Local government can get jargon-y, confusing and sometimes outright weird. That's where Madsplainers comes in.

Three reporters — Erik Lorenzsonn, Abby Becker, and Lisa Speckhard Pasque — are teaming up on a new Cap Times podcast to break down the processes, people and ideas that make cities tick. They'll be answering questions like, what is a TIF District? How does a regional transit authority work? What precisely is into a city budget, and what does it take for one of those things to get passed in the first place? 

And of course, the looming question tackled on this first episode: Will the city try to stop you if you decide to keep chickens in your yard?

On this pilot episode, the team takes on the topic of zoning: How it works, why cities do it, the reasons it often raises hackles, and why Madison zoning is, in fact, quite friendly to beekeepers and chicken-raisers alike. 

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You can find Madplainers on iTunes, as well as on most other places you find podcasts. The RSS feed is here

Please let us know what you think after you listen by filling out this two-minute survey! This is our first episode of Madsplainers, and we're still trying to figure out what works and what doesn't. Please fill it out after you listen; your feedback is important to us!

You can also email show producer Erik Lorenzsonn at erikl@madison.com with your thoughts.

In the meantime, please check out our other Cap Times podcasts, including Jessie Opoien's new election podcast Wedge Issues, our student debt series The Cost of Opportunity and our food and drink show The Corner Table