L.A. mayor appoints senior advisor for food policy
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has appointed Paula Daniels, who chairs his Food Policy Council, to be his senior advisor on food policy. Among her jobs will be overseeing efforts to increase residents’ access to local, affordable and healthful foods.
"I think it shows a lot about where food policy has come in this country, and in this city, that it's going to have a place of emphasis in the mayor's office," Daniels said Thursday. Villaraigosa announced her appointment on Wednesday.
Daniels will continue to chair the volunteer council. One of her goals, she said, is to establish a regional food hub that would increase the distribution of locally grown food to low-income communities. A hub might also include such things as community kitchens.
With the vast variety and supply of fruits and vegetables grown in Southern California, there is an opportunity to connect farmers with urban consumers, she said.
She said she also hopes to work toward food-procurement policies that support the use of local, nutritious food by schools and city and county institutions, and to encourage growing practices that are sustainable and use fair labor practices.
Daniels noted that Villaraigosa recently returned from a U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting at which he introduced a successful resolution calling on the group to support efforts such as regional food hubs to improve access to healthful food in neighborhoods known as food deserts.
Daniels, an attorney and former public-works commissioner, has more than 20 years of experience working in the environmental community.
-- Mary MacVean
Photo: Hollywood farmers market. Credit: David Karp