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NhRP Board Member Jane Goodall: “Never give up”

By Courtney Fern

“[I’m] helping people to understand and feel in their hearts that these animals are deserving of personhood.” –  Dr. Jane Goodall

On April 3, 2019, we were honored to host NhRP board member Dr. Jane Goodall’s 85th birthday party at Los Angeles City Hall and celebrate with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Los Angeles City Council, and many other city officials, celebrities, and supporters. Before the celebration, the Los Angeles City Council, upon the recommendation of NhRP and Los Angeles City Councilmembers Paul Koretz and Mitch O’Farrell, declared the day Jane Goodall Day in recognition of Dr. Goodall’s unique legacy of scientific discoveries, courageous leadership, and her contributions to our understanding of nonhuman animals.

It was months of planning to make this event possible, with Councilmembers Bob Blumenfield, Paul Koretz, and Mitch O’Farrell playing an integral role in honoring Dr. Goodall and bringing the NhRP’s mission before the City Council and starting the conversation of nonhuman animal rights in the city.

Dr. Jane Goodall and Los Angeles City Councilmember celebrate their birthdays together in Los Angeles City Hall on April 3rd, 2019.

The day began in the Los Angeles City Council Chambers, with Mayor Garcetti, Councilmembers Koretz and O’Farrell, and NhRP President Steven M. Wise speaking about Dr. Goodall’s impact on our understanding of nonhuman animals and her advocacy for conservation and environmental protection. Next, Dr. Goodall gave a lively speech about her longstanding relationship with Los Angeles and her body of work. She even had Mayor Garcetti participate in a demonstration showing how a chimpanzee would approach a high-ranking male chimpanzee. At the end of her speech Dr. Goodall was presented with a resolution declaring the day Jane Goodall Day, and the entire chambers sang Happy Birthday to Dr. Goodall and Councilmember Koretz, who serendipitously share the same birthday.

Following the council ceremony, everyone moved up to the Tom Bradley Room atop the City Hall Tower. There, the NhRP threw Dr. Goodall and Councilmember Koretz a birthday party. Joining NhRP were actresses Kate and Rooney Mara, Councilmembers Koretz and Joe Busciano, film director Thor Freudenthal, NhRP corporate partner Hourglass Cosmetics, and several other city officials and supporters.

Steve addressed the crowd and gave an update on NhRP’s litigation and forthcoming projects. He announced the opening of the NhRP’s California branch, which will spearhead our first legislative campaign. He also announced that the NhRP legal team would initiate its first lawsuit in California by the end of the year.

Dr. Goodall gave an impassioned speech to guests, talking about the cognitive ability of various nonhuman animals. She spoke about the importance of the NhRP’s work and how she is helping in the fight for nonhuman animal personhood.

After Dr. Goodall’s speech, Councilmember Koretz announced that he would hold a hearing on nonhuman animal rights in the Los Angeles City Council Personnel and Animal Welfare Committee, which he chairs.

From L-R, NhRP consultant Roger Wolfson, Communications Director Lauren Choplin, Director of Government Relations Courtney Fern, President Steven M. Wise, Board Member Jane Goodall, Executive Director Kevin Schneider, Volunteer Attorney Chris Hollinger, and Staff Attorney Monica Miller celebrate Jane Goodall’s 85th birthday at Los Angeles City Hall on April 3rd, 2019.

It was an honor to work with the Los Angeles City Council in recognizing Dr. Goodall and introducing our mission to the council. We are thrilled to begin our work in Los Angeles and prepare for the nonhuman animal rights hearing before the Personnel and Animal Welfare Committee. If you would like to get involved or learn how you can support our work, please sign up for our emails and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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