Mary Lou Burke – Candidate for City Council

Mary Lou Burke



Mary Lou Burke is a high-school Latin teacher. After earning a B.A. Summa Cum Laude in Latin from the University of Vermont, she received fellowships towards an M.A. in Classics at Tufts University and an M.S.A. in Educational Leadership from East Carolina University.

She is a strong advocate for protecting Chesapeake farmers and successfully led an effort to change city code to allow for backyard hens. Mary Lou started the Facebook group 4 Chesapeake Hens and she continues to share her knowledge and education with the public on both chickens and organic gardening. Her husband and dance partner, Don Burke, is a retired Navy submariner who works as a locksmith and roadside service technician.

Mary Lou Burke in the News

Chesapeake panel won’t go for chickens – The Virginian Pilot – October 11, 2012

“If Andy Schneider, the nationally known Chicken Whisperer, can persuade Brooklyn hipsters to jump on the backyard hen trend, Mary Lou Burke thought she could at least persuade the Chesapeake Planning Commission.

Burke could be the city’s Hen Heroine. She and a group called 4 Chesapeake Hens have spent months developing a choreographed plan to persuade the city to allow backyard hens, something that’s allowed in residential estate and agricultural districts, but not in typical subdivisions.”  Read the full article on the Virginia Pilot

Chesapeake gives OK to backyard chickens – The Virginian Pilot – November 21, 2012

“The group’s calculated and persistent actions won over the council in a 6-3 vote. Vice Mayor John de Triquet, and council members Debbie Ritter and Rick West voted against the measure. Ritter and de Triquet said people move into their communities with certain expectations and the code change could negatively affect neighborhoods. Ritter said she did not think the idea could be publicly accepted yet.”  Read the full article on The Virginian Pilot.

Chicken Keeping 101 – The Virginian Pilot  – August 9, 2013

“There is huge interest in backyard hens as a whole. There are nearly 900 members of the 4 Chesapeake Hens Facebook group, which is now working to gather public support to ensure they can continue to have backyard hens; last November’s City Council vote came with a provision to review the code change in one year to decide whether to make it permanent, according to Mary Lou Burke, who spearheaded the chicken campaign.”  Read the full article on The Virginian Pilot.

Paid for and Authorized by Friends of Mary Lou Burke