I heard it on the street, and I really think you should know about it also.

  1. Chickens: Did you know the Red Wing City Council is considering allowing backyard chicken within the city limits? The Sustainability Commission previously provided its recommendations on amending the city code to allow urban or backyard chickens in certain residential zoning districts. The Advisory Planning Commission has been discussing the topic for months and still have a lot of unanswered questions but will continue to pursue answers but is requesting input from the community (policing, butchering, chicken abandonment, salmonella, the stench, quantity, are just a few unanswered questions).

  2. Ranked-choice voting: Elected officials have suspended their quest to change how we presently vote in Red Wing (one-vote for one candidate) as they are hoping proposed legislation HF983 will change the law. HF983, sponsored by Rep. Steve Elkins, DFL-Bloomington, would authorize local jurisdictions to use ranked-choice voting — also known as instant-runoff voting — in elections. Already, cities like Minneapolis (since 2009), St. Paul (since 2011) and St. Louis Park (since 2019) use ranked-choice voting to elect local officials, via amendments to their respective city charters. The change in the law would apply to cities, counties, towns and school districts, allowing those units of government to enact the change to ranked-choice.

  3. Non-residents serving on our boards and commissions: Do you want non-residents representing you on Red Wing's boards and commissions? The City Council requested the Charter Commission to amend the City Charter Chapter 2 Section 2.04 to change the parameters to allow non-resident members to serve on the City of Red Wing boards and commissions.

  4. Conversion therapy: The Human Rights Commission will be discussing a “conversion therapy” ban in the city of Red Wing. Conversion therapy is an attempt to change a person's sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Because the practice has come under increasing scrutiny and is considered child abuse by the LGBTQ community. The city of Minneapolis has banned conversion therapy for minors. Presently my research has found similar bans exist in 18 states and about 53 cities. The conflict is when the state takes away choices from the parents and the medical team. This ban could lead to more significant legal restrictions on parents' ability to make medical decisions for their own children.

Has your council member reached out to you "We The People" to seek direction and guidance on any of the above topics?

Shelley Pohlman

Red Wing