New York may be the center of haute couture, but Los Angeles is the new leader in fashion innovation: Earlier this month, LA become the largest U.S. city to ban the manufacture and sale of products made from the fur of animals. Now it’s time for New York City to step up and do the same.

Voters For Animal Rights (VFAR) has been working hard on our 2019 legislative agenda with one of the major components being a ban on the sale of fur in New York. As a 501c4 political advocacy organization, VFAR achieves goals like these by working with candidates and elected officials on local and state-wide legislation.

On February 26, 2019 there is a special election for New York City Public Advocate because the seat was vacated when Letitia James (who we endorsed) took office as New York State Attorney General in January. The Public Advocate is first in line to the mayor if they cannot fulfill their term and serves as a independent watch person over government agencies. The position also has the power to introduce and co-sponsor animal rights legislation in the City Council. Most importantly, the Public Advocate’s job is to be the voice for our most vulnerable residents.

We see every election as an opportunity to educate candidates about animal rights issues and solutions, get their positions on record, and hold them accountable to humane voters. For this Public Advocate special election, VFAR sent out questionnaires to every candidate who is running for NYC Public Advocate. The questionnaire responses for candidates including Melissa Mark-Viverito, Ydanis Rodriguez, Jumaane Williams, Rafael Espinal, Eric Ulrich, Danny O’Donnell, Michael Blake, Benjamin Yee, David Eisenbach, and Nomiki Konst can be seen here.

We are thrilled that 10 of the 16 candidates (including all of the front runners) have pledged to support a citywide ban on the sale of animal fur! NYC is positioned to be the next major city to take action against the unspeakably cruel fur industry.

New York now has the chance to join Los Angeles in banning the sale of fur within city limits.

The fur industry is brutal. Fur farms breed and confine animals in tiny, filthy cages where they suffer intense stress. They are beaten, bludgeoned, anally/vaginally electrocuted, and often skinned alive.

And trapping animals in the wild is no better. Animals are trapped in cruel leg hold traps where they can suffer for days in excruciating pain—starving, until the trapper returns to shoot or bludgeon them to death. Mother coyotes are known to attempt to chew off their own legs trying to break free, desperate to get back to their young pups. Many other animals are unintentionally caught and killed in these traps, including household pets.

Thankfully, major fashion designers like Versace, Gucci, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, and Jimmy Choo banned the use of fur in their fashion lines, a move welcomed by animal rights activists.

This special election presents an opportunity to send a message that you want a Public Advocate who reflects your compassionate animal rights values. Check out the candidates, find your polling place, and make your voice heard on Tuesday, February 26, 2019.

To be a part of the movement to ban fur in New York City, sign up to volunteer or chip in to help our campaigns.