Bold Steps Forward


I have loved my time at Oakland Food Policy Council (OFPC). I want all you, my wonderful colleagues, partners and community members to know what an honor it is for me to know you, work with you and be a part of critical work to transform our food system. We have collectively made OFPC a leader in the food movement. It is therefore with deep respect for my council, fondness for our work, our struggle and many allies, and a sense of optimism for the future that I step down as Council Director.
I am comforted to know that we have a truly amazing group of people sharing power and impact and I know OFPC will be transitioned into capable hands!
I leave to embark on a more personal journey to Mexico for intensive study in Spanish. My basic level of fluency is not honed as I’d like to communicate more effectively with my Spanish speaking community. I am anticipating the need for a higher level of Spanish fluency in the next iteration of my work. I also embrace the rare opportunity to spend time in my country of family origin.
Though my next steps are exciting, I will miss being a part of OFPC. But who knows what the future holds?

We are seeking a Council Director!

Oakland Food Policy Council (OFPC) works to establish an equitable and sustainable food system. We are a council first, dedicated to the gathering of people – to problem solve, act, and celebrate. Food is our focus and policy is our tool. As a 21-seat volunteer council, we share the drive to feed our city and create a healthy and resilient local food system by catalyzing our collective power. We work to understand our community’s needs and advocate for programs and policies that:
– Ensure food security;
– Ignite equitable economic development;
– Protect our natural resources;
– Advance public health;
– Benefit and respect those that grow, produce, make, and consume food.
We ensure that the Council is comprised of representatives from the Oakland community, particularly those most impacted by the injustices of our current food system. We aim to make good food policy a top priority in our city, and to contribute to policy reform at a state and national level.

Duties and Responsibilities


– Assure that the organization has a long-range strategy which achieves its mission, and toward which it makes consistent and timely progress.
– Provide leadership in developing policy proposals and implementation campaigns, organizational and financial plans with the Executive Committee and carry out authorized plans and policies.
– Promote active and broad participation by members, interns and other volunteers in organization’s work.
– Maintain official records and documents, and ensure compliance with federal, state and local regulations.
– Serve as direct contact, and manage deliverables to, Fiscal Sponsor, funders and collaborative partners.
– Maintain a working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the field. 

Operations Management

– Manage meeting agendas and deliverables in partnership with work group chairs
– Evaluate the OFPC’s structure, operations, recruitment process, community and member engagement, and policy development process
– Support workgroup members to complete tasks
– Oversee recruitment, selection and retention of OFPC members
– Oversee the development and delivery of papers and reports for Oakland City Council and others regarding policies and actions to advance the mission

Program and Staff Management

– Develop and foster a strong, open dialogue and collaborations with local organizations, governmental agencies, and neighborhood groups to determine the best policies and actions for a fair, sustainable, economically vibrant food system for Oakland.
– Attend and/or serve as a member of leadership committees as appropriate including but not limited to HOPE Collaborative steering and executive committee, Supervisor Wilma Chan’s All In steering committee, East Oakland Building Healthy Communities land use workgroup, etc.
– Recruit and manage volunteer interns.
– Be responsible for the recruitment, employment, and release of all personnel, both paid staff and volunteers.
– Ensure that job descriptions are developed, that regular performance evaluations are held, and that sound human resource practices are in place.
– Encourage staff and volunteer development and education, and assist program staff in relating their specialized work to the total program of the organization.


– Develop relationships with the local and national media and serve as OFPC primary contact to market the council and build additional community support.
– See that the Executive Committee is kept fully informed on the condition of the organization and all important factors influencing it.
– Publicize the activities of the organization, its programs, goals, accomplishments using all platforms available- Website; Facebook; Blog; Newsletter; Listservs
– Establish sound working relationships and cooperative arrangements with community groups and organizations.
– Represent OFPC and point of view of the organization to agencies, organizations, and the general public.

 Budget and Financial Management

– Raise funds for the OFPC’s operation.
– Provide program updates to all funders, manage grant requirements, compliance, and submit grant reports.
– Provide input to the Executive Committee in planning and managing the budget.
– Oversee and engage in planning and implementation of fundraising plan which may include special events and other fundraising activities and grant applications.
– Identify and cultivate local corporate partnerships.


The ideal candidate will possess deep knowledge of policy and organizational change, equity, community engagement and command of Food Policy issues along with organizational management. Leadership, fundraising, self-motivation and the ability to coordinate work with collaboratives, neighborhood groups, and government officials is a must; Be comfortable engaging in both strategic activities as well as taking a hands-on role with regards to program execution and administrative issues; and be well versed on urban food systems, food security, and health and food justice issues.

Prior work experience include 5 years minimum:

– Working in Bay Area food systems within the city, county, CBO, or private sector.
– Political savvy and policy analysis, formulation and development.
– Community organizing and development (in fields such as food, health, youth, housing, etc).
– Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
– Collaborative, administrative and management skills.
– Navigate and build support in the community, particularly low income communities of color.
– Grant writing & management.

Preferences include:

– Degree in relevant field or equivalent experience.
– Minimum 3 years experience in advocacy, organizing, and movement-building, through work or volunteer experience.
– Fundraising/Donor Cultivation.
– Excellent interpersonal skills.
– Familiarity with Microsoft Office programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
– Strong proficiency with or capacity to learn online programs and applications such as Google tools (analytics, docs, spreadsheets), and basic web content management (WordPress), and online fundraising tools, social media- Twitter, Facebook, and other online communication tools (e.g. Vertical Response).

Hours and Compensation

OFPC is a fiscally sponsored project of Earth Island Institute (EII) and this position is a fulltime salaried position with EII and not located in an office but based in Oakland. Evenings and some weekend hours are necessary and some travel is required. Council Director must present herself/himself in a manner consistent with OFPC values and beliefs at all times.
The salary is based on experience includes the following benefits: medical, vision and dental insurance, 11 paid holidays per year, paid vacation and sick leave.

How to Apply

For primary consideration, please send email your resume, cover letter, salary requirements and a writing sample to application at oaklandfood dot org by February 15th 2016.
Earth Island Institute is an equal opportunity employer and seeks to reflect the diversity of the communities they serve.

Growing and Selling Food is a Right

collard greens, upsplash

In Oakland, growing and selling food is a right and doesn’t require special permitting beyond the standard business tax license except in public parks (open space zones), some industrial zones and some commercial districts. Please see included tables for the complete list of zones where agriculture is permitted by right and where conditional use permits are required by the city (Appendix C). Again, you can see the map layout with the previous provided link to the City of Oakland zoning map.

As a Community Food Producer and/or Gleaner in California, you have the right to sell food to a food facility which is defined as an operation that stores, prepares, packages, serves, vends, or otherwise provides food for human consumption at the retail level (California Retail Food Code (Cal Code), Section 113789).

Community Food Producers and/or Gleaners may only sell directly to the public, to a permitted restaurant, to a Cottage Food Operator or on premises controlled by the producer (California Retail Food Code (Cal Code), Section 113789 (c)6).

But you may not conduct sales such as selling to a market that will then sell your community food product (whole uncut fruit or vegetable or unrefrigerated shell eggs) to their customers.

Click here for more information.