Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by LindaN, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. LindaN

    LindaN Songster

    Jul 28, 2007
    I've previously posted about the proposed BAN on keeping chickens in residential neighborhoods in Chicago. My last update was a hopeful one that I would have a bit of time to work out a plan and to petition the city to drop this proposal.

    Well, I was wrong.

    The city apparently can move pretty fast when it wants. Who'd have known that they can schedule and announce a public meeting -- my only opportunity to address the committee -- 3 business days in advance?

    The Committe on Health met this morning, heard the complaints about chickens from ONE person, and recommended that the amended ordinance be put to the vote at the next full City Council meeting on December 12, 2007.

    I heard about the meeting late this morning from a reporter. (The same one who posted to this forum seeking Chicago chicken owners for a story). She had just returned from the meeting and said she had only learned about it while checking the city's website last night.

    I'm very angry about the process and worried about this being on the next Council agenda. I'm sure this issue doesn't even register on the radar of many alderman and I have very little time to educate them.


    Stacey (SeaChick) from SoPo Chickens has given me permission to lift stuff off her website, and I'd highly recommend you do just that when you message your alderman.

    I'll post more resources and info later. Just wanted to pass this on right away!
  2. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    How crappy!

    I thought they needed to give folks notice for the that they could attend them...
    So much for representative government. pfft.
  3. GrayRoo

    GrayRoo Chirping

    Oct 31, 2007
    Tucson, Arizona
    This is terrible. [​IMG] How can they even consider?

    This is the link to the list of Wards and representatives for those in Chicago.
  4. LindaN

    LindaN Songster

    Jul 28, 2007
    Here's what I sent my alderman, Patrick Levar, tonight. You may feel free to edit this to send to your alderman.

    Alderman Levar,

    Concerning proposed amendment to ordinance 7-12-387 extending the ban on raising pigeons in residential areas to include chickens, I live in the 45th Ward and I’d like to continue raising a few hens as pets and for fresh eggs. The proposed amendment would make this illegal.

    The City of Chicago would be taking a giant step backwards from other progressive cities
    in North America if this proposal is passed by the City Council. In recent years, as issues of Green living, eating locally grown foods, recycling, and food security have gained popularity, cities and towns all over America have been relaxing their chicken laws to encourage carefully tended, backyard pet hens for fresh eggs. Media stories on raising chickens in urban settings have been increasing, including a recent story on National Public Radio about raising chickens in the New York City borough of Brooklyn.

    The amendment proposes to address filth and animal slaughter in residential areas, issues that are already covered by city ordinance 7-12-300 , which bans the possession of any animal for purposes of slaughter. Numerous other ordinances already address public nuisance. If enforced, these existing ordinances more than adequately address the concerns of the proposed amendment. Chicagoans who comply with existing ordinances keep chickens in safe and clean habitats and deserve to own and care for these animals.

    Pet hens are calm, docile, and affectionate pets. They come when called, eat from their owner’s hands, like to be held, are quieter than dogs, and don’t smell. Chicken droppings make amazing compost for the garden and they eat kitchen scraps, helping to reduce food waste that attracts rats or goes in landfills. Keeping pet chickens is fun, educational, healthy, and environmentally sound.

    I strongly encourage you to oppose the proposed amendment, and support Chicagoans’ efforts to live natural, cleaner, more environmentally friendly lives.

    Linda Nxxx
  5. LindaN

    LindaN Songster

    Jul 28, 2007
    The news looks pretty grim this morning for chicken owners in Chicago.

    Yesterday, our local National Public Radio affiliate, WBEZ, filed a story on the city's Committee on Health meeting that included the statements recorded at the meeting.

    There is also a story in this morning's Chicago Tribune that makes the situation sound quite grim.

    I keep see-sawing between being angry and being sad. This is NOT the way my city is supposed to work. It's not right that they can schedule a meeting so quickly; I was not given the opportunity to voice my opinion.

    I spoke with a fellow chicken-owner in Chicago who still hopeful that the ordinance will be amended yet again before it is voted on at the next council meeting, and that we may get a chance to address the full council. I hate to be so pessimistic, but I think he is wrong.
  6. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

    Sep 20, 2007
    Northeast Texas
    Is there any way you could fight it based on the issue of notice? There was not a formal notice of the meeting?

    It sounds to me like they're trying to quickly band-aid an issue, and it won't work. Getting rid of chickens will not decrease the rat population they are so concerned about. And what is with the chickens and roosters statement? Roosters are chickens, last I heard... [​IMG]

    Your letter was good, for your sake I hope that others of like mind follow suit and voice their good opinions as well. Chickens are always getting a bad rap because of individuals who won't properly take care of them in the city.
  7. LindaN

    LindaN Songster

    Jul 28, 2007
    Hooray for city chickens!

    A reporter for Chicago Tonight visited with me, Maisy, Betty and Selma today. The report that aired on TV tonight was quite flattering, although the girls weren't looking their best since it was a cold, rainy day. (Soggy plummage just isn't as impressive, you know.)

    I don't think they post video excerpts on their website as a general rule, but it may be possible to view something.

    I hope this helps our case in the city!
  8. naturemom

    naturemom Songster

    May 28, 2007
    northern IL
    My FIL was watching and called me in to watch when he saw your chickens. You sounded way more knowledgeable than the alderman they interviewed. It makes me so mad that they are making this decision based on fear and ignorance.
  9. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    The city of Chicago does as it wants. Remember when Mayor Daly wanted to make a park out of Meigs Field? He sent city crews with bulldozers to carve up the runway in the wee hours of the morning. No notice at all was given to the FAA, aircraft owners, or airport businesses. The runway was destroyed at the word of the mayor without any notice to anybody...

  10. LindaN

    LindaN Songster

    Jul 28, 2007
    We sent a letter to the Chicago Tribune editorial page and it's appearing on their website tonight. I hope this means it will be in the print edition tomorrow, as it didn't show up today.

    I'm not sleeping well and I'm getting weepy. We'll be out of town next week on vacation, and I'm wishing that we weren't going at this point. I feel like I'll be losing a week in the battle to keep my hens, but it's too late to change the reservations without losing money.

    I wish my alderman would call me back! I think the best approach at this point is to get at least 2 alderman to request that this be deferred and posted for comment. That will keep it from being voted on during the December 12 meeting and give us pro-hen folks time to educate the city council on the issues.

    If you live in Chicago and haven't yet written or called your alderman, please do so this week.

    If you don't live in Chicago, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

    (mac in abilene...yes, I do remember that shocking approach to the Meigs Field debate. Chicago politics definitely make it an interesting place to live!)
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2007

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