Quotes & Contacts


Press Contact: Matthew McHale, matthewmchale@outlook.com, (562) 754-8756
Alternative Contact: Vanessa Raditz, vraditz@gmail.com, (202) 510-6861

We want REAL Farmers Markets:

“Sprouts is not a farmers’ market. Using that name for a big-box supermarket is an insult to local farmers who are actually working to fix our broken food system.”
– Hank Herrera, New Hope Farms & Gill Tract Farm Coalition

“REAL farmers markets are part of the local food system that our community needs in order to thrive.  We don’t need any more big chain supermarkets like Sprouts that sell food grown and processed in distant places by anonymous growers and makers, and for a supply chain that pads the pockets of middlemen instead of farmers.  Instead what we need is REAL farmers markets with  food grown and produced locally in our own community by people who’s faces we can see and support. “
– Susan Parks, urban farmer and food justice community organizer

“We do not need another corporate supermarket giant that exploits its workers, especially not on public land. We need a real farmers’ market. As climate and food justice activists working to transition our food system away from industrial farming toward local sustainable agriculture, we stand with these workers fighting for fair wages, safe working conditions, and the respect they deserve. To fight for a just transition to the food system – and world – we know we need, workers need to build power in their workplaces and industry.“
– Brooke Anderson, Climate Workers, Movement Generation


The UC is endangering the public health of the community:

“Their failure to explore alternatives is a severe public health threat to the community. This area has long been known for its dangerous air pollution from the 580 and 80 freeways and the Pacific Steel Casting factory, which has led to high levels of asthma in the community. The EIR highlights that the proposed development would be bringing in 6,500 new cars per day on Monroe Street, right next to the village day care center, the little league fields, and Oceanview Elementary School. The EIR even states clearly that these traffic impacts cannot be mitigated. The only solution is a smaller project or none at all.”
– Vanessa Raditz, Master of Public Health Candidate, UC Berkeley

“If you have multiple alternatives that meet the objectives of the project, then you are required to choose the one that has a smaller environmental impact, unless it is does not meet the project goals, or is economically unfeasible. The City’s EIR not include required data on the impact of these alternatives.“
– Dan Siegel, Civil Rights Lawyer

“I have been involved in the EIR process since the beginning scoping meeting in 2007. For years, community members have consistently spoken up at planning and zoning and city council meetings, saying that if there is to be building on the land at all, we want a less environmentally impactful, alternative, local grocery. The city found there were overriding considerations that allowed them to adopt the proposed project despite traffic and noise pollution impacts that could not be mitigated. The city did not follow the CEQA law in rejecting the alternatives to the project. I hope that the court will see that.”
–  Ed Fields, local Albany resident

“As a student parent living the University Village next to this development, I want my son to be able to grow up in a healthier environment, and I am upset that my University would not consider community desires for a less polluting option for this land. The are putting profit above student and community well being.”
– Suzanne Klein, UC Berkeley student, University Village resident


Students and community are holding our land grant public university accountable for pursuing education and research for the public good:

“Preserving the Gill Tract as a productive farm is consistent with public policy and the public interest.  Such preservation would also honor the history of the Gill Tract, which has housed researchers who, since the 1940s, conducted research on biological pest control, protecting California agriculture from exotic pests without the use of chemical pesticides.”
– Miguel Altieri, 2012, UC Professor of Agroecology and researcher at the Gill Tract for over 30 years

“We are at a critical juncture, at which we either value food justice, hands-on education, and student voices, or pave over our mission as a land grant university along with the Gill Tract, favoring corporate interests and UC privatization.”
– Haley Broder, UCB student Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC) Senator

“Our university must be held accountable to the promises it makes, and it has an obligation to represent the interests of its students as a public land grant university. That means entering into an inclusive discussion about the future of the Gill Tract, land overflowing with potential as a center for urban agriculture and feeding the community.”
– Camille Fassett, UCB student and SEAL member

“As a public university the UC has a responsibility to be accountable to students, the community, and the greater public. The Gill Tract is a rare piece of farmland that presents a rare opportunity for learning. Students are asking for the opportunity to learn, to grow food and grow in learning. We don’t need another supermarket in an already congested urban area. Farmland is for farming.”
– Katt Hoban, UCB Alum, Community Member

“This is much bigger than us. We have the honor of continuing a struggle led by the community for years. It is our duty to use our positions of privilege as students of this public institution to push for an engaging dialogue with the administration.”
– Dea Oganesian, UCB student

“The UC wants the public to believe that Gill Tract is an empty lot, useless land, and that they have freedom to use it any way that they want.  We don’t see it that way.  We see the UC as holding a sacred trust on behalf of the people of California in perpetuity.  We know that the Gill family sold that land to the UC for agriculture and agricultural research.  Any other use is a violation of the trust invested by the Legislature in the Regents.  It is wrong and we struggle to make it right.”
– Hank Herrera, Food Justice organizer