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PCFMA Said Political Outreach at The Farmers’ Market is OK

By Erica Madison

Two weeks ago, Protect the Point volunteers were banned from the Farmers’ Market for political protesting, but an Interview with Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association’s Assistant Director, Allen Moy reveals if certain guidelines are met, political outreach is allowed at the Farmers’ Market.

On Sept. 19th, Protect the Point volunteers were allowed to setup a table  at a Farmer’s Market on Webster and Haight. The volunteers passed-out flyers, in an attempt to drum up support against SunCal’s initiative to redevelop Alameda Point.

Unfortunately, Kathy Moehring, the Executive Director at the West Alameda Business Association, told the volunteers they had to leave, because they were being political. Ms. Moehring told the volunteers they couldn’t perform political outreach at the Farmers’ Market.

However, a representative of the Pacific Coast Farmers Market Association (PCFMA) said otherwise.

The PCFMA is a nonprofit organization, which hosts Farmers’ Markets in the San Francisco Bay Area. The organization also works to foster community in Farmers’ Markets, through community education on nutrition and local agriculture.

The West Alameda Business Association, first invited the PCFMA to hold a Farmers’ Market in 1991. Since then, the PCFMA has worked with the West Alameda Business Association, to host Farmers’ Markets.

According to PCFMA Assistant Director Allen Moy, in regards to the September 19th incedent the PCFMA has no problem with political outreach as long as supporters follow their guidelines.

“We understand that the Farmers’ Market is an attractive place for political outreach. Our goal is to work with the community.” said PCFMA Assistant Director Allen Moy.

According to Moy, the PCFMA has to make sure the volunteers work at a certain time.

“We have the right to control when the outreach happens. Our Farmers’ Market operates from 9:00am to 1:00pm.”

Moy said, the location is also important as well.

“We will provide a space for it to take place. It‘s important to choose a place not in the customer aisle, and not in front of a merchant’s stand. The PCFMA has a Free Speech Area,” said Moy.

“If community groups are in the free speech area, the PCFMA allows political outreach.

[Ed. note: Also see: “Farmers’ Market Misses the Point on Free Speech Area”]

2 comments to PCFMA Said Political Outreach at The Farmers’ Market is OK

  • It is really important to know the right location or a place for everything and anything that we are going to do.The market place is for for the vendors and the customers.

  • The folks handing out flyers at the market were assigned a space by the Market Manager. Then Kathy Moehring, one of SunCal’s “advisors” showed up and started yelling at them, one of whom is a senior citizen from Independence Plaza, saying the market doesn’t allow “political” speech – yet, evidently it does.