Food Freedom Resolution Heads Back To The Drawing Board

By Elisha Dorfsmith

October 22, 2013 UPDATE: Reason Magazine published an article yesterday that pretty much sums up everything I tried to say in this post. In an article titled Better To Not Protest the NSA Than To Hold Hands With Libertarians, Says Progressive Scribbler they quote columnist Tom Watson who has this to say about an anti NSA protest that includes Libertarians:

“Yet my progressive friends would take the stage with the representatives of this political movement? Why? The loss is much greater than the gain. Organizers trade their own good names and reputations to stand alongside – and convey legitimacy to – a party that opposes communitarian participation in liberal society, and rejects the very role of government itself.”

Did you catch that? “Convey legitimacy” This is almost exactly what Dan Frazier said (see video below) at the Flagstaff City Council meeting where he opposed FLA’s food freedom resolution. These comments give validity to my statements below. This is about progressives refusing to work with anybody who is not in their club.

October 15, 2013 UPDATE: At tonight’s Flagstaff City Council meeting Councilmember Evans told Council that this blog is put out by the organization that presented the resolution. I’ve put a disclaimer in my blog many times in the past but I guess it’s time to post it again:


Here is the post in it’s original form:

In an age of political polarization it is rare for people and groups to look for common ground with those who are not ideologically or politically connected to themselves. If by some strange chance people with different perspectives and backgrounds do start working together on an issue, those in power rush in to tear them apart and make sure they get back in their own neat little line on the far side of the field.

I have talked about this observation several times on my blog. I am disappointed to say that this spirit of divisiveness became very apparent just days before the October 8th Flagstaff City Council meeting where a food freedom resolution was discussed.

Those following along closely know that Flagstaff Liberty Alliance spent a full year reaching out to the community and collecting signatures in support of a statement from Council encouraging local food. Originally an ordinance was considered but ultimately the group decided that a non-binding resolution had a better chance of getting through council. FLA collected over 400 signatures from the public at farmer’s markets, First Friday Art Walk, the County Fair, Flagstaff Pride and many other events.

Councilmember Barotz will point out that some of the signatures were collected when we were working on an ordinance. Yes, some were but the only feedback I’ve received from people who signed the petitions early on is that they were disappointed that we switched to a resolution because a resolution would not go far enough.

The majority of the signatures were collected while we were promoting a resolution and we always had copies of the resolution for people to read before they signed. Just about everyone we talked to in the community supported the resolution…regardless of their political views or background.


Just some of the signatures FLA collected supporting the resolution (click to enlarge)

On Monday I excitedly announced on facebook and twitter that Friends of Flagstaff’s Future had endorsed our resolution on their website. Within hours, key individuals pulled the necessary strings to get Friends of Flagstaff’s Future to withdraw their endorsement and condemn the resolution.


Lisa Rayner calls the document a “Tea Party resolution” and “scam to banish all food safety regulations.” (click to enlarge)

Local activist Lisa Rayner (wife of former City Council Candidate Dan Frazier) led the charge on facebook to smear the Food Freedom Resolution by telling people it’s a tea party resolution and that it would work to repeal existing health and food safety laws for grocery stores and restaurants.

This is untrue and anyone who actually read the resolution knows that it only applied to people growing food for “themselves and their families”.

Fearful people who had never read the resolution for themselves responded with the expected knee jerk reaction and said oh, so that’s what this is all about.

The lies and misinformation spread like wildfire while leaders and those in power laughed behind the scenes. People who dedicate their lives to local food and gardens prepared to fight against a resolution supporting the very goals they work so hard for.

The disinformation continued at the Council meeting.

The head of the Flagstaff CSA and Local Market stood before Council and told them that her organization had never heard about or been contacted about the resolution until Monday when FLA President Cindy Dorfsmith called her to discuss it.

