Bloomberg and Quinn announce a food-sourcing initiative, and Stringer says he was there first

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Organic vegetables. (wholefoodsmarket.com)
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Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who's running to succeed him, are unveiling a new effort to source government-contracted food locally. But Borough President Scott Stringer says he thought of the idea first.

This morning, the Wall Street Journal reported that today the mayor and the speaker are releasing new guidelines giving preference in city contracts to food grown in the region: "The guidelines apply to any contracts of $100,000 or more for food or catering. They allow for a 'price preference' for local food so long as the price falls within 10% of the lowest bidder."

Bloomberg recently told a room full of reporters that Quinn "would be a very good mayor."

But Stringer is also running in 2013, and his office expressed some irritation today that he was not receiving any credit for the idea. One of the tenets of Stringer's early 2010 FoodNYC plan was, to "incorporate preferences for locally-sourced food in New York City’s procurement rules." The report reads:

The New York State Council on Food Policy’s report to Governor Paterson, released in December 2009, recommends that bidders that source locally produced agricultural products should be given preference in the awarding of state contracts. The recommendation went further, stating that the preference should extend to bids that are up to 10 percent greater in price than the lowest bid. The New York City Council should adopt this recommendation for City procurement."

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Quinn's late-2010 FoodWorks plan also called for encouraging city procurement of local food, though a search of the document turns up no mention of that 10 percent number.

Today, Stringer's spokeswoman Audrey Gelman tweeted: "fun fact: @scottmstringer first recommended this in February 2010 in his FoodNYC report," and provided a link to the report.

"still waiting for an invite to the presser, though," she added. Then she sent out a statement to reporters: "Great to see the Mayor and City Council have advanced a proposal to implement locally-sourced food procurement preferences for city contracts. Borough President Scott Stringer originally put forward this recommendation in February 2010 as part of his FoodNYC report and is pleased to see forward movement on this issue today."

The mayor's office had no comment.