Cynthia Doty

Democratic Candidate for City Council
9th District - Upper West Side, Morningside Heights, Central Harlem

Long before "responsible development" became the mantra for every candidate in this election, Cynthia Doty was working to preserve the neighborhoods in her district.

And when she talks about "community planning that protects the rights of all our residents," she knows that includes the cats and dogs who are part of the family in many Upper West Side and Harlem homes.

In her nine years as Legislative Associate and Special Assistant to former Assembly Member Ed Sullivan, she worked with several families who were being evicted because of their pets. She managed to keep all of them in their homes.

In a few cases, a person had taken in too many animals, and Cynthia responded by helping to find homes for some of the pets, while convincing the landlord to hold off eviction proceedings because the tenant was making a good faith effort to find homes for his pets.

She also has personal experience of the kind of pain families suffer when forced to choose between their pets or their homes. As a teenager, she had to give up her dog Bruno when her family moved into an apartment. "I was furious," she says, "I didn't want to move."

Cynthia supports two issues that Animal Friendly NYC knows are essential to securing the homes of New Yorkers with pets and ending the crisis of homeless dogs and cats in the city:
  • The Pets in Housing bill - Intro. 189-A. This bill would restore the rights of residents in apartments, coops and condos to keep pets in their homes - a right granted to all New York City residents by the 1983 Pet Law.
  • City-funded low-cost spay and neuter clinics. The most effective way to end the crisis of homeless dogs and cats is to make low-cost spay and neuter clinics readily available to low income New Yorkers. Yet, there is not a single low-cost spay and neuter clinic in the entire five boroughs of New York City. Low-cost spay and neuter will not only cost the city less, but it will end the tragedy of having to put down tens of thousands of animals every year.

"My whole campaign is about defending our neighborhoods, keeping them intact and keeping them affordable, and the Pets in Housing bill is also really about keeping people in their homes. That benefits people, their pets and the community."
- Cynthia Doty

Cynthia is the only candidate in the city who is making what she calls "unbridled over-development and re-zoning," a central theme of her campaign. Developers with deep pockets are already eyeing "soft spots" - vulnerable low-scale buildings - for construction of massive towers of luxury condos in the vibrantly diverse, middle class Upper West Side. And Columbia University is moving to use eminent domain to take businesses and homes in Harlem for a new satellite campus.

She knows that whenever there's a massive displacement of tenants, the dogs and cats in those families are also at risk.

She has a detailed plan for balanced development, and she knows what she's talking about. She has already reined in developers who see only profits where she sees community:
  • She led community negotiations with Columbia University to include a supermarket in a building it was constructing, at a time when that part of upper Broadway went a full 10 blocks without a supermarket.
  • She organized a neighborhood coalition to restrain Columbia's expansion and its use of eminent domain to establish a satellite campus in West Harlem.
  • She led the boycott of a CVS mega-pharmacy, which was the fifth mega-pharmacy within blocks of each other.
  • She's a founding member of Westsiders for Responsible Development, a group that sprung up to fight the construction of two 30-plus story buildings on upper Broadway and which is now the leading local advocate for re-zoning above 96th Street.
For more information on Cynthia Doty, go to

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