April 8th: Urban Ag Social Movie Night


Two of our favorite Oakland institutions are coming together to kick off the spring with a screening of the movie Growing Cities! Join OFPC at Movie Night and Urban Ag Social at the New Parkway Theater, presented by the Institute of Urban Homesteading.

Tuesday April 8th, 7pm (arrive any time after 6pm to get your pizza and beer and socialize with farming friends). The evening will include updates on oakland food policy, prizes, jam tasting and jam swap and more TBA.
Bring a jar of homemade jam (chutney, pickles or anything else in a sealed, shelf-safe jar) to share and one to trade! All this for only $8 Get your tickets by clicking here.

And please spread the word! Let’s make this a real social!

The people who feed you, can’t feed themselves.

by Jacqueline Gleason of Real Food Real Talk

We all love to eat out. We celebrate life’s great achievements by going out for a meal with our loved ones, grab a quick bite while on the run, or reward ourselves with something yummy at the end of a tough day. Either way, going out to eat is part of American culture. But who are the people that actually make that experience happen?

Restaurant workers are twice as likely to use SNAP and EBT to feed themselves and their families than the rest of the American workforce. They are three times as likely to live below the poverty line (Jayraman, 2012).[1] While these people barely scrape by, almost every national restaurant chain has reported record high profits in 2011 (National Employment Law Project, 2012).  [2]


In 2007 the federal government passed a law to increase the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 by 2009 (U.S. Department of Labor, 2013).[3] However, that change did not include the millions of tipped restaurant workers whose wages are frozen at $2.13 per hour (U.S. Department of Labor).[4] Why you may ask? In 1996, the National Restaurant Association successfully lobbied Congress to exempt tipped restaurant workers from any changes to the minimum wage laws. In return, they agreed to support efforts to raise the minimum wage for the rest of the workforce (Jamieson, 2013).[5]  This resulted in nearly 3 million people, over half of who are women[6], forced to subsist solely on tips, as their paychecks are often $0 after taxes are paid.

And how about those lucky restaurant workers who are under the umbrella of the federal minimum wage? Are they able to survive without government assistance? McDonald’s recently released a budgeting tool for their minimum wage employees (Restaurant Opportunities Center, 2013).[7] It includes ludicrous assertions like health insurance costs of $20 per month or $0 per month allocated to spend on your heating bill.  It also assumes you do not buy food or put gas in your car. But perhaps the most outrageous revelation of all is the nonchalant line item, “Income, 2nd job”.  Yes McDonald’s workers, you too can live the American dream on a minimum wage job. I mean, two minimum wage jobs. As long as you don’t want to eat or be warm.

The current living wage in Oakland for one adult is $11.51 per hour (Glasmeier, 2013).[8] The highest paid executive at McDonald’s was paid $4.1 million plus stock in 2011.[9] That’s $2,037 per hour. Yet, the average McDonalds employee needs a second job and food stamps simply to not be hungry. I, for one, am not lovin’ it.

[1] Jayaraman, Saru Behind the Kitchen Door, 2013, Cornell University Press.

[2] National Employment Law Project, Big Business, Corporate Profits, and the Minimum Wage, July 2012, http://nelp.3cdn.net/e555b2e361f8f734f4_sim6btdzo.pdf

[3] U.S. Department of Labor, History of Changes to the Minimum Wage Law, September 2013, http://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/coverage.htm

[4] U.S. Department of Labor, Fair Labor and Standards Act Advisor, September 2013, http://www.dol.gov/elaws/esa/flsa/screen75.asp

[5] Jamieson, David, Obama State of the Union Address: President Calls for Raising the Minimum Wage, February 2013, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/02/minimum-wage-restaurant-workers_n_1515916.html

[6] Restaurant Opportunities Center, Realizing the Dream: How the Minimum Wage Impacts racial Inequity in the Restaurant Industry in America, June 2013 http://rocunited.org/the-third-shift/

[7] Restaurant Opportunities Center, Oh McDonald’s-Thanks for proving how totally inconceivable living on minimum wage actually is, July 2013, http://rocunited.org/files/2013/07/mcdonaldssamplemonthlybudget.jpg

[8] Glasmeier, Amy, Poverty in America: Living Wage Calculator, 2013, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,  http://livingwage.mit.edu/places/0600153000

[9] National Employment Law Project, Big Business, Corporate Profits, and the Minimum Wage, July 2012, http://nelp.3cdn.net/e555b2e361f8f734f4_sim6btdzo.pdf

Seeking Social Media Strategist

March 18th 2014: Note, we are no longer accepting applications to this position. Thank you!

Oakland Food Policy Council (OFPC) is looking for a Social Marketing Communications Strategist to ignite awareness of OFPC and engage in multimedia communications on our work and the food movement. Must have exceptional organizational skills, a knack for research, sharp wit, and a willingness to work during nonstandard business hours. The candidate must posses a solid understanding of the social media universe including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Digg, reddit, forums, wikis and blogs, etc. Prior experience in journalism, public relations, or marketing communications is preferred.

Reports to: Council Director
Wage:          $40/hr.
Status:         Hourly; Non-Exempt; Part-Time 0.40 FTE (16 hours/week); Six month contract with possible extension. This is a remote position with    in-person meetings.

 Position Purpose

The Social Marketing Communications Strategist implements social marketing and communications to increase visibility, foster participation, education, and discussion of OFPC’s initiatives, achievements and vision for change.

 Key responsibilities include:

  • Work with director and Communications Workgroup to develop and execute an online strategy to engage Oakland residents, including developing and managing viral social media campaigns, creating and implementing high-profile channel accounts, and integrating interactive media into overall policy advocacy strategy to creatively and proactively implement initiatives for enhanced following to drive growth and build potential partnerships.
  • Craft opinionated, stylish writing and frequently posting new content to various sources on the internet. including online communities, press releases, web articles and video blogs.
  • Establish and maintain social media accounts across new media channels daily.
  • Coordinate the marketing calendar with online activity, track social media influence by defining key performance indicators and implement enterprise level measurement, analytics, and reporting methods to gauge success, prepare brief reports to update Council Director and Communications Workgroup on usage statistics.
  • Assist in developing messaging, review and update ongoing OFPC messaging materials.

Required qualifications:

  • BA degree in a related field;
  • 3+ years experience in marketing/communications, ideally in the non-profit sector.  Familiarity with food justice a plus.
  • Excellent writing and communication skills; strong interpersonal and organizational skills.
  • Attention to detail and the ability to prioritize and execute multiple projects under demanding deadlines are essential.
  • Demonstrated ability to grow social media presence and successful social marketing campaign.
  • Experience in working with volunteers.
  • Experience in media and public relations (news releases, pitching the media and photographers).
  • Familiarity with Lunarpages and WordPress content management systems and communications and social media.
  • Demonstrated ability to use Microsoft Office applications, including Microsoft Word, Outlook, Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Working knowledge of design programs a plus.
  • Relate and communicate to all types of individuals in a respectful, non-judgmental, professional manner.

 If interested please provide resume, cover letter and written sample to Esperanza Pallana at epallana at oaklandfood dot org by March 17th 2014.