by Elizabeth Forel, President Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages
It was a long time coming, but we are delighted that Mayor deBlasio is sponsoring a bill that will be introduced into the City Council today, fulfilling an important campaign promise to put an end to the inhumane and unsafe horse-drawn carriages in New York City.
Periodically, I would call the Mayor's office and ask what was going on with the promised bill. I suspect they got tired of hearing from me, but I never once sensed that the Mayor was giving up on his promise. They never wavered and were always resolute – just as the Mayor was when he was questioned about the pending ban in public. But after working on this issue solidly for nine years, I was feeling impatient and doubtful that it would ever happen so I was looking for a chink in their armor. It was not there and I am grateful.
We are not ready to hang up the shingle for the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages. First, we have to pass the bill. When that happens, I hope to spend more time with Horses Without Carriages International, a global coalition I co-founded in 2008, helping other campaigns. But for now, this is a huge relief and the end of a very long first chapter. Now we are on to Chapter 2 - getting the bill passed and countering all the misinformation that has filled the media for the last year.