Save Ron Finley's Gangsta Garden
Ron Finley has many titles: Fashion Designer, The Renegade Gardener, Guerilla Gardener, Gangsta Gardener, Head Trouble Maker but most importantly Revolutionary. In 2010, he decided to take his health and the health of his community into his own hands and “Plant Some Shit”, turning a strip of city-owned land into a food oasis. After a citation, fine and eventual warrant for Finley’s arrest over the grass that he transformed into a food forest for his community, word spread quickly about the “Gangsta Gardener”.
With the help of his powerful 2013 Ted Talk and 2015 film "Can You Dig This", his message that gardens are solutions to inner city health problems, gang violence and poverty has echoed around the world. The ringing of his words has given birth to urban communities across the globe coming together to grow their own food in areas that have none.
People from all walks of life have shown their support for Finley's efforts. Luminaries such as René Redzepi, Russell Brand, Alice Waters, Rainn Wilson, Penny Marshall, Aloe Blacc, Carson Daley, Rachel Hunter and Robert Horry have reached out in solidarity, as well as statewide dignitaries including Mayors Aja Brown, Kevin Johnson and Councilman Herb Wesson.
Over the years, the Gangsta Garden has evolved into more than a symbol of healthy change for urban communities including an educational site, a propagation station for more edible landscapes and the formal headquarters for The Ron Finley Project (RFP). Furthermore, it has become the focus of study for local K-12 classrooms and universities worldwide including the renown institutions of MIT, Harvard and University of Southern California.
Currently, RFP is fighting for their headquarters; the very same location that ignited a good food revolution when Finley took back city land and planted the seeds to cultivate happy and healthy communities. After numerous attempts by the property owner for a loan modification with no avail, the land was sold to Strategic Acquisitions Inc in a foreclosure.
RFP has requested that Strategic Acquisitions allow them to continue operating from the location as to sustain the important work they are doing in the community. The only solution they have been offered is to purchase the property for $500,000, otherwise... they face eviction.
Finley took on city lawmakers in 2010 sparking a worldwide food justice revolution. Now the world needs to rally behind him!
RFP needs to raise $500,000 to #savethegangstagarden. If you have been touched by RFP or support access to healthy food for ALL communities please donate what you can and share widely.
Ron Finley and Ron Finley Project are grateful for the outpour of support. Unfortunately, at this time Strategic Acquisitions still has not backed down from their eviction notice or offered a more affordable resolution than buying the property for $500,000.
BUT WE WON'T GO WITHOUT A FIGHT!
Here are ways that you can help us win the battle:
1. Share the GoFundMe campaign on all your social media outlets and with your email contacts
2. Sign and Share the petition to #SaveTheGangstaGarden: http://bit.ly/2jjPIgp
TOGETHER we CAN SAVE THE GANGSTA GARDEN!
I shared it already and added a nice long positive narrative with my share.. I wish I had a lot more money,,this is such a great cause and a learning education. Can someone compose a much needed letter and then it out to social media and we can all add our names? Think that would help? I would also CC a copy to Michele Obama,, she grew fresh veggies on The White House property. Heck I will try to copy this and send it to her via something!!
Thank you all for the support and inquires. We've had a number of questions regarding where the money is going to. As RFP team member Ashleigh Carter pointed out below, ALL the money is going towards purchasing the property. RFP has a budget that supports their operations. Strategic Acquisitions has asked for $500,000 for the property or RFP will be evicted. I have updated the campaign to make sure this is clear. Linda Mueller - Thanks for the wonderful idea! We have a petition circulating. You can sign and share it with Michelle Obama ;) here: http://bit.ly/2j3c70o Al J Kennedy - We hope it does not come down to finding another location. This property means too much to the community and world at large for us to give up on it. Furthermore, we feel it is important to call out and fight this injustice as it mirrors the struggles of other urban communities.
For anyone looking for more information or wondering about the cost there's a good LA Times story here: http://www.laweekly.com/restaurants/south-la-gangsta-gardener-ron-finley-fights-to-save-his-garden-from-eviction-7790627
Why not move? The mission seems portable, and this location has to be repeatable - it would actually be a great demonstration project - soil can be improved and seeds planted anywhere. Attachment to one physical location seems like an anachronism.
That seems like an outrageous amount for a vacant piece of property. I wonder why they are charging you so much.