Hens for Houston

A movement to keep Houston current by allowing the raising of chicken hens on city lots

– Other ordinance changes to be disussed 3/11 and 3/12

Posted by cjkrebs on March 10, 2014

Information on the public session to discuss changes to the Animal Code… see message below.

Major changes to the chicken ordinance are not expected, as consensus on a city level could not be found. However, all interested parties have been invited to attend to discuss the changes that have been proposed.

Public Session – Tuesday, March 11

Council Vote – Wednesday, March 12.

We encourage those who have a stake in the issues addressed make their voices heard by following the instructions in the message below!

– Hens for Houston –

————————– From the City —————————

Thank you all so much for your valuable and continued input throughout the long stakeholder process. I truly understand how difficult it can be for you to take time out of your busy schedules to attend stakeholder meetings, committee meetings, and to keep in communication with us. For this I am very grateful.

I can honestly say that the final proposed changes to Chapter 6 are significantly better due in large part to the amount of stakeholder feedback we have received. ARA is now able to present changes to Council for approval that will go a long way towards addressing the myriad of animal-related issues facing the City of Houston in a targeted, appropriate, and effective way.

We are attempting to load our recommendations on the Council Agenda for next Wednesday, March 12th. Although stakeholders are encouraged to attend to watch the City Council vote, there will not be time for citizens to voice their opinions on that date. However, if you believe that our recommendations have merit and that our engagement process has been considerate and productive, please consider sharing your thoughts with City Council by either emailing or writing to them, or by attending Public Session next Tuesday, March 11th , at 2:00 pm. Any written correspondence needs to occur between now and Tuesday.

Here is the link to the City’s Council contact information web page:

http://www.houstontx.gov/council/index.html.

That page also includes instructions on how to attend Council Public Session as a speaker. If you sign in to speak, please mention that you wish to speak on Agenda Item 10-1.

I urge that a strong and wide communication on behalf of our (this is definitely not only BARC’s work) recommendations will ensure that the correct outcome is realized. While template emails are commonly employed, I believe that our Council Members appreciate concise, authentic messages more than receipt of voluminous and identical emails. However, I defer to your preferred communication method.

We are sending this email to everyone who has either provided an email address to us at stakeholder meetings or otherwise emailed us. We do not expect that this email will go to everyone that supports our collective work. Please feel free to forward this along to whomever you feel appropriate.

Although the proposed changes will greatly empower BARC to positively affect animal control outcomes in the City, more resources are also needed if BARC is to be able to respond to all the requests we receive. We have already constructed a detailed financial model that explicitly defines what resources are needed to improve BARC’s performance at different levels. While this is a separate issue, it still affects BARC’s performance as much as these ordinance changes will. If you are interested in more information on this topic, you can view the attached presentation which was presented to Council last week. The financial model itself will be posted to our website (http://www.houstontx.gov/barc/cac_municipal_code_overview.php). Channel 11 and the Houston Chronicle have also written about this issue:

http://www.khou.com/news/local/Animal-Control-Cant-Keep-Up-with-Citys-Stray-Dog-Crisis–248237181.html

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Houston-animal-control-seeks-3-4M-for-sea-5297151.php?cmpid=htx

Thanks,

Chris Newport

Chief of Staff

Administration & Regulatory Affairs Department

611 Walker, 13th Floor

Houston, Texas 77002

832-393-8503 (o), 713-818-8859 (c),

832-395-9505 (f)

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– Active volunteers needed!

Posted by cjkrebs on January 24, 2014

Do you really believe Houston should allow Hens?

We are looking for volunteers eager to take a proactive role reaching out to community groups, other volunteers, and city officials. Be the boots on the ground that gets the job done!

Send us an email today! There are plenty of ways to get involved. Without YOU, no change can happen 🙂

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– Tues. Jan 28 Subcommittee Mtg… send your comments TODAY

Posted by cjkrebs on January 24, 2014

BARC held a stakeholder meeting last night to discuss changes to the animal ordinance. It isn’t too late to send you support for hens to them today!

Email christopher.newport@houstontx.gov your thoughts.

Excerpt from the email from BARC:
The meeting will occur this Thursday evening, from 6 – 8 pm, in Room B1 at the Houston Permitting Center (the same building as two prior stakeholder meetings).  As with prior meetings,, we will attempt to live stream audio and video of the event via our website, www.houstonbarc.com.  A video archive of the meeting will be posted to our YouTube page (www.youtube.com/WeAreBARC), and anyone may view the previously archived meetings there as well. 

We are putting the final touches on our most recent draft version of the ordinance, and will announce when it is posted to our ordinance document webpage (http://www.houstontx.gov/barc/cac_municipal_code_overview.php) via Facebook (www.facebook.com/BARCHouston) and Twitter (@BARC_Houston).

