Rahm Emanuel announced plans to pursue legislation that would provide more support for urban farms and community gardens in Chicago.
Emanuel, at his first press conference in eight days, said the city will introduce an ordinance to expand on the progress of urban farms such as the Iron Street Farm, where the press conference was held. The owner of the farm said she was able to start the project because of federal funding, and Emanuel said he would like the city to help too.
The mayor has made combatting the city's dearth of food options in low-income neighborhoods a top priority of his administration. He said more than half a million Chicagoans are affected by the food desert dilemma.
“It is unacceptable that thousands of Chicagoans live in communities that lack access to fresh foods,” Emanuel said. “I am committed to adopting innovative solutions that will increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables while creating jobs in order to ensure Chicagoans have the food options they need to lead a healthy lifestyle.”
The added benefit of supporting urban farms, Emanuel said, is the jobs they will bring.
"There will be 200 jobs at this site alone," Emanuel said. "And there are thousands of sites like this throughout the city.
The city will bring the proposed ordinance giving more support to the farms to the chamber during a Thursday city council meeting.