Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Let's Thank City Council This Thanksgiving!

4 Chesapeake Hens is launching a thank-you note campaign! As Thanksgiving approaches, let's write our City Council members short, heartfelt notes in gratitude for our freedom to have laying hens in our residential backyards. Personalized, handwritten notes are OK and even encouraged. Keep messages short but positive.

Printed note cards can be purchased inexpensively at discount stores or dollar stores. Send them individually to the Council members at their home addresses as printed on the City's website. Put cute pictures of your hens, your coop, your garden that is thriving with your chickens' help, your kids enjoying your chickens, etc., in the notes. Even better, enlist the family's help, and get the kids to write some of the notes, too. Be sure to put your return address on the note cards so Council can contact you if they have questions or want to follow up. I used the same return address stickers I put on the envelopes inside the note cards to save space, and then I wrote my phone number at the bottom of the sticker.

Act now! Remember, the "hen ordinance" will be on the City Council agenda on Tuesday, November 26. There is a sunset clause on the original ordinance, so Council must vote to keep the law so we can continue to keep our hens legally. Mark your calendars and plan to be there to support the cause. Numbers and visibility make a difference. The meeting starts at 6:30, but you will need to sign up in advance of the meeting if you plan to speak.

In case you're curious, I already wrote my notes to Council. They are ready to go in the mail tomorrow, along with pictures of my favorite pullet, Blue the Blue-Laced Red Wyandotte. It is a joy to be part of a movement that is preserving beautiful heritage breeds like hers.

Blue the Blue-Laced Red Wyandotte LOVES her home and wants to keep it!
Update: On November 26, 2013, Chesapeake City Council voted to make the "hen ordinance" permanent. The meeting may be viewed online:  fast forward to 1:19 to see some great pro-chicken speeches and the City Council's reaction.

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