Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Urban Chicken Advocate Running for Iowa City's City Council

It's been a while since I've written about urban chickens.  A small group of enthusiasts have been unsuccessfully advocating for a couple years to make it legal to raise chickens within the Iowa City city limits.  Since then, Cedar Rapids and a couple other nearby communities have allowed urban chickens.  Six months into this new world order, Cedar Rapids found that all of their fears about noise, nasty smells, runaway hens, and contagious diseases were pretty much non-existent.  Still, Iowa City's government continues to reject urban chickens.

But that might change with the addition of a new at-large candidate for the Iowa City City Council.  33-year-old Jerrett Mitchell has gotten tired of waiting and decided to put himself in the position to make urban chickens a reality for Iowa City:
(Mitchell) said his main campaign issue would be backyard, or urban, chickens, calling it a “simple issue of sustainability.” “You can feed chickens waste food, and they will produce food you can turn around and eat in the form of eggs,” Mitchell said... Mitchell said he’s also supportive of providing tax credits to promote rain gardens and he wants people his age to have a representative on the council. All of the current council members are older than 40... Mitchell is a Keokuk native who said he graduated from the University of Iowa in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in painting and drawing. He received a master’s degree in California and lived in San Francisco, Louisville, Ky. and Portland, Ore. (where he raised backyard chickens) before returning to Iowa City in November 2009. He operated an espresso stand before expanding it to a downtown coffee shop, Wake Up Iowa City, in July.
I haven't been able to find a campaign page for Mitchell, but I'm interested in learning more about his campaign.  If nothing else, he will add an interesting new perspective to the City Council.

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