When I spoke to Council I pointed out that I had contacted the CSA a couple months ago and received a very positive response. Here’s the screenshot I mentioned when I spoke at the meeting (click to enlarge):


Even before August, I contacted as many local food groups in the Community as I could find to let them know a resolution was being worked on. The Resolution has been on the City Council agenda several times. The Flagstaff Sustainability Commission unanimously endorsed it and this information was made public. Local food organizations were very aware that this was coming together. To say they had no idea that the resolution existed and were never contacted about it is completely false.

Former Flagstaff City Council Candidate Dan Frazier (husband of former Friends of Flagstaff’s Future board member Lisa Rayner) had the most telling comments of the night though. His uncontrollable hate for people who do not think exactly like he does filled the room as he ranted about Flagstaff Liberty Alliance not being a group that should be given a voice:

“I prefer Coral Evans’ version myself, mainly because it comes from Coral Evans. I do feel that we must look at the source of any resolution or ordinance for that matter that comes before the Council. This group that is bringing this to you tonight is not a food group, this is a rights group. And so let’s say for instance, I don’t really know much about this group that we’re talking about here tonight, I’ve heard that they might have some tea party like affiliations, and based on the wording of the resolution that focuses on rights, I feel that that could have some truth to it though I don’t know that.

But I think we have to consider where an ordinance or a resolution is coming from. If I came to you tonight wearing a hood and said there should be rights to grow your own food and that should supersede any rules on the books you might well wonder if I was proposing that I use slaves to grow food in my back yard and I think that might be a valid thing to think about and to wonder.

I think this is a Trojan horse and that this group is bringing to you a rather meaningless resolution. They might as well say let’s all resolve that Flagstaff is beautiful and the sky is blue and if you pass that and if you agree to that you are giving that group some voice, some power and I question whether or not we really want to do that.”

Ahhh, I get it Mr Frazier. It’s not really the text of the document that bothers you. It’s the fact that it comes from a group that is not your own. The fact that it wasn’t your idea. The fact that it came from somewhere other than your far side of the field. Even if you agree with the ideas you won’t support it. In a few words you spoke volumes!

UPDATE: here’s the youtube video of Dan Frazier speaking to the council last night.



The link below has the entire video of last night’s council meeting. Click on item 6. Dan Frazier’s comments start at 46:10:

Mr Frazier has very close ties to Councilmember Barotz and Councilmember Evans but I’m sure we’ll never hear them condemn his slanderous and hate filled statements for people who are different from him.

There was not enough support at last night’s Council meeting to move any version of the resolution forward. A new resolution will be drafted by different groups in the community and who knows what it will look like in the end. Hopefully it still contains the spirit of the resolution Flagstaff Liberty Alliance proposed.

Below is the updated text of the resolution Flagstaff Liberty Alliance proposed last night. Keep in mind that Councilmember Barotz, Councilmember Evans and Friends of Flagstaff’s Future fought viciously against this text. What could they possibly have against it?


WHEREAS, the people of the City of Flagstaff historically have maintained and enjoyed the right to raise food for themselves and their families; and

WHEREAS, family farms, community gardens, sustainable agricultural practices and food processing by individuals, families and small, locally based firms offer stability to our City by enhancing the economic, environmental and social wealth of our community; and

WHEREAS, as part of the right to raise food for themselves and their families, the people have and maintain the right to raise such food on their own land, subject to applicable laws, to contract with others to rent sufficient land for the growing of that food, for boarding their poultry and livestock, and for hiring services related to its care, maintenance, raising, and harvesting; and

WHEREAS, in the interests of a vibrant local economy, it is important that the rights outlined above be maintained and that City officials encourage a healthy and environmentally friendly form of small scale agriculture.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Flagstaff City Council supports, endorses, and encourages the recognition of the right and freedom of people to raise their own food, including food derived from agricultural animals, for the enjoyment of themselves and their families, either by their own investment and labor or through the assistance of others and consistent with the law.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Flagstaff City Council supports laws that support and encourage people to continue the activities of raising food for themselves and their families.

Before I wrap this post up I want to thank Mayor Nabours, Councilmember Oravits and Councilmember Brewster for being very positive and open to this resolution. The three of them have acted in a very professional manner throughout this entire process.


