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Citizens for a Humane Los Angeles to Sponsor Mayoral Convention; The Unprecedented Political Convention for Animal Advocates Will Take Place on Sunday, January 9, 2005

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jan. 5, 2005–
  Senator Richard Alarcon, Robert Hertzberg, Walter Moore and Councilman Antonio Villaraigosa Will Seek Support
“We know that every candidate will address the issues of crime, traffic and the airport”

Citizens for a Humane Los Angeles (CHULA) will sponsor the first political convention for animal advocates ever held in the United States on Sunday, January 9, 2005, 10 a.m., at Beverly Garland’s Holiday Inn, 4222 Vineland Avenue in North Hollywood.

CHULA is a coalition of rescuers and others who advocate for the welfare, rights and protection of animals. Its Mayoral Convention will take place in anticipation of the March 8 Primary Election, when Los Angeles voters will choose their next mayor. Candidates participating in the convention include State Senator Richard Alarcon, former California State Assembly Speaker Robert Hertzberg, Councilman Antonio Villaraigosa and attorney Walter Moore.

“The time is long overdue to recognize the power of the Humane Vote,” says Rich McLellan, MD, Director of the Animal Legislative Action Network, a political action committee that supports “animal-friendly” candidates and legislation. “Thousands, perhaps millions, of people in Los Angeles care deeply about the welfare of animals. We realize that the only way to make enduring changes to end their suffering is through the political process.”

McLellan described the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services as “antiquated.” The beleaguered department has been the target of criticism by animal activists for poor management, and for its use of killing as a means of animal control. Every year, more than 34,000 unwanted dogs and cats in the city’s shelters are destroyed.

On January 9, each mayoral candidate will have one half hour to discuss their platforms on issues including abandoned and unwanted companion animals, killing as a means of animal control, spay and neuter programs, feral cats, the prosecution of animal cruelty cases and human and wildlife co-existence in urban settings. Following debate, the convention will then endorse one candidate by a plurality of their vote.

“We know that every candidate will address the issues of crime, traffic and the airport,” says Scott Sorrentino, President and Co-Founder of the Rescue and Humane Alliance Los Angeles, a public policy advocacy organization representing more than 45 groups. “The question is, who is going to address issues of concern to the humane community? The animals can’t vote. They are counting on us to choose a Mayor who will lead Los Angeles into the 21st century of animal care and control. The convention will help us to determine which candidate has a clear, humane vision for this city.”

One third of the companion animals in the city’s shelters are abandoned and unwanted purebreds. Sherrie Woodbury, President of Little Angels Pug Rescue, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization that rescues 20 to 30 pug dogs each month, will also be at the Mayoral Convention.

“One of the most frustrating things about day-to-day rescue work is that there are no long-term attempts to address the problems of homeless animals,” says Woodbury. “Rescuers who think that they don’t need to work steadfastly in the political process are rescuers who don’t want to retire.”

Woodbury compares the humane community to the many voting blocs that have promoted their interests through the electoral process for hundreds of years.

“People who are owned and loved by animal companions are a large population represented by many groups throughout Los Angeles,” says Woodbury. “Our hope now is for the Humane Vote to unite all of us.”

The Citizens for a Humane Los Angeles Mayoral Convention will be held on Sunday, January 9, beginning at 10 a.m., at Beverly Garland’s Holiday Inn, 4222 Vineland Avenue, North Hollywood, California.

Contacts

Citizens for a Humane Los Angeles
Mary Cummins

I helped with PR and did the hall decorations.

Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the California Department of Fish and Game and the USDA. Mary Cummins is also a licensed real estate appraiser in Los Angeles, California.

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About Mary Cummins Animal Advocates Real Estate Appraiser

Mary Cummins is President of Animal Advocates. She is licensed with the California Department of Fish & Game, USDA and the City of Los Angeles to rescue and rehabilitate wildlife. Cummins speaks to local community groups and students about respecting wildlife and humane wildlife control. She is also a Humane Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator. She has written manuals on small mammal rehabilitation besides numerous articles. She was born and raised in Southern California. She attended Beverly Hills Good Shepherd Catholic School and Beverly Hills High School. Besides being a member of Junior Mensa and on the Dean's list, she was a top ten national swimmer and competed on the men's water polo team. She began college at the age of 15 attending the University of Southern California on scholarship, majoring in Psychology/Sociology. After college Cummins became a licensed real estate agent specializing in income property in Los Angeles. She obtained her real estate appraisal license, real estate brokerage license and currently does real estate consulting, expert witness testimony and review appraisals at Cummins Real Estate Services.
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