Our God given rights
to have fresh raised lay,
have slowly and surely
been eroded away.
Hens and Goats
and tins of spam,
were all encouraged
by “Uncle Sam”.
We’ve gotta take back
what is rightfully ours’
and breach this overreach
of tyrannical powers.
We really need not
take their illegal crap,
all “we” need do is refute
this other cheek slap.
Miss Freeman’s a “freeman”
and so are we all,
her pro goat movement’s
our wake up call.
It has happened to her
it will happen to you,
from this tyrannical system
we all need a rescue.
Gingi as a teenager
had issues of breast,
removal of tissues
got this off her chest.
Twas this defect
discovered at birth
that proved the measure
of her worth.
For up she rose
to suckle her babies
on more than their thumb.
With no breast milk at hand
of “au naturel”,
she refused all formulas
from the GMO cartel.
She called on mother nature
for nature knows best,
and sought milk from the teat
of another mothers breast.
And not just any other mother
for that would not do,
she chose the healthiest and wealthiest
of new baby brew.
Through a simple exchange
of feed for feed,
and no middle mans taxes
nor government greed.
Twas all done in the open
nothing was hid,
and her goats got to gloat
they too would feed kids.
Gingi grew up with goats
in a familial reside,
twas what it was and still is
and most dignified.
She’s been told in bold
these goats must go,
this milk of government kindness
is the hardest to swallow.
Every child alive
as a right to thrive,
tis a right of passage
that needs our high five.
Our assistance be needed
to safeguard the future,
our past linked to present
is Gingi’s win win suture.
She’s a right to keep goats
though the council say no,
it’s illegal yet “illegals”
are free to go?
All food production
is a right god gave
and must be defended
from cradle to grave.
So support Mrs Freeman
give her cause your votes,
and help her reclaim
that right to keep goats…
– David Albert Yates 2015
Love or hate him, Alex Jones is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to fighting for Constitutional rights and individual freedoms.
Case in point: I had the great honor of being a guest on Inforwars earlier this week, and within 24 hours of the interview, the “Infowarriors” donated enough money to cover ALL of our initial filing, publication and petitioning fees and costs! So we can now progress to “Step 1” in this fight!
Check out the interview here:
I want to extend a HUGE thank you to everyone who pitched in to our cause and helped raise enough funds to make this first step in filing the ballot initiative possible!
We will still have ongoing expenses before we can declare victory – community outreach, booth space at community events for signature gathering, advertising fees and additional publication fees will be popping up before long – so if you’d like to donate to our ongoing outreach and signature gathering efforts in the community, please consider making a donation!
To donate, you can click the link above to make a contribution via GoFundMe, or you can make a check payable to Urban Farmers for Food Freedom and mail in to 1850 W. Lacey Blvd. PMB #277, Hanford, CA 93230
Don’t forget, we also have our t-shirts up on TeeSpring, where a portion of the funds go toward our cause! Check them out below!
Throughout this whole ordeal of government overreach and control, we have learned that the only way we can regain our property and food freedom rights is if we TAKE THEM BACK.
The only way to take our God-given rights back is if the power is taken out of city officials hands and put where it belongs – with the People. This is why we are working hard to draft and file a citizens initiative to get the right to own small food producing animals in the city on the ballot.
The overwhelming majority in our city want to see my mini goats returned to me and my daughters. They want the right to own small food producing animals like chickens or rabbits. Visalia wants food freedom!
There are a lot of legal fees and government mandated expenses along the way to getting this issue on the ballot, and we are in full fundraising mode at the moment. But one thing is for sure, with help from patriots like you, we’re confident we’ll get this on the ballot, and once this decision is put to the PEOPLE and not to corrupt career politicians, we will have a huge victory for food freedom in Visalia!
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
We are beyond blessed to have the legal assistance of Melo and Sarsfield LLP working for us to draft an initiative to force a vote by the citizens. But at the moment, we do not have enough money to cover all of the anticipated expenses, and we will not be able to move forward until the minimum filing fees and publication fees for the initiative are covered.
In addition to the legal fees, we still need sponsors for booth fees at special events and all the expenses that come with outreach and advertising in getting the word out to the community.
Basically, for this initiative to happen it has to be a freedom-loving society endeavor! WE NEED YOUR HELP!
I know we can do this! This has been from it’s very inception a grassroots venture, and I am just amazed and humbled by how many in the community have stepped up, stepped out and thrown in a hand to help make this happen. I’m blessed beyond words to have so many generous and caring men and women step forward to stand with me in this fight.