Friends of Flagstaff’s Future, Councilmember Barotz, Councilmember Evans and other obstructionists fought hard to ensure that the local food resolution would NOT pass.

  1. Joe
    October 9, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Typical Friends of flagstaff Future, lock the doors, our way or the highway….

    October 9, 2013 at 10:59 am

    THe bottom line is, those involved in City Council do not want to allow people to grow their own food, on their own property without regulation. It’s not about food to them, its about regulation. I do not want to be regulated, governed, or made safe in any way by those who dont care about my liberty. They want control and to run this town like clickish high-schoolers. I wish I didn’t work during the time of that last meeting.

  3. October 9, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Elisha that sucks! I am so sorry to see hate triumph over facts and logic – and please know not all liberals are against your work. Indeed, I am proud that you and I agree on something – and something so important. To my mind when the right and left agree THAT is the real common sense. Please fight on!

    • October 9, 2013 at 6:26 pm

      Thank you so much! That means a lot. I really appreciate the kind words.

  4. David A. Skopec
    October 9, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    sorry I missed the fire works! Its food freedom! Free to vote small minds out of office that should be an[ ordinance]. Date: Wed, 9 Oct 2013 17:12:40 +0000 To:

  5. Nancy
    October 14, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Nice of Frazier to provide the high comedy of the night! It’s always amusing to watch a partisan hack go full retard in a public forum. The pearl-clutching drama queen probably thinks he rang a bell and harmed FLA in some way with his tall tales of white hoods under the bed. LOL They think because they’re obsessed with race, everyone is. They can’t conceive of anyone seeing people as individuals like libertarians do, who judge people by “the content of their character” and not “by the color of their skin.”

    Taking a page from Frazier’s book, one might wonder if F3 has any eco-terrorists in their midst. Or are they your typical American progs, pretending to be localists and advocates for the little guy while advancing the globalists’ corporate agenda at every turn, and crushing Main Street under its regulatory boot?

    Sad how partisanship has infected everything. I told my son about Flag Pride and F3’s self-serving rejection of perfectly acceptable resolutions. He was appalled and called it exactly in that they’re not really about the people they allegedly represent–it’s about them as groups. Much like the NRA fought against D.C. v. Heller, if they don’t put it forward, then they want no part of it, will fight against it, and to hell with the people and issues they claim to be champions for. ( As far as they’re concerned, it’s better for homosexuals to be denied the right to marry, and for the Food Industrial Complex to have its way, than for them to not get the credit.

    Since O Duce signed Big AG’s food “safety” bill into law, I’m sure they’re also loathe to take a stand against it in fear of being called “racist,” or be seen as insufficiently submissive to Washington, team blue, and their corporate owners’ regulatory capture. We also saw this partisanship play out with Jeff’s anti-NDAA resolution. God forbid local progs reaffirm our 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, and 14th amendment rights in fear of offending the Obama admin.! They talked a good civil liberties and anti-war game during the Bush regime, but now we know all they really care about is the redistribution of wealth, seizing more power in any way they can, and growing Leviathan just for the sake of it–no matter the consequences.

    Big Bank, Big Ag, Big Medical System, Big Police State…these are not the liberals of my youth. Whatever happened to “Small is Beautiful” and “Question Authority?” It’s obvious that, as far as local activists go, those sentiments live only in Flag Liberty Alliance. You deserve congrats not only for your efforts, but for leading these groups and local progs to expose themselves as the unprincipled, self-serving, partisan hacks that they are.

  6. Slim
    October 16, 2013 at 2:53 am

    Resolutions must be spearheaded by ME!!! I get credit! I get credit! I do! I do!
    –Slight spin for the emergency housing: I get credit and MY contacts get contracts!

  1. October 12, 2013 at 11:29 pm
  2. October 16, 2013 at 8:10 am
  3. November 11, 2013 at 9:39 am
  4. December 26, 2015 at 9:17 am

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