By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Dogs and cats can’t vote, but the people who care about them do. And they’re making their voices heard in the various council races around the borough.
New Yorkers for Clean Livable And Safe Streets (NYCLASS), an animal rights organization, has announced its list of endorsements in Brooklyn City Council races.
The candidates receiving the organization’s backing are Councilman Mathieu Eugene (D-Kensington), Councilman Stephen Levin (D-Williamsburg-Greenpoint), Councilman Brad Lander (D-Park Slope) Councilman Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst) and candidate Laurie Cumbo, who is running for the council seat in Fort Greene-Clinton Hill.
“NYCLASS proudly endorses five candidates for City Council in Brooklyn,” Executive Director Allie Feldman said. “These candidates have vowed to stand by us as we fight to stop the abuse of NYC carriage horses and support a pilot program to replace the horses with electric cars. Protecting New York City’s animals is our number one priority, and we look forward to working closely with these candidates during their campaign and throughout their term on the City Council.”
“I am thrilled to receive the backing of NYCLASS,” Eugene said. “I have always been a supporter of animal rights, and I feel that it is crucial to pass legislation that will ensure the humane treatment of New York City’s animals. It is so important to make sure that all animals have a safe home; the lives of our fellow New Yorkers, as well as the animals’ are continuously put at risk when we don’t properly look after our animal population. I will make every effort to ensure that these animals are cared for,” he said.
“Mathieu Eugene stands by us as we fight to stop the abuse of NYC carriage horses, and to require fire sprinklers in pet shops,” Feldman said.
Cumbo said she is pleased to receive the endorsement from NYCLASS. “I am looking forward to working with this renowned animal rights organization. The lack of adequate shelters for abandoned cats and dogs in Brooklyn is appalling, and I know with NYCLASS’s help we can work towards protecting our animals,” she said.
NYCLASS is known for its efforts to convince the city to retire carriage horses and to switch to electric cars. NYCLASS also advocates for many other issues, including protecting a senior citizen's right to have a companion pet, mandating that pet stores install fire sprinklers, stricter rules to protect animals used in entertainment, and reforming the city's animal shelter system.
The organization was founded in 2008 by a coalition of animal lovers and business leaders. NYCLASS has chapters in all five boroughs.