Feb 062019
 
Be Sociable, Share!

VID’s Gun Reform Committee Headed by Deb Sherman Was Front and Center on Feb. 6th

VID Gun Control CommitteeThe Gun Reform Committee was present at the FIRST House Committee hearing on Gun Control, Chaired by Congressman Jerrold Nadler.  VID Gun Reform Committee Chair, Deb Sherman said:

February 6th is the first hearing on gun violence in nearly 10 years. It is Congressman Jerry Nadler’s first hearing as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee signaling his priority on sensible gun legislation. VID’s Gun Reform Committee was at the hearing to support his leadership and the importance of H.R. 8.  We made sure we were present.

Following an intensive effort by Deb Sherman and Allison Stowell to bring this issue front and center, VID has formed an enthusiastic Committee to spearhead this initiative.

The Democratic-led House Judiciary Committee focused on a bipartisan bill called the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, which would require background checks for all firearm sales and most firearm transfers. It has 230 House co-sponsors, including five Republicans.

Despite the obvious need to address the source of gun violence, Congress, for too long, has done virtually nothing. But now, we begin a new chapter,” said Judiciary Committee Chair, Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat.  Reuters, Feb. 6, 2019

 

Be Sociable, Share!
Jan 172019
 
Be Sociable, Share!

The January 2019 Meeting Covered Immigrants Rights; a Resolution Covering State Prosecution Notwithstanding a Federal Pardon; Albany Lobbying for the People’s Platform; Officer Elections; Gun Reform; Campaigning and VID’s Environmental Agenda.

The January 2019 Membership Meeting opened with new President David Siffert introducing Senate Bill S8236.  This bill relates to State prosecution of certain offenses when a Presidential pardon has been granted.  It is intended to close any loopholes and dispense with any possible double jeopardy offenses.  David asked for a resolution in support of this bill, but Jim Yates, former judge and member of JCOPE, made some objections, saying the bill was overbroad and other versions were being considered.  After some discussion, the resolution failed, with 25 against, 3 in favor, and 2 abstentions.  Jim provided an alternate resolution:

Be it resolved:

VID supports carefully crafted legislation that permits state prosecution notwithstanding a federal pardon.

This passed overwhelmingly, with 28 in favor and 1 abstention.

January 2019_VID Delegation_People's Platform

Sara Kimbell, Livvy Mann, Jonathan Geballe, David Siffert, Tony Hoffmann among the hundreds of TrueBlueNew York lobbyists for the People’s Platform in Albany, Jan. 15.

David also reminded us that True Blue NY was sending a bus to Albany on Tuesday, January 15 to lobby for progressive legislation and solicited volunteers.  

District Leader Keen Berger opened her report by stating she had been DL for fourteen years and she would not run again.  She said it was time for someone else, another woman, to run, and urged a female VID member to step up.  She also said the club should support Jerry Nadler for Person of the Year.

 

 

 

Immigration

January 2019_Stowell and Siffert on ImmigrationThe keynote of the January 2019 meeting was an extensive report on the realities of defending immigrants rights.  David recounted his recent experiences at the Dilley Detention Center Pro Bono Project in Texas, working with CARA, an organization that provides legal services for immigrants requesting asylum.  He was joined by Allison Stowell, who spoke of the seven families she represented who were seeking reunification, and her work with the ACLU to reach this goal.  The presentation was very moving and provoked strong emotions.

Committee Reports

Nat Johnson, of the Environmental Committee, spoke of the agenda for the next year, which  will include renewable energy, organic collections, and the plastic bag bill.

Erik Coler, of the Affordable Housing Committee, noted the feature article in the Villager  that highlights one of the tenant lawsuits he’d pursued last year.  It resulted in a class action and those tenants stand to gain a substantial award.  He announced that the Affordable Housing Committee will re-activate this year to pursue more pro-tenant action.

Allison Stowell and Deb Sherman made a presentation for the Gun Reform Committee, saying they are researching their next big project and contacting other political groups to form a coalition.  They met with GAG, Gays Against Guns, in this effort.  Deb mentioned House Bill HR 8, sponsored by Jerrold Nadler, to expand background checks for gun sales.  Adding to this is a campaign against Wells Fargo, the biggest investor in guns, with Morgan Stanley second.

Tony Hoffmann and Laurie Hardjowirogo, of the Campaign Committee, opened by congratulating VID on the success of Sunday’s Forum for Public Advocate, which included 17 candidates and nine co-sponsors.  He commended Erik Bottcher, Laurie, Sarah Kimbell, Allison, Ed Yutkowitz, Elissa Stein, Zella Jones, and David for their efforts in its success.  VID endorsed Ben Yee for Public Advocate, and Tony related the petitioning schedule.  There was a discussion about potential variations in the NYS Primary schedule.

Officer Elections

Erik Coler ran unopposed for Treasurer, so one unanimous ballot was made by the Secretary, Kathy Slawinski.

Kathy ran unopposed for Recording Secretary, so another unanimous ballot was made for that position.

For the two Corresponding Secretaries, Ed Yutkowitz and Jonathan Geballe ran unopposed, so again a unanimous ballot was placed.

For the Executive Committee, nineteen candidates were nominated and made statements.  Those elected were: Frieda Bradlow, Melissa Carty, Susan Gottesman, Laurie Hardjowirogo, Tiffany Hodges, Nadine Hoffmann, Jennifer Hoppe, Linda Jacobson, Nathaniel Johnson, Irene Kaufman, Cameron Krause, Alec Pruchnicki, Lois Rakoff, Deb Sherman, Elissa Stein.

FULL MEETING MINUTES HERE

See also 

Notes from VID’s New President

Be Sociable, Share!
Jan 112019
 
Be Sociable, Share!

Be Sociable, Share! TweetVID’s New President, David Siffert