NYCLASS (New Yorkers for Clean, Livable, and Safe Streets)

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NYCLASS' logo and motto.

NYCLASS, which stands for New Yorkers for Clean, Livable, and Safe Streets, is an animal rights organization based in New York City.

NYCLASS and the 2013 New York City Election[edit]

NYCLASS was a key member of the "Anybody but Quinn" coalition,[1] also known as "NYC is Not For Sale," [2] that played a pivotal role in the New York City mayoral elections in 2013 in opposing the candidacy of Christine Quinn.[3] Quinn's support began to decline precipitously after the coalition's PAC began its efforts,[4] which raised $1.4 million for its initial television ads.[5] NYC Is Not For Sale was the 4th largest independent spender in the New York City Elections, with NYCLASS own spending ranking 16th.[6] They endorseed Bill de Blasio in the general election. After his landslide win, NYCLASS held a private fundraiser and awarded de Blasio a bronze horse.[7] NYCLass also endorsed other candidates such as Helen Rosenthal for City Council.

In April 2014, a prominent New York newspaper reported that FBI was investigating NYCLASS for possible threats made against Christine Quinn during the mayoral race. The FBI is looking into whether NYCLASS's tactics crossed the line to extortion.[8]

In December 2014, NYCLASS and its Executive Director Allie Feldman were fined $26,054 by the NYC Campaign Finance Board for illegally coordinating independent expenditures on behalf of two 2013 City Council candidates (Mark Levine and Laurie Cumbo) and for misrepresenting those expenditures as independent when, in the determination of the CFB, they were not. These are the largest fines ever imposed by the CFB.[9]

About NYCLASS[edit]

NYCLASS is a 501(c)4 non-profit animal advocacy organization committed to ending New York City's carriage horse industry. NYCLASS advocates for retiring the carriage horses to sanctuary,[10] while modernizing the current industry with their alternative - an electric car called "the 21st Century Horseless Carriage."[11] Founded in 2008 by a coalition of prominent animal lovers and business leaders, NYCLASS has grown to over 110,000 supporters with activist chapters in all five boroughs.

The Central Park Conservancy, which manages Central Park, has spoken out against the electric car proposed by Nyclass.[12] The President and CEO of the Conservancy, Doug Blonsky stated "Forty million people visit Central Park each year, including runners, bicyclists, kids and dog owners. Adding vehicles to the mix will make the park less safe for all of them and increase congestion."[13]

Despite the expenditure of countless amounts by Nyclass, New York City residents are solidly in favor of maintaining the carriage horses in NYC. In January 2015, Quinnipiac reported that only 25% supported a ban. The rest, were either affirmatively in favor of keeping the horses (63%) or undecided (12%).[14]

It seems likely now (May 2015) that yet another investigation, this time by the NYC Department of Investigation, will take place regarding the selection of a consulting firm, Langan Engineering whose CEO David Gockel, was one of Nyclass's earliest supporters, to conduct a supposedly unbiased environmental impact study on the carriage horse ban that Nyclass proposed.[15] The obvious conflict of interest has been decried by some of the City's top civil rights attorneys [16] as well as the good government group Citizens Union.[15]

Other NYCLASS issues[edit]

NYCLASS also advocates for banning puppy mills, the sale of foie gras, and the sale of all animals in pet stores unless they come from a rescue or animal shelter. They support both reforming and increasing funding for the Animal Care & Control of New York City, building full service animal shelters in the Bronx and Queens, and protecting a tenant's right to have a companion animal as well as urban wild geese. They support funding humane animal education in public schools, mandating fire sprinklers in pet stores. They are against the use of animals in entertainment, circuses, and rodeos.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Anti-Quinn Group Set for Two Final Weeks of Battle". The Epoch Times. 30 August 2013. 
  2. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/08/nyregion/outside-group-starts-spending-to-block-quinn.html
  3. ^ Jill Colvin. "Democratic Horse Activists Ready to Back Lhota Over Quinn". Observer. 
  4. ^ http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/pac-pummels-nyc-mayor-wannabe-quinn-article-1.1386683
  5. ^ "'NYC Is Not For Sale' TV Ads Target Christine Quinn". The Huffington Post. 
  6. ^ http://www.commoncause.org/atf/cf/%7BFB3C17E2-CDD1-4DF6-92BE-BD4429893665%7D/Common%20Cause%20NY%20--%20Analysis%20of%20IEs%20in%20NYC.pdf
  7. ^ "De Blasio attends anti-horse-carriage fundraiser - Capital New York". capitalnewyork.com. 
  8. ^ http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/exclusive-fbi-probe-expands-de-blasio-mayoral-campaign-article-1.1769448
  9. ^ Ross Barkan. "NYCLASS Hit With ‘Severe’ $26,000 Fines - Observer". Observer. 
  10. ^ "Allie Feldman: NYCLASS Fights For NYC Horses". wordpress.com. 
  11. ^ http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/07/meet-the-contraption-that-wants-to-replace-central-park-horses/?_r=0
  12. ^ http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/central-park-conservancy-cars-poor-alternative-horses-article-1.1759280
  13. ^ "Old timey car to replace NYC horse carriages shown". Fox News. 
  14. ^ Quinnipiac University. "New York City (NYC) Poll - January 16, 2015 - New York City Voters Like Cuom - Quinnipiac University Connecticut". Quinnipiac University. 
  15. ^ a b http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/carriage-review-tainted-firm-ties-watchdog-article-1.2224493
  16. ^ http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/siegel-kuby-leading-horse-carriage-review-water-article-1.2228049

External links[edit]