Given the outcome of the Nov. 3 vote, supporters of backyard chickens in Tecumseh are disappointed but not discouraged. It's not uncommon for an initiative like this to fail on the first attempt, then succeed later on. For example, it took Grand Rapids, Mich. five years to pass its backyard chicken ordinance, which it finally did in 2015.
When we try again to legalize backyard chickens in Tecumseh - and we will - residents will be much more familiar with this issue. Based on valuable feedback we received from "no" voters, next time we'll be able to craft an ordinance that is more acceptable to a wider range of residents. This will lead to success in the longer term. Agents of change must always take the long view.
On that note, did you know that the last time an ordinance was proposed by the petition process in Tecumseh was in 1954? We made history just by getting on the ballot. This is a success.
Furthermore, we reached hundreds of people with our message about the benefits of backyard chickens, many of whom had never before considered these useful pets. This is a success.
We brought together a large group of people with diverse viewpoints to work together for a common goal. This is a success.
We also helped to vote out of office a staunchly anti-chicken city council member, and vote in a more openminded member with a background in sustainable agriculture. This may be our most significant success to date - but it will not be our last.
Thank you to each and every one of our supporters - those local residents who voted yes, and those out-of-town supporters who encouraged us along the way.