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What New Yorkers Want from Their New Mayor When it Comes to Food

Mayor elect Bill de Blasio heard from people concerned with food insecurity, hunger, community gardens, and reserving prime upstate agricultural lands for a sustainable regional food shed.

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At present, due to low wages, food workers often use SNAP benefits, says Diana Robinson, Campaign and Education Coordinator, of the Food Chain Workers Alliance. She proposes both raising the minimum wage to a level applicable to the higher cost of living in New York-- and including "tip" workers, who are currently excluded from minimum wage provisions.

"The city could also rewrite contract codes to favor businesses with fair labor practices. That would increase worker compensation in food services," proposed Romer.

With initiatives like these, is it possible for a major metropolis like New York to become a model for a more human-centric infrastructural recalibration?  Now that New York has a willing mayor, that question will be put to the test.  "There are a host of groups and organizations that have been working for twenty years to lift up the issues of inequality of wealth and opportunity into the political arena. Now they are ready to advance new programs and agendas," said The Nation's Katrina vanden Heuvel.

Talking Transitions culminates in a Town Hall style meeting November 23, 2013. (See schedule for upcoming events and locations here.)

Alison Rose Levy @alisonroselevy writes on health, food and the environment. Her website is and her weekly radio program on Progressive Radio is Connect the Dots.

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