Saturday, September 13, 2008

How You Can Help

Having yourself and your children (and your chickens!) in the paper sure is fun! I have had fun showing the article to co-workers, friends and family. I knew they would all be excited to see someone they know in the paper. What I wasn't prepared for was the response I've been getting from the content of the article.

I have been amazed by the support that has been given me in the last few days! Everyone I've talked to has told me they support the idea of chickens (hens only!) in the city. But those people I speak to face-to-face are my friends - they're supposed to support me! What has been amazing has been the support I've gotten from people I don't even know. People have visited my blog and posted comments in support of my fight to get the chicken code changed here in Gresham.

One comment on the last post "My Pets With a Purpose" got me thinking:

Lauren and Jeremy smith+(Cybil, Bazil and Manuel) said...
"We saw your article in the Oregonian and we were very upset by your situation. Chickens are NOT noisy animals and if cared for, as yours clearly are, they do not smell. Is there a petition that we can sign or some way we can help?"

Actually, there is a way everyone can help! If the City Council knows that there is support among the population and a desire to change the code, they will be more likely to act.

So, if you think the code should be changed to allow chickens, and my chickens should be allowed to come home, contact the Gresham City Council. You can do that one of three ways. You can mail a letter of support to:

Gresham City Council

1333 NW Eastman Parkway

, OR 97030

Or you can phone or email:
Connie Otto is the City Council Coordinator, tell her you want the City Council to know that there is support for this change. She will make sure they know about it.

Of course, if you would like to go even further and speak before the City Council, I'd love to have you. You can email me for information (or post a response to this post and it will show up in my email) or you can go to the City of Gresham website for the date and time of the next council meeting. You need to show up about five minutes early to fill out a quick form, give that form to the recording secretary, then just wait your turn. You have three minutes to speak - although it feels longer!

One thing I have to say about this whole experience is that it has given me new respect for our city government. I'm sure they are not perfect, but everyone I've spoken with has been so supportive, polite, responsive, and helpful. I am gaining a new knowledge about city government and a desire to become more involved. This experience has been very beneficial in that regard.

Thank you all for your support. I will keep posting updates here. Join me as we fight city hall!!



Betsy said...

Hey, Just wanted you to know that I'm sending you a I Heart Your Blog award... I love reading about the chicken saga! off to cook from my large basement pantry :).

thecitychicken said...

I saw the article about you and your fight in The Oregonian. I'm going to put the article on a page of my website ( for posterity and because a lot of other people in other cities in the U.S. email me and ask me how to fight city hall and I can point them to this article. ~~Katy

Lyndsay Godley said...

Hi, I've been reading your blog with interest; I'd like to have my property rezoned to allow for chickens (it is very rural, 4 acres, dirt road, no visible neighbours - but still zoned suburban! Yet you can have horses, go figure..) but I'd like to be prepared before I bring the issue up with city council.
I think there are a lot of us who want to do something, but don't know where to start - the presentation you made to your council would give people a sort of template for their own efforts. You've found great information, I'm sure, that is applicable anywhere, and other portions could be modified for specific regions.

I find it all very overwhelming, and I'm sure I'm not alone. Would you be willing to post your presentation?

Best of luck with your fight,
Lyndsay in Nova Scotia

Brooke Boles said...

Hi Jill,
I know it has been a year since your article in the Oregonian but I just read it today. I came across it looking for city codes regarding chickens. We are just about to close on a house here in Gresham and my lifelong dream to have chickens is getting closer everyday! I just didn't know, outside of contacting the city, if there was anything you needed in terms of trying to get the law changed? I will be pushing the 100 ft rule and think it is a bit excessive! Please let me know if I can help in anyway.


Brooke Boles said...

I also wanted to add that Connie Otto's email has changed the new one

Emrich's said...

Hi--I just sent an email to Connie letting her know that we moved from Gresham to Portland in part so that we could legally have chickens. We owned two homes in Gresham, so this ordinance is essentially running young families outta town! Time to change it and stop letting the curmudgeons control the future.


Kelliein WA said...

As a fellow chicken lover! YOU GO GIRL!