 

We have attempted to include everyone that is interested in this email, but please feel free to forward to your networks.  Anyone that is interested is welcome to attend.

A subcommittee discussion may happen next Tuesday Jan 28, for those who wish to attend! More details as we get them.

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– Share your story for subcommittee

Posted by cjkrebs on November 26, 2013

chickenstory with textThe Mayor’s office has indicated that the hen permit may move to subcommittee this December (date TBA).

In the meantime, we are collecting YOUR STORIES why hens are important to you and your family.

We are also recruiting more readers for subcommittee who will help us share your voices. (Send us an email if you might be able to attend as a reader, speaker or audience member!)

So SHARE YOUR STORY why hens are important by emailing us or posting below, and our readers will share with City Council!

Please include your name and district (or address), also. Stories from other cities welcome as well!

Thank y’all for sharing!

hensforhouston@gmail.com

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– Mtg 11/10 at 6 pm

Posted by cjkrebs on November 6, 2013

Hens for Houston will have the last meeting of the year this Sunday Nov. 10 at 6 pm. We’ll meet at the Gingerman in Rice Village, and then walk over to the Istanbul Grill for dinner.

We’ll discuss how the runoffs affect HFH, and look to 2014 and rebooting discussions with BARC. Newcomers welcome!

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– Rooster ban proposed by BARC

Posted by cjkrebs on October 10, 2013

Hello Hens Supporters!

0.) Next meeting Sunday, November 10, 2 – 4 PM at the Ginger Man in Rice Village

1.) Barc’s Animal Ordinance

As some of you may have noticed, BARC recently introduced changes to the animal code for public review which did not include relaxing rules on hens. The only change that has been introduced regarding chickens is a ban on roosters.

What does this mean for Hens for Houston?

After election season we will work with our allies on Council to review and propose new relaxations on hens. We believe in this atmosphere we can re-initiate discussion without concerns about roosters.

What about the ban on roosters?
We encourage those who feel strongly about any part of the draft to express their opinion. The draft can be found at: http://www.houstontx.gov/barc/chapter6draft.pdf

To discuss changes, there will be a conference call with BARC on Tuesday, October 15 from noon to 1 pm, and hearing 6:30 to 8:30 PM at the Houston Permitting Center (HPC) 1002 Washington Avenue, Houston 77002. More info can be found by emailing christopher.newport@houstontx.gov

BARC Animal Shelter and Adoptions Seeking Input
on Recommended Ordinance Changes

Tuesday, October 15, 2013  

 

BARC Animal Shelter and Adoptions will hold a second stakeholder meeting on the recommended revisions to Chapter 6 of the Code of Ordinances concerning animal-related regulations in the City of Houston on Tuesday, October 15, 2013. The meeting will take place 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Houston Permitting Center (HPC) 1002 Washington Avenue, Houston 77002 in the basement training room B2. Please share this email with kennels, pet groomers and rescue organizations.  

 If you were not able to attend the first Chapter 6 stakeholder meeting on October 1, a video of the proceedings is available at www.YouTube.com/WeAreBARC.

 Some of the key recommended revisions to the current ordinance include changes to commercial pet service facility protocols such as the minimum distance requirement, additional protocols to reduce animal cruelty across the city and revised record-keeping procedures. Other changes are simply administrative. 

 To see a current draft of Chapter 6, which incorporates some of the changes suggested during the first stakeholders meeting, visit http://www.houstontx.gov/barc/chapter6draft.pdf. Note that items in the draft that are crossed out indicate language that is removed in the revised ordinance and items underlined are additions. 

 The PowerPoint presentation used during the first meeting, and a “Chapter 6 Revised Issue Action Report” is available on the “City Animal Codes and Laws” page at http://www.houstonbarc.com/

 Follow BARC at www.Facebook.com/BARCHouston to stay posted on the latest news regarding Chapter 6.

 If you are unable to attend the meeting but would like to participate in the conversation, we will hold a conference call to solicit feedback on the revisions on Tuesday, October 15 from noon to 1 p.m. Please dial into 866.574.2770. The conference code is 8685028007.

 By holding two in-person meetings and a conference call, BARC hopes to ensure that the changes reflect and promote the needs of animal-related businesses, pet owners and the public as a whole, especially as it relates to the well-being of animals and public safety.

 BARC plans to respond to questions and live tweet via Twitter (@BARC­_Houston) throughout the conference call and the in-person meeting (hashtag #Ch6BARC). You can view a live stream of the conference call and the in-person meeting at http://www.houstonbarc.com/. A video of the event will also be posted to www.YouTube.com/WeAreBARC by Thursday, October 17. 

Note that this is a different process from the one that has taken place over the past year regarding hens.

For any questions or to RSVP for the meeting, contact Christopher Newport at Christopher.Newport@houstontx.gov.


2.) Looking for an Events Coordinator!

