Carriage drivers are preparing to defend their jobs from a new proposal by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposal to reduce the number of horse-drawn carriages ferrying tourists around the four corners of Central Park.
NYCLASS–short for New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets– an animal rights group has hired New York City big-wig public affairs shop Mercury Public Affairs to lead their fight. Interestingly, the lobbying firm currently employs former de Blasio administration staffer Rachel Noerdlinger.
Media quoted Ron Glazer, 63, standing beside Winston, his white horse as saying “No one’s celebrating.” He continued, “We don’t like the idea of cutting any of us. We depend on this work. It’s our livelihood.”
De Blasio has pushed for the ban of the entire horse carriage industry but later acquiesced that he doesn’t have the required support in the City Council to do it. Instead, he is proposing to reduce the number of horses from 220 to around seventy, with ancillary plans to relocate stables to Central Park.
In 2012, Wal-Mart cut ties with Mercury following an embarrassing ordeal in which a then senior associate Stephanie Harnett posed as a USC student journalist. The employee group Warehouse Workers United revealed her guise to the public. Mercury Public Affairs said they were taking “full responsibility for the fiasco,” and dismissed Harnett from the firm thereafter.
Mercury Public Affairs has also been hired by Haaretz, a left-wing Israeli newspaper, for an event they are defining as their “first-ever major forum in the United States” which is planned for Sunday, December 13th at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.