SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Legislation sponsored by state Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, that allows for the creation of local urban agricultural zones across communities in Illinois to help residents grow their own produce passed the Illinois House.

“Since my time as the executive director of Grow Greater Englewood, I have been fighting for urban agriculture initiatives help my neighbors learn to make and grow healthy foods,” said Harper. “There is not enough being done to help people in our communities live healthier lives, and this bill helps us finally do that.”

Harper’s House Bill 3418 would allow local governments and residents across Illinois to work together to create urban agricultural zones to combat food desert areas. Food deserts are defined as areas that lack access to healthy foods or where it is difficult to purchase them. These zones would empower residents by granting them the resources they need to grow their own healthy foods around the areas they live. The measure passed the Illinois House of Representatives and now moves to the Illinois Senate for consideration.

Harper also has a petition for residents to add their name urging Illinois legislators to quickly pass this measure. Interested residents should call Harper’s constituent services office at 773-925-6580 or email repsonyaharper@gmail.com to add their name to the petition.

“Many of the neighborhoods I represent on the South Side of Chicago have been food deserts for decades,” said Harper. “No one needs to suffer from a lack of access to buying healthy foods, and now we have a chance to finally end that.”

Harper represents the 6th District, which includes all or portions of Armour Square, Bridgeport, Chicago Lawn, Englewood, Gage Park, Back of the Yards, Canaryville, New City, West Englewood, and Marquette Park.

Rep Sonya HarperRep Sonya Harper

6th District

Visit Rep Harper’s website

Springfield Office:
276-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL   62706
(217) 782-5971
(217) 558-6370 FAX

District Office:
4926 South Ashland
Chicago, IL  60609
(773) 925-6580
(773) 925-6584 FAX