There are many reasons to dislike Rahm Emmanuel but as Mayor of Chicago he has been incredible on sustainable food policy, particularly in schools. Erika Allen, head of the Chicago branch of the urban agriculture organization Growing Power, explained the importance of a new urban agriculture law to Chicago Business magazine:
It legitimizes urban agriculture as an enterprise or a business that hasn't been on the books before. Chicago always had farms within the city limits, but the new ordinance creates a space where we can begin to create economic opportunities within our communities, especially in areas where food deserts are a direct result of unemployment and little economic opportunity.
These policies are needed so we can legally operate urban farms and community gardens with parameters around where they can and can't be located. I've been in a leadership role in the Chicago Food Policy Advisory Council since 2001, and I can tell you that you don't know there are barriers to urban farming unless you're trying to operate a business where there's a need in the community.