Are you a chicken person AND a people person? We are looking for help (5 hrs/ month) of someone to manage and coordinate volunteers for outreach events!

Once or twice a month we participate in events across the city. It’s a fun way to increase visibility and share information about hens. The events coordinator would  help coordinate volunteers and work with the event organizers to determine what materials would be necessary – at most 5 hours a month.

In the past, we’ve organized booths at the Arboretum’s Earth Day, attended a variety of neighborhood festivals, the Girl Scouts 100th birthday party. No prior experience with people nor chickens is required, just a desire to help out and make new friends.

 

All the best,
Hens for Houston

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– Call Council

Posted by cjkrebs on September 7, 2013

WE NEED YOUR HELP TO CALL COUNCIL MEMBERS!

Since we will be speaking in front of City Council on Tuesday, it is important that ALL of these representatives hear from you this weekend. Leave voicemails – it will take less than 10 minutes.

Wanda Adams 832-393-3001  
Dave Martin 832-393-3008  
Stephen Costello 832-393-3014  
Ed Gonzalez  832-393-3003  
CO Bradford 832-393-3012  
Helena Brown 832-393-3010  
Andrew Burks 832-393-3013  
You can also find and call your own councilmember by dialing 713.837.0311 or go to http://www.houstontx.gov/council/whoismycm.html

Voicemail Message

“My name is ________ and I support Hens for Houston. It is very important for me that the draft changes to the hen ordinance be presented as planned in subcommittee this September. Please help support these changes that allow hens (not roosters). My number is ________.”

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– Next Mtg Sun. 7/21, 2-4 pm

Posted by cjkrebs on July 12, 2013

City Council meetings around the water cooler...

Next meeting Sunday, July 21st, 2-4 pm! Details on the mailing list!

We’ll update you on the council member meetings happening next week… we’re steadily working our way down the list!

If you have a moment, contact Al Hoang (District F — districtf@houstontx.gov) and Jack Christie (At Large 5 — atlarge5@houstontx.gov … he represents the entire city).

Tell them to support our ordinance… we’ll meet with them in-person next week!

redistricting-map051011

Find your district… know your representative!

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– Next mtg 6/16, 2-4 pm

Posted by cjkrebs on May 7, 2013

redistricting-map0510111. Our next meeting will be Sunday June 16th, 2- 4 pm, Location when you sign up for the mailing list! We started planning a summer event at the last meeting, we’ll be working out details, and updating you on our council member count at the city. Sign up through our mailing list for the latest details!
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2. We’re scheduling meetings this month with council members Ellen Cohen, Ed Gonzalez & Melisa Noriega. But they won’t meet with us unless they hear from their constituents… you!
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Ask them to schedule a meeting with Hens for Houston soon, so we can explain the BARC-HFH draft. We believe these council members to be supportive, so be respectful! You can also remind them that the Mayor herself is supportive.
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       Ellen Cohen – District C –  districtc@houstontx.gov  – 832.393.3004
       Ed Gonzalez – District H – districth@houstontx.gov – 832.393.3003
       Melissa Noriega – At-Large 3 – atlarge3@houstontx.gov  – 832.393.3005
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mycity
Everyone can email, but call only if you are in their district (everyone can call Noriega). If you are within Cohen or Gonzalez’s district (see attached map), stating such and/or including your address is very powerful.
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Thanks also to those who contacted their state representatives; the bill moved forward through the legislature, but isn’t as drastic as we feared… our work in Houston is still safe!

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– Public Session 4/16, Film 4/17

Posted by cjkrebs on April 13, 2013

Urban-Roots-FlierBig happenings next week! Public Session, a Film & our Next Meeting:

1) We’ll be back in front of City Council at Public Session this Tues. April 16 at 1:30 pm, presenting to city council the draft of changes to the hen ordinance.

We’ll also be inviting city council members to our next big event:

2. Wed. April 17, 7 pm. Rice Green Films Series. We’re co-hosting a donation-optional film showing about urban farming, plus Hens For Houston panel afterwards. Because what’s more sustainable and urban farming than keeping hens?
There will be free food, a free film, and excellent panel. The movie is called Urban Roots about urban farming and renewal in Detroit. We hope to see city officials there so come out and show your support!
6:30 pm – Doors open + free food + meet-a-chicken activities with Chickadoo-Suz
7 pm – Movie starts
8:30 pm – Panel begins
(Panelists include HFH leadership, BARC representative, urban hen owners, and of course a CHICKEN 🙂 )
The cinema is on the right just inside Gate 8 of Rice University off of Stockton and University. We look forward to seeing you there!

3) Our next meeting is Sunday April 21, 2-4 pm at Quality Feed on 4428 N Main. Don’t Miss IT! Should be lots of fun 🙂

Hope to see you at the film on Wednesday!

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