Today, we urge you to invest five minutes to contact your elected officials (Alder, Mayor, County Supervisor etc) and directly request their public support for this project.
Sample letter for individuals
Below is some optional language you are welcome to use. However, it would be most effective to include a sentence or two about why you personally support this project.
I urge you to publicly support the Save the Farm project, acknowledge its potential benefits, and vote on any resolutions or policies within your jurisdiction that help serve the success of this project’s progress, mission, and core values.
As of today, the Save the Farm project has gained the support of nearly 500 individual community members, more than $25,000 in GoFundMe donations, and over $1.2 million in pledges toward a potential investment cooperative to purchase the Voit Farm and carry out the mission of Save the Farm.
We also have:
1) The support of local organizations such as 350 Madison Climate Action Team, Friends of Starkweather Creek, EVP Coffee, and Groundswell, and many more.
2) Interest from Dane County and City of Madison staff, and
3) Vendors who are willing to gift fully or slash their hourly rates by half to contribute expertise to the project because they believe in its core values.
Even if we could write a check today and secure a land purchase contract to acquire Voit Farm, this project would still need (and want) political support to be a reality. The project concept fulfills or helps fulfill affordable housing and climate goals already laid out by the City of Madison. It helps fulfill stormwater, water quality, and floodwater mitigation goals declared by the County. And it serves the entire community in many ways, while deliberately focusing on building equity and opportunity for BIPOC, economically marginalized individuals, and small business owners.
Sample letter for organizations
And see our FAQ for other ways your organization can support Save The Farm.
TO: Send to alders, county supervisors, mayor, county exec.
SUBJECT: SUPPORT FOR SAVE THE FARM (Voit property) Proposal
The ___________________________ is extremely supportive of the Save the Farm proposal, and very strongly encourages city and county financial support, for the following reasons:
1. The Voit Farm property includes unique attributes which would not be well utilized in a standard subdivision development. The Save the Farm project capitalizes on all 3 facets of the property, in proposing restoration/conservation of the existing wetland/green-space, use of current farmland for an urban farm/CSA, and an excellent mix of affordable housing and commercial structures on buildable land adjacent to Milwaukee St.
2. Protecting the wetlands and enhancing the green-space buffer between housing and Starkweather Creek, including conversion of mono-culture farmland into an organic farm, will help reduce flooding and help with water quality issues the city and county must address. In addition, the green-space would provide community-wide access to nature, with walking and biking trails and education opportunities, including acknowledgment of the Native American tribes who were the original inhabitants and care-takers of this land.
3. Save the Farm has proposed a wide variety of housing types, from SRO structures, to tiny houses to coops to condos. This variety would provide options to meet a diverse set of needs, providing very low cost entry level housing for the most marginalized members of our community, while also offering privately owned residences which would be made available to BIPOC to facilitate home-ownership and accumulation of generational wealth.
4. The proposed urban organic farm would make low cost healthful food available to residents and would also provide revenue through its CSA to support job training and incubator help for low-income startup organic farmers. Production of value-added food products such as spices might also be considered.
5. Recognizing climate change and other environmental issues, the proposed housing would utilize extremely high energy efficiency and net-zero carbon building design and on-site solar energy supply. It also calls for an on-site bio-digester which would process the organic waste of the residents and organic garden to provide heat, cooling, and organic fertilizer in an environmentally friendly way.
6. Finally, the Save the Farm features a neighborhood design with a smaller footprint and fewer roads than a typical car-centric subdivision, with plans to facilitate electric-car sharing and biiking. This is beneficial both environmentally and health-wise, and also reduces the amount of earth to be paved over, improving permeability on the land.
We support this plan and ask the city and county to do the same. Traditional neighborhood design has contributed to our serious environmental problems. Now is the time and Voit farm is the place for exploring new ways of creating community, farming, and respecting the land. An extraordinary 65 acre parcel in the middle of Madison provides the opportunity for Madison and Dane County to demonstrate your commitment to creatively dealing with today’s problems. Your financial support is critical to making this happen.