Archive for September, 2019

Joint Statement Opposing Proposed Chicago Livestock Ordinance and Call to Action


If you’re a Chicago resident, please read the following statement and take action using the template and call script below. You can also download this information: Livestock-Joint-Statement-9.26.19-1.

Joint Statement Opposing Proposed Chicago Livestock Ordinance
(O2019-7576)
September 26, 2019

Right now, Aldermen Lopez (15th ward) and Napolitano (41st ward) are pushing an ordinance to severely limit livestock in your backyards and neighborhood farms. This ordinance – introduced without meaningful community input – hinders the ability of Chicago residents and urban farmers to grow and raise their own food through fees, fines, and unnecessary burdensome regulations. This ordinance also puts animal welfare organizations at risk for caring for abused animals, if they shelter roosters or exceed the limit on livestock. Together as urban agriculture and animal welfare advocates, we oppose the Chicago Livestock Ordinance, O2019-7576. Join us in contacting your Alderman, as well as Ald. Lopez and Ald. Napolitano, to oppose this ordinance.

Current regulations protect Chicagoans’ right to raise backyard livestock and practice urban farming that is humane to animals and respectful of neighbors. Existing City of Chicago ordinances already address the potential public health, nuisance, and animal welfare concerns related to raising small farmed animals. The ordinance will create unnecessary regulation by banning roosters, capping the total number of fowl at six and other livestock at two, only allowing single-family or two-flat residences to keep livestock, and levying fines up to $500 per day for permit violations – all without
consideration for lot size.

If enacted, this ordinance will threaten the ability of many of our city’s residents and urban farmers to raise their own food and put them at financial risk with costly fees and fines. I n addition, the ordinance infringes on the rights of residents by unduly limiting what animals they can keep. These animals are critical community members, offer hands-on ways to learn about ecology and food (in homes, schools and daycare centers), and provide organic pest control and fertilizer, companionship, and other environmental benefits.

We have worked together for years to create a supportive system for Chicago’s thriving home and community gardens, urban farms, and livestock keeping. These activities are critical to healthy food access, ecological health, and workforce development in our city.

Community education and networking is often more effective than blanket regulation to prevent and solve potential problems. We look forward to collaborating with the Lightfoot administration on our major priorities, including equitable land access, affordable water access, ecological resilience, stronger animal protections, and clear business licensing for urban farms.

Please contact your Alderman today to oppose the proposed ordinance O2019-7576.

Please use the letter below as a template and tell your Alderman to VOTE NO on these proposed changes and to support community-developed urban agriculture and animal welfare solutions.

Signed,
Advocates for Urban Agriculture
Chicago Animal Save
Chicago Food Policy Action Council
Chicago Roo Crew
Chicagoland Chicken Enthusiasts
Home to Roost
Illinois Environmental Council
Urban Growers Collective

As of 9/26/19
TAKE ACTION: Tell Your Alderman to Oppose Ordinance O2019-7576

Help us track the citywide opposition by filling out this brief form after your interaction

FIND YOUR WARD AND ALDERMAN BY STREET ADDRESS

Call Script:
Hello, my name is __________, and I am a resident of the ____ ward. I’m calling to ask that you oppose ordinance O2019-7576, introduced by Aldermen Lopez and Napolitano. This ordinance, introduced without meaningful community input, burdens residents who keep roosters, chickens and other livestock with fees, fines, and unnecessary regulations. I urge my alderman to vote no on this ordinance and to support community-led urban agriculture and animal welfare solutions. Thank you very much.

FIND YOUR ALDERMAN’S EMAIL ADDRESS
Email Script:
Dear Alderman _________,
My name is __________ and I am a resident of the ____ ward. I am writing to ask that you oppose ordinance O2019-7576, introduced by Aldermen Lopez and Napolitano. This ordinance, introduced without meaningful community input, hinders the ability of Chicago residents and urban farmers to grow and raise their own food through fees, fines, and unnecessary burdensome regulations. This ordinance also puts animal welfare organizations at risk for caring for abused animals, if they shelter roosters or exceed the limit on livestock.
Current regulations protect Chicagoans’ right to raise backyard livestock and practice urban farming that is humane to animals and respectful of neighbors. Existing City of Chicago ordinances already address the potential public health, nuisance, and animal welfare concerns related to raising small farm animals.
There are better ways to address concerns around the treatment of these animals, as well as the communities that keep them. I respectfully request that you oppose the proposed legislation and meet with members of the animal rescue and urban farming community to consider alternatives to this regulation.

Sincerely,
_____________

TAKE ACTION: Contact Aldermen Lopez and Napolitano to Express Your Opposition
Alderman Raymond A. Lopez (15th)
Ward Office: (773) 823-1539
City Hall: (312) 744-4321
Email: Ward15@cityofchicago.org
Alderman Anthony V. Napolitano (41st)
Ward Office: (773) 631-2241
City Hall: (312) 744-3942
Email: Ward41@cityofchicago.org

Additional Ordinance Details:
The proposed ordinance (O2019-7576) would amend Municipal Code Titles 4 and 7 to regulate backyard livestock, roosters and urban farms. It outlines the following:
● Require those possessing fowl or livestock to obtain a “livestock permit” from the Commissioner of Health for $25 per animal, which must be renewed annually.
● Applies only to single-family home or two-flats. All other residential properties would be BANNED from obtaining a permit.
● Cap the total number of fowl at 6 and other livestock at 2, regardless of the size of the livestock and of the property where they would reside.
● Require anyone applying for a permit to contact all residents within 500 feet of their property line to inform them of the proposed keeping of fowl or livestock. If 51% or more of those contacted object, the City must not issue the permit,
regardless of reason for objections.
● Levy fines of up to $500 for each animal every day until the animals were removed. This would apply to anyone in violation of this ordinance, even those operating within the law before its adoption.
● Ban roosters within the city, even though existing nuisance ordinances are more than adequate in addressing any sound or nuisance complaint a rooster may cause.
● Require those selling any products from livestock or fowl (i.e. eggs, milk, butter, etc.) to obtain an “Urban Farm” business license. Currently, no clear urban farm business license exists within the City of Chicago.
● Require the Commissioner of Health to immediately notify the appropriate alderman when an urban farm license is requested in his or her ward.

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New Chicago Ordinance Proposed to Affect Chickens: What to Do


For anyone asking what to do about the new proposed ordinance going before the Committee on License and Consumer Protection:

READ the proposed ordinance and Alderman Lopez’s summary post:

Then:

Contact your alderman, whether on the License committee or not. To find your ward and alderman, use this link.

  • Encourage them to go on the Coop Tour this weekend!
  • Explain your reaction to the proposed ordinance as a responsible chicken/livestock keeper.
  • Inform them about backyard chickens and other livestock, and how you manage yours to prevent problems they may have heard about.
  • Invite them to meet you and your animals – assuming you have a good example to show them – if not, work on that! So important!

We encourage people to build relationships with their Alder and Ward staff ahead of urgent issues – so they know you and can go to you for more info. Be among the people they are glad are in the ward making it a better place to live.

 

Windy City Coop Tour! Sept 21-22, 2019


Chicagoland Chicken Enthusiasts Presents

The 9th Annual Windy City Coop Tour 

Chicago, IL Sept. 9, 2019  The Windy City Coop Tour is back for its 9th year showcasing backyard poultry, eco-yards and urban livestock across Chicago! During this self-guided tour, hosts open their yards to visitors and share their experience keeping backyard livestock in an urban setting. The Windy City Coop Tour provides access to local examples of the broader nation-wide movement toward sustainable yards.

Cost: Free and open to the public!

When: Saturday September 21 10:00AM-1:00PM and 1:00-4:00PM
            Sunday September 22 10:00AM-1:00PM and 1:00-4:00PM.
Where: Windy City Coop Tour 2019 Map

How: To choose your itinerary, see: 2019 Tour Site Info for Visitors

 What can Visitors do on the Tour?

  • Visit any of 22 diverse locations spanning 17 of Chicago’s 50 wards. 
  • Learn about gardening, composting, permaculture, and rainwater harvesting as part of sustainable urban lifestyles. 
  • Bust common myths and misconceptions about urban livestock.
  • See a coop made from a backyard playset in Norwood Park.
  • Feed some goats at GlennArt Farm.
  • Learn about beekeeping in Edgewater.
  • Find out what a “chicken tractor” is in Douglas Park.
  • Discover hugelkultur in Bronzeville.

 

Why Hosts are Part of the Windy City Coop Tour

“We want to foster and support a healthy ecosystem in our backyard.”  – The Silvestros, Bronzeville

“We have a lot of great information to share! We are proud of our homemade set-up that has grown each year and hope to share our knowledge with others.” – Michael Marchi, Old Irving Park

“We look forward to hosting the Tour because we first went on the Tour before we even owned a home, and it’s fun to show others what can be done!” – The Vallartas, Galewood

“We are dedicated to the restoration of community on the West Side of Chicago. Having chickens and goats serves as an attraction and an education base.” -Carolyn Ioder, Austin

We love sharing our experience of a life of having chickens in the city. Our chickens are more popular in our neighborhood than we are!” – Chris Koster, East Douglas Park

Many sites are wheelchair accessible, and Tour hosts speak one or more of four languages. For details, visit www.ChicagoChickens.org.

The Windy City Coop Tour is organized by Chicagoland Chicken Enthusiasts, a network of local poultry keepers and their allies moderated by Angelic Organics Learning Center. This press release is published on the web as 2019 Windy City Coop Tour PR.

Chickens at BarrieFest, Sept. 7


Come out for BarrieFest! Lots of fun, family-friendly activities, including Home to Roost and chickens!

  • Bounce house & obstacle course for all ages
  • Climbing wall
  • Legacy Sports multi-sport madness
  • Food from Carnivore and Knockout Cafe
  • Live music
  • Fire truck visit
  • Oak Park Library
  • Organization & business fair
  • Bike registration by Oak Park Police

Stop by between 12 and 5, Barrie Park at 1011 S Lombard Ave in Oak Park!