Proponents of a ban on horse drawn carriages rallied on the steps of City Hall Monday. As has been widely reported, Mayor de Blasio’s action on his campaign pledge to implement a ban “immediately” upon taking office has been slower than promised. Opponents of a ban have been increasingly visible, mounting a significant public relations efforts and raising some uncertainty about the prospects of an expected City Council bill.
Monday’s rally featured five speakers; Dan Mathews of PETA, Council Members Ydanis Rodriguez and Helen Rosenthal, Michelle Alvarez of the Catskill Animal Sanctuary and TV personality Jillian Michaels. Their speeches were brief, running about 10 minutes in total, and succinctly set out their arguments supporting a ban.
Our prior coverage includes a look at the Mayor’s promises and coverage of NYCLASS’s 2013 mayoral candidate forum.
We spoke this afternoon with Council Member/speaker contender Melissa Mark-Viverito concerning media coverage of her candidacy. A significant amount of media attention on Mark-Viverito has been less than flattering and some, such as yesterday’s New York Post story on a woman who claims that Mark-Viverito placed a hex on her, has been odd. We spoke at the ceremonial swearing in of Council Member Helen Rosenthal.
Update – Public Forums:
We spoke with Council Member Carlos Menchaca about the role of the seven public speaker candidate forums. Menchaca was one of the four newly-elected council members who conceived and organized the forums.
Update #2 – Predictions & Solidarity:
We spoke with Council Members Carlos Menchaca, Ydanis Rodriguez and Brad Lander, as well as Melissa Mark-Viverito, about the state of the council speaker race with three days to go.
Solidarity, In Song:
Finally, a brief excerpt from the performance of the New York City Labor Chorus at the inauguration ceremony of Council Member Helen Rosenthal.
Last night, city council speaker contenders met in the Mt. Eden section of the Bronx for the second in a series of five public forums. Council members Jimmy Vacca, Annabel Palma, Mark Weprin, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Dan Garodnick and Inez Dickens appeared before an energized crowd, in a discussion moderated by BronxTalk radio host Gary Axelbank.
The series of public forums is unprecedented for selection of the city council speaker. The city council speaker is not elected by voters, but is selected by the 51 members of the city council without any direct role for the public. Several newly elected council members, including Ritchie Torres and Helen Rosenthal, conceived and organized the series in an effort to change, or at least expand, the way the speaker is selected. We spoke with Torres and Rosenthal about their purpose in doing so and whether the forums have, so far, met their goals. Continue reading