If you would like to get involved – whether through local activism or a financial contribution – be sure to keep an eye on our website, and learn how you can help to LEGALIZE FOOD PRODUCING ANIMALS IN THE CITY OF VISALIA! The initiative will be filed SOON!
To donate, you can click the link below to make a contribution via GoFundMe, or you can make a check payable to Food Freedom and mail in to 1850 W. Lacey Blvd. PMB #277, Hanford, CA 93230
When this law is in place, over 130,000 people will have their rights to food freedom restored (and my little girls will have their goats back!)
Urban farmers all over North America are fighting for food freedom, trying to regain property rights, personal independence, and simply trying to occupy their own back yards.
We have reached such a state of government corruption and control that in some cities (like my own in Visalia, California) simply raising backyard chickens is considered criminal behavior.
Our Mayor Steve Nelsen even stated at a recent City Council meeting that, “Visalia’s founding fathers didn’t want chickens in backyards.”
Not to cry fowl (badum-chee!) but Mr. Nelsen doesn’t seem to know Visalia’s history – Visalia was founded in 1852, in a Central Valley wilderness where chickens were VERY MUCH desired in back yards – nor does he seem to know American history.
Not only were backyard city chickens desired, they were vigorously promoted by the United States government and even considered a patriotic duty!
During the First World War, and well into the Great Depression, the Unites States government saw backyard city chickens as a way of feeding the country in time of war, increasing the independence of families (instead of going straight to government handouts) and contributing to the resilience of its citizens.
During tough economic times, the government sponsored multiple leaflets and paperbacks containing advice on every aspect of poultry keeping. There was information about feeding, disease control, housing and general management of chickens. During World War One, the government encouraged what was called a “Victory Garden”, which meant keeping livestock and gardening in the city to help feed your family.
It was thought that if a family had food and did not rely on the government for handouts, the war could be won since it helped prevent food shortages, lowered prices and freed up federal funds so the U.S. government could put that money toward military expenses.
Our Founding Fathers and our government leaders not only didn’t mind chickens in the city, they were the very ones encouraging, enabling and educating the citizens on chicken ownership as an avenue to self-sufficiency and financial and economic gain. The concept that citizens in a Great Depression might have to fight and petition and beg and plead with their cities to allow a few lowly hens was UNTHINKABLE to our Founding Fathers.
Now, in 2015, America is in the midst of another depression. Our government is currently $18 trillion in debt. Literally one quarter of Americans are unemployed. While families struggle to make ends meet during this economic slump and rampant unemployment, I think Mayor Steve Nelsen and his ilk could learn a thing or two from the ACTUAL Founding Fathers of Visalia and America.
The concept that chickens in the city are undesirable only came about recently – around about the same time that subsidies to mega food producers and burdensome regulations that make traditional family farms all but impossible came about. The idea is rooted in a “government knows best” and class warfare mentality that flies in the face of everything our Founding Fathers stood for.
Because to our Founding Fathers, backyard chicken raising was touted as a patriotic duty.
Urban Farmers for Food Freedom, I’m Pro Goat and I’m Pro Chicken Tees Now For Sale on TeeSpring.com!
A lot of people have recommended that we start offering t-shirt, especially with the now-famous I’m Pro Goat logo! So we are doing just that!
Head on over to the TeeSpring website and reserve your shirt NOW! They sale is only up for one month, and shirt won’t ship until the minimum goal is reached. So make sure you SHARE with friends and family!
I think it goes without saying that all proceeds go towards getting small food producing animals on the ballot. 😉
Click the images below to order your shirt today!
Great news everyone! Our political action committee is now formed! We are now officially Urban Farmers for Food Freedom!
A political action committee (PAC) is a type of organization that pools campaign contributions from members and donates those funds to campaign for or against candidates, ballot initiatives, or legislation.
Melo and Sarsfield LLP in Visalia are in the process of drafting our Food Producing Animal Initiative, and we are shifting into full fundraising mode! We’re getting lots of support e-mails and I’ve had two really nasty anonymous e-mails from some brave anti-chicken peeps.. so I guess this means we’re ruffling some feathers! (See what I did there?)
In addition to raising funds for the upcoming legal and advertising expenses, we’re also looking for volunteers to help with office work and outreach. Please contact Gingi at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on volunteer opportunities!
Keep an eye out for more exciting updates in the near future!