On the Fourth of July, we celebrate the Declaration of Independence, which set America on our road to freedom as a sovereign nation. This most American of holidays offers us valuable time to enjoy fireworks, backyard barbecues, and fun with family and friends.
While we take the time to reflect on our freedom and the innovative American spirit, I wanted to share with you a bill that I introduced that promotes individual initiative and entrepreneurship.
Last year, my constituent Mark Stambler was shut down by the Los Angeles Deptartment of Environmental Health for selling homemade bread to a local cheese shop, but not for health violations. Mark was shut down because he didn’t bake his bread in fancy -- and expensive --commercial ovens. There was a whole lot of additional county red tape placed on Mark and other small businesses, but I’ll spare you the details.
This action runs counter to the basic premise that we should try to foster the small businesses of today so that they can become the medium-sized businesses of tomorrow.
In response, I introduced the California Homemade Food Act to allow producers of certain safe food items to conduct business without too much red tape.
This act—consistent with recent law changes of 32 other states—makes foods, including breads, tortillas, jams, jellies, dried herbs and cookies, available for sale. It should liven up local Farmer’s Markets, and allow many budding businesses to test the market and see if they can thrive.
Farmer’s markets and street fairs are flourishing in California. They help connect a neighborhood in a modern, impersonal world. If we can promote these interpersonal relationships at a time when people are struggling to supplement their incomes, then we have accomplished something significant both for neighborhoods and small businesses. That’s the modest goal of the California Homemade Food Act.
Hearty, homemade treats created in community kitchens make their way to a growing number of local bakeries and farmer’s markets—let’s keep this wonderful traditional alive and available for everyone.