Bill de Blasio vowed to ban the “handsome cabs” of New York city immediately after getting into the Mayor’s office; but his plan seems to be in jeopardy as horse carriage ban gets serious opposition. Already seven months after taking over as the Mayor, he failed to introduce a bill to ban the horse driven carriages in the city. These uptown handsome cabs that go around the Central Park are a major attraction for the tourists and the industry generates millions of dollars as revenue. Moreover, hundreds of families are making a middle class living out of it. Working Families Party, in spite of its long standing relationship with de Blasio, stood in solidarity with the horse drawn carriage workers.
Working Family Party’s State Director Bill Lipton challenges de Blasio’s argument that the horses are treated inhumanely by pointing out that a 2010 city law ensures ample protections to these animals. This unexpected support from the party for the horse carriages will make it tougher for the Mayor to ban them. Lipton urges the authorities to find a fair deal that will save the industry, let hundreds of middle class jobs continue and guarantee the dignity and respect for these horses. The Daily News of New York has run a petition online where 40,000 people have already signed.
One aid from the Mayor’s office has hinted at some kind of compromise that would make it possible to move the horses off the streets and, at the same time, protect the jobs of the people who are engaged in this industry. He says that it will safeguard the animals too. There are people that oppose the industry too and they have their reasons as well; their major objection to the carriages is that they do not belong to the traffic-clogged streets of modern city. Among the oppositions, the Animal-Rights Group is a significant party. NYCLASS is another organization that supports the de Blasio’s agenda.
The nearly 300 handsome cab drivers represented by Teamsters Joint Council 16 appreciated the move by Working Family Party as a job saver. The union president George Miranda said that the carriage drivers, who are working-class immigrants, love their jobs and they treat these horses like members of their families. There seems to a widespread support for their cause; other labor groups, some editorial boards and a significant number of general public are taking the side with workers and horses in the industry. Whatever move the mayoral office takes, is not likely to be an easy shot.
The handsome cabs of New York are distinctively romantic and bear a long tradition that has become a fabric of the city. Especially in the summer time, they attract a lot of tourists on board; even a lot of New York residents would love to take ride on these carriages after enjoying a Broadway show or after satisfying palate in a fancy restaurant. These horses and their carriages sometimes become a part of people’s celebration and it would really be nice if they can be preserved.