Some of our suggestions for moving forward with urban chickens at this point:
2. Education & awareness about general sustainability principles (i.e., letters to the editor, viral Facebook letters, etc.), with minimal or maybe even no mention of chickens (I have a letter brewing in my head right now)
3. Powerful, robust, irrefutable & clear data about the first 3 fears (disease, over-worked staff, bad apples). I think we had good facts about this stuff, but I have some ideas of how we can do it even better so that council members wouldn’t be able to throw out some random salmonella data or random work-load guesses, and have it hold weight to our data, for instance.
4. An expansion of our FAQ document into a booklet to include more data mentioned in #3, to include local pictures of families in the Fox Valley raising chickens, and to include more basic chicken info, such as how they survive in the winter, how one composts their waste. Don, who attends the monthly mtgs regularly, is a writer and has already approached me about taking the lead on this project, and I think it would be cool if some Lawrence students could help him, possibly even for internship or class credit.
5. Community visibility, maybe in a year or so, such as being out at Farmer’s Market passing out our booklet from #4, maybe a showing of Mad City Chickens movie at Appleton Library with some speakers to follow, etc.
6. Coops tours in neighboring communities for city staff and council members (and even inviting our most vocal detractors), once some of this other above stuff is done, which I think can address fear #4. Prejudice & fears are easy when one does not have first-hand experience with something. My sense is few of the council members have had first-hand experience with urban chickens, and even those who voted against would be willing to join us on a coop tour, and would probably have a fun time with it. We’d need to insure them the tours would be friendly. And, to my recollection, I don’t remember a single chicken detractor saying they had first-hand experience with urban coops. But I do remember a number of people saying they weren’t so sure at first, until they saw a urban coop in person and that swayed them.
7. Consider adding a few more passionate chicken supporters to our leadership team.
A few internet resources that I think could help us, both in details & in strategy: