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Mayor de Blasio: Keep Your Promise to Ban NYC’s Horse-Drawn Carriages

July 2, 2015 by Leave a Comment


Opinion

During his campaign for Mayor of NYC and for several months after his victory in 2013, Bill de Blasio so frequently and adamantly declared his intention to ban horse-drawn carriages that some people are under the impression that they are already gone. Eighteen months after he took office, however, the horses remain on NYC’s streets, hauling tourists in the summer heat by day and languishing in cramped midtown buildings by night. What happened?

See “Watch me do it!” compilation video:

In December, 2014, a year after taking office, Mayor de Blasio introduced legislation to phase out the carriages by 2016. Since then, he has spoken about the issue rarely and only in response to questions. Neither carriage accidents nor lies in the press about his motives have triggered him to talk about the issue or his plan.

The Mayor made no comment when a carriage horse escaped from his stable and ran down a Manhattan street.

The Mayor made no comment when a horse escaped and ran down a Manhattan street in 10/2014

The Mayor, a seasoned politician, knows that city lawmakers will vote against his legislation unless he lobbies them to support it. He also knows that no amount of lobbying or advocacy by animal protection groups can get the bill passed if he doesn’t exert his leadership on the issue.

The Mayor’s silence in the face of mounting opposition to his legislation is a mystery not only to advocates but also to New Yorkers who remember that banning carriages was a signature component of his campaign platform. “Watch me do it,” he would say to the cameras.

Can the Mayor preserve his credibility when he runs for re-election if he walks away from this explicit promise? Can he turn his back on NYC’s animal advocacy community, which campaigned for him; toppled the candidacy of his chief (anti-animal) rival; and helped catapult him into Gracie Mansion?

In 2011, Council Member Mayor de Blasio (now Mayor),  joined fellow Council Member Melissa Mark Viverito (now Speaker) and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer (now Comptroller) to express his support for a ban on horse-drawn carriages

In 2011, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio (now Mayor), joined fellow Council Member Melissa Mark Viverito (now Speaker) and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer (now Comptroller) to express his support for a ban on horse-drawn carriages

Since the Mayor took office, advocates with local and national animal protection organizations have spent countless hours lobbying City Council members and hundreds of thousands of dollars educating the public. They have also identified sanctuaries for the horses. But they need the Mayor to do his part. If the Mayor doesn’t demonstrate a commitment to his own legislation, then why would Council Members, who would open themselves up to attacks by the media and labor unions, support it?

Advocates can lobby, educate and protest, but they cannot get the Mayor's bill passed without his leadership

Advocates can lobby, educate and protest, but they cannot get the Mayor’s bill unless he gets behind it

So why has Mayor de Blasio been silent? Only he and members of his administration know what his intentions are. What we do know is that the hundreds of advocates who have dedicated their lives to taking the horses out of harm’s way will hold him accountable until he follows in the footsteps of his counterparts in Mumbai and San Juan, cities that banned horse-drawn carriages in 2015.

Your Turn

Share video to urge Mayor de Blasio to keep his promise to ban horse carriages.

Tweet: Urge NYC Mayor @BilldeBlasio to keep his promise to #BanHorseCarriages! http://youtu.be/0QlPNkuob04 #FreeTheHorses

Contact Mayor de Blasio’s Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, Emma Wolfe, to ask her to fulfill the Mayor’s unmistakable promise to ban horse-drawn carriages: Ewolfe@cityhall.nyc.gov

See article Eight Reasons Why Horse-Drawn Carriages Cannot Be Operated Humanely or Safely in NYC.



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TheirTurn.net Comments

  1. ivette roque says:

    Mayor of NYC DiBlassio, pls ban the horses carrying those carriages.

  2. Priti Sukharamwala says:

    Mayer de Blasio, please keep your promise to ban horse carriages in NYC. We admire you so much; we want you to end this cruelty.

  3. Loretta mento says:

    He also promised to not kill healthy ,treatable dogs and cats in shelters but lied about that too. The NYCACC is a killing station for adoptable animals ! He obviously doesn’t care about animals

  4. Charlene Inglis says:

    Natasha, I’m sorry that I don’t live in NY and therefor cannot commit as you do, but I would NEVER EVER support him in any regard if he doesn’t come through for those poor horses. Their treatment makes me sick, and so do the comments from the apologists for their “use.” Liam Neesen can rot in hell.

  5. Natasha Brenner says:

    I will NEVER, NEVER vote for him again if he doesn’t come through on his promise. I will vote for Jack the Ripper before I vote for him. I was out almost every night campaigning against his rival. And I will do it again against him if he doesn’t make good on his promise.

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