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Kelsey Ripper

2013, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Kelsey Ripper

Kelsey Ripper

Name of Host Organization: Lawyers Alliance for New York
City, State: New York, New York
Issue area: Community Economic Development/Microfinance and Related Transactional Legal Projects
Sponsors: Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP

The Project

Kelsey provided comprehensive legal services to enable disadvantaged New York City communities to develop urban agriculture as a source of affordable fresh food and a means for economic development.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project
Low-income New Yorkers, especially those in communities of color, face serious health and environmental problems. Three million New Yorkers lack access to affordable and nutritious food, prompting residents to purchase unhealthy alternatives, which compounds obesity and malnutrition. Urban farms help alleviate these problems by generating fresh, healthy food right where it is most needed. Groups throughout New York’s low-income communities express an urgent need to start developing such ventures as soon as possible. They are stymied by lack of affordable, sophisticated legal assistance. They need lawyers to obtain essential rooftop and land leases and permits; to negotiate financing; to navigate complex, multi-agency regulatory environments; and to structure legal entities appropriate for urban food production and cooperative distribution networks.