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    12.01.15 David Karopkin '15 Works to Save New York City Birds
    David Karopkin

    Photo credit: Doyle Murphy/New York Daily News

    David Karopkin '15 celebrated "Thanksliving" in November not only by chowing down on tofurkey instead of turkey, but by actively celebrating his successful work to protect birds. A lifelong Brooklyn resident, longtime vegan, and committed social justice activist, Karopkin has dedicated countless hours to working for animal rights, founding GooseWatchNYC to protect New York City’s wildlife a year before he enrolled at the Law School.

    While earning his J.D., he was awarded a Brooklyn Law School post-graduate fellowship and today works as a legal and legislative aide for New York City Council Member Daniel Dromm. He also continues to advocate for animal rights, most recently speaking up for more than 2,000 mute swans, a population that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation wants to eradicate. Recently, Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed a bill to quash DEC's plan, but state legislators plan to reintroduce the bill in January.

    "An entire species shouldn't be killed," Karopkin said. "We should be able to come up with a smarter, compassionate, and more forward-thinking solution. That's my goal."

    After receiving his bachelor's degree in comparative literature from Binghamton University, Karopkin worked as a paralegal for six years. His passion for social advocacy led him to pursue a law degree to further his understanding of government and policymaking.

    "You have to engage in the political process if you want to change things," Karopkin said. "It's important to fight for something that we take for granted today, but that might not be here one day if we're not careful. I'm passionate about animals, but what I really want to do is draw connections between what's happening with wildlife, the environment, and each other—how we deal with broader humanity in our city and around the world."

    Follow GooseWatchNYC on Twitter and Facebook.  

    Read more about the mute swans in the Huffington Post and The New York Times.

    Read more about Karopkin's work protecting turkeys in Staten Island.