SF Mayor and Victory Gardener Gavin Newsom visits White House Kitchen Garden.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom visited the White House earlier this month to discuss issues such as healthcare, ask the environment, purchase poverty, and transportation with Obama administration advisors and cabinet members. At the end of his meeting with Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, she and White House Assistant Chef and Food Initiative Coordinator Sam Kass took the Mayor on a tour of the White House Kitchen Garden. Ms. Jarrett knows a thing or two about gardening. Back in the day, her parents often hosted Sunday night dinners for friends such as the Obamas, with green beans and tomatoes from their garden.

It seems like just yesterday that Mayor Newsom signed our petition at Slow Food Nation. (We, the people, respectfully request that an organic farm be planted on the grounds of The White House.)

Mayor Newsom may have given a pointer or two to Jarrett and Kass.  After all, before Michelle Obama planted her vegetable garden, Mayor Newsom planted his, and he isn’t stopping there. In a recent talk at The Long Now Foundation entitled Cities and Time, he discussed the impacts of the Victory Garden that was planted outside of SF City Hall last year:

“We put a big vegetable garden in front of city hall, now you are seeing, folks in Washington DC and Michelle Obama, First Lady Obama doing one, and now you have Maria Shriver doing one up in Sacramento. I remember when we put our garden and Willie Brown [former SF mayor] chastised me and said, you are going to have cows and horses next out there, missing the point that this was about raising the environmental consciousness about what we eat and where we get the food…And so we are really trying to challenge people about this urban rural connection in terms of agriculture and food, and so, we have, all new food strategies that are part of our healthcare strategy. As you know we are the only city in the United States of America with a universal healthcare plan that is actually implemented for 64% of people, comprehensive universal healthcare and now we are focusing on investing in people’s health as opposed to treating their sickness, which means we are focusing on what they eat… It is another area of this environmental consciousness for a sustainable city, that we are also arguing for and also advancing.”

SF Victory Gardens
Gavin Newsom Healthy Food Issues
More photos of Gavin Newsom in The White House Kitchen Garden
Press release: Mayor Newsom Meets with Senior Aides to President Obama and Cabinet Secretaries at the White House
(Mayor Newsom photo courtesy of Nate Ballard.  SF Victory Garden courtesy of Rhonda Winter.)

Comments are closed