Food Not Lawns Springfield officially embarked on its Backyard Chickens Campaign. I really want chickens myself, but really it's the number of people who would raise chickens if it were only legal that has kept me going on this. I'm not used to working within the system for change; more used to doing what I want to and low-profile. But we'll see if this whole grassroots organizing stuff works like it's supposed to.
On the FNL Yahoo group website ( http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/food ... dil/files/ ), there is a chicken fact sheet and a chicken petition. If you are interested in getting backyard chickens legalized in Springfield, Illinois, feel free to pass along the petition. I delivered letters to our city aldermen, telling them of our campaign, and asking what it will take on our parts to convince them to legalize chickens for egg production. We'll see if either of these tactics result in legalization of chickens.
Plenty of people in Springfield have chickens already. The legality depends on which city department you call. Animal Control says legal; Zoning says not (as well as "they enforce their laws and we enforce ours"). To get around zoning, you can apply for a conditional use permit, which costs several hundred dollars and a coupla trips to the city council meetings. I've been properly bitched out by one chicken owner who told me to hush up already.
A lot of people into food issues are going to do what to them feels morally right for themselves and their families, whether it's legal or not. And a lot of others are not going to bother to invest the time and money unless it is legal. I wish there was information online that went through how small organizations managed to pass chicken legislation. It would be some good how to facts.