World Renowned Artist Peter Max Hosts Launch Event in Gallery

New York, NY – Empire State Humane Voters (ESHV) celebrates its launch this week in New York City. Founded with a mission to support city and state candidates who will champion protections for animals, lobby for stronger laws to stop animal cruelty, and hold elected officials accountable to humane voters, ESHV aims to organize animal lovers into a humane voting bloc — throughout the city and across the state, from Buffalo to Long Island.

“Our goal is to fill a glaring void in the animal protection movement with a political advocacy group that covers all animal issues on both the city and state level,” says ESHV Founder and Executive Director Allie Feldman Taylor. “There are so many animal issues that need political representation, and ESHV is empowered with the political savvy and animal law expertise to effectuate change for animals in New York.”

Why We’re Different

What makes ESHV stand out from the pack? Unlike most nonprofits, our 501(c)(4)* status allows us to engage with candidates for elected office. While other animal groups are legally barred from even talking about elections, we can ask candidates tough questions about humane issues. We are uniquely positioned to endorse candidates that prioritize animal protection and vigorously oppose those who don’t by mobilizing animal activists and New York’s three million pet guardians into a humane voting bloc.

The sold-out ESHV kickoff event is slated to take place Thursday, May 11 at the Upper West Side studio of renowned artist Peter Max. Taylor and the ESHV board of directors (all attorneys with animal law backgrounds) will introduce what’s to come for the organization. With seven open City Council seats, the remainder of 2017 is poised to be a busy time for ESHV.

“That’s seven opportunities to elect people who will represent a range of animal issues in NYC — from protecting the rights of tenants with pets, to increasing penalties for leaving pets trapped outdoors in extreme weather, to stopping cruelty to wildlife, to ending the use of wild animals in the circus,” says Taylor. “We are also going to be making endorsements in District Attorney races, to ensure animals are better protected by the courts.”

An organization for the animals and by the people of New York State, ESHV hopes to establish New York as the leading state for animal protection in the country.

* Status pending May 2017

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“No being should ever be subjected to any type of abusive or inhumane treatment,” said Public Advocate Letitia James. “But it is clear that in New York, we still must do more to ensure that animals are better protected and treated like the loving creatures they are. I’m proud to work with the Empire State Humane Voters to promote common sense legislation to protect these precious animals.”

“Empire State Humane Voters is an advocacy group that will bring efforts to combat animal cruelty into the fore,” said New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. “ESHV’s hard work and dedication can make sure those who stand up for animal rights will have their voices heard.”

“There is nothing like being a pet owner. Our dog Sandy is part of the family, and has brought so much joy to our lives. In Congress I have always been a staunch advocate for animal rights, but we also need groups at the local level who are willing to stand-up for our four-legged friends. Empire State Humane Voters is a group of dedicated animal rights activists who believe that all creatures deserve to be treated humanely. I want to commend the ESHV for their work advocating on behalf of our animals.” –Congress Member Eliot Engel

“Animals should never be subjected to suffering and should always be treated humanely. I am proud to support Empire State Humane Voters and will continue to be an advocate for animal rights.” -State Senator Jamaal Bailey

“I am excited that New York will have a new voice fighting on behalf of animal protection and stronger laws to fight animal cruelty. I look forward to working with Empire State Humane Voters on developing and advancing legislation to make New York a leader in protecting and respecting animals.” -State Senator Liz Krueger

“The Empire State Humane Voters’ mission to champion animal rights in an effort to ensure their protection and safety through civic engagement are commendable. As an elected official, it is always encouraging when members of the community engage about the issues that matter to them most.” -State Senator Gustavo Rivera

“I’m looking forward to the Empire State Humane Voters becoming a major force as an animal rights advocacy organization. I wish them success in their efforts to guarantee protections for all animals to a life without hate and harm.” -Assembly Member Michael Benedetto

“I am thrilled to see that advocacy for the rights of all animals are finally becoming a part of the political conversation, in part thanks to the work of organizations such as the ESHV. The mission of ESHV, to support the humane treatment and wellbeing of all living creatures is one that I have always been proud to support and will continue to do so.” -Assembly Member Marcos Crespo

“The ethical treatment of animals is fundamentally a moral issue, and we need people in government who understand that. The abuse of animals is disgraceful, and our laws should have punishments that reflect the heinous nature of these actions. I wish Empire State Humane Voters success in their goal of promoting these ideals.” -Assembly Member Jeff Dinowitz

“The formation of Empire State Humane Voters is exciting news for animals and people alike,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal,prolific author of animal legislation and champion for the humane treatment of animals. “While many people consider animals family members, organizations like ESHV are needed since many others harm and neglect innocent animals with appalling frequency. I am confident that ESHV will quickly become a leading voice for animal protection legislation statewide. At a time when partisan differences seem like impenetrable divides, will help unite all New Yorkers behind a common, humane purpose: animal protection. I look forward to working closely together in the months and years to come.”

“I wish the Empire State Humane Voters luck and success. They have a commendable mission statement and I hope to collaborate with them in the future on the issues affecting our city.” -Council Member Joseph Borelli

“As an elected official and a pastor, I know that the human treatment of animals is a moral and ethical issue and reflects on the state of our collective conscience as a community, a city and society. I’m proud to support Empire State Humane Voters- a grassroots effort which will raise awareness and support candidates who will work to protect animals, lobby for stronger laws to end animal cruelty and demand accountability to humane voters.” – Council Member Fernando Cabrera

“I’m proud to support Empire State Humane Voters and the organization’s mission of preventing animal cruelty,” said Council Member Andrew Cohen. “I have always been an advocate for animal rights and I know the Empire State Humane Voters will do great work.” – Council Member Andy Cohen

“I congratulate the Empire State Humane Voters on their successful launch,” said NYC Council Member Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights, Elmhurst). “Now more than ever it is important to have a group of dedicated advocates working in Albany and NYC to expand protections for our animals. As an elected official who has fought for the well-being of our city’s animals for many years, I look forward to partnering with the Empire State Humane Voters to make New York a more humane place for all.” -Council Member Daniel Dromm

“Our furry friends need advocates to stand up for them and demand their safety,” said
Council Member Rafael Espinal. Heartwrenching stories of animal neglect and abuse must not persist. Congratulations Empire State Humane Voters on your launch, and I look forward to working with you to protect New York’s animals.”

“Local government has the power to create a more humane environment for our animals, and we need advocates engaged in the political process to make that a reality. ESHV will be a powerful vehicle for this cause.” -Council Member Mark Levine

“While New York has made strides in recent years to curb animal abuse and develop more humane policies, it is clear that work remains,” said NYC Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “That is why I am glad to support Empire State Humane Voters, a needed organization capable of rallying the voices of New Yorkers who care for all creatures we share this city and planet with. I look forward to seeing their efforts bear fruit with major policy changes to better protect animals in our city and state.” -Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez

“Effective advocacy requires not only educational outreach but also political organizing. The animal protection movement has done great work educating the public on the plight of animals. Now Empire State Humane Voters is charged with converting that positive public sentiment into law. I’m confident they’ll do a great job and look forward to working with them to make this happen.” –Council Member Helen Rosenthal

“The humane treatment of animals and the advancement of animal rights depends on strong coordinated support and grassroots lobbying. The launch of Empire State Humane Voters creates that platform and has the potential to further progressive legislation that will positively impact all animals. I look forward to working with ESHV to advocate for causes and legislation that will protect animals and ensure their humane treatment.” -Council Member Ritchie Torres

“Animal protection is not only a moral issue but, as we’ve discovered in recent years, a political issue as well. New Yorkers care deeply about the welfare of animals. Now, thanks to Empire State Humane Voters, those passionate advocates (and the animals they care about) have a voice at City Hall. As the Council Member who proudly led the fight for animal shelters in every borough, I look forward to working with them.” -Council Member Paul Vallone