As part of my fight for my chickens, on Tuesday night I spoke in front of our city council. I had already spoken to several of the councilors but I needed to speak to the whole council (including the mayor) to publicly introduce my idea to change the code regarding chickens.
Let me just say that I love to speak in front of people. Really. I do not have that "fear of public speaking" phobia that something like 90% of the population has. I was a theater major for awhile in college. I teach a class to 60 adults every Sunday.
I really like speaking in public.
And I was scared! Really scared!!
This was a very formal setting: microphones, audience, TV cameras, flashing timer lights, all six councilors and the mayor looking at me. I was shaking and couldn't sit still in my chair. I read my statement (I much prefer to speak without notes but people had encouraged me to read it because they are very strict about time limits - I had 3 minutes), I got lost a couple of times but managed to recover quickly.
My points were simple: chickens are ecologically sound, they (and their eggs) are good for our health, having chickens and their cheap eggs is financially beneficial, and other cities in our area allow them so we would simply be bringing our city in line with everyone else.
Turns out I am the talk of Town Hall. Even before I spoke, I was approached by several people (some who I recognized, some not) who joked about how I should have brought a chicken for "show and tell." The lady at the recording secretary's desk who knew I was the "chicken lady." I guess this is good, because the more people who hear about it, the more likely it will happen. On that note, I was interviewed by a very nice reporter from The Oregonian today. She is doing a very thorough job - she's even going to interview my neighbor who called on my chickens because he was mad about my cat! He isn't aware I'm trying to change the code, that should be an interesting interview!!
While I was very nervous as I spoke and the whole experience was stressful, I'd do it again if it would bring my chickens home.