Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Man To Know: Dean Florez

Disappointed in California’s judicial branch this week? More tired of the Governator than ever before? The legislature might be also getting you down, but there is good news coming out of Sacramento... If you haven’t heard, the current Senate Majority Leader, Dean Florez, is a huge ally on food issues, going so far as to change the name of the Senate Agriculture Committee to the Committee on Food and Agriculture back in January after becoming its Chair. According to, the Senate document announcing the switch states,
[the] California State Senate is shifting the public policy paradigm as it relates to food and agriculture. As the nation’s leading agricultural state and the fifth largest supplier of food to the world, California as an obligation to ensure that food produced in the Golden State is nutritious, safe, and accessible. For too long consumers have not had a voice at the table in Sacramento.

Not bad.

Dean Florez represents the 16th District, a rural part of the state between Fresno and Bakersfield. He is progressive on a variety of food-related issues, including farmworkers’ rights. Check out his homepage to learn more about his background (he and several family members have worked in the fields in his district), details about his support for forward-thinking statewide legislation (banning antibiotics in school lunches), and some links to current happenings in the food world. You can also read here about how he is ruffling feathers both in the Ag industry (quite literally, at the California Poultry Federation) and amongst his colleagues in the Senate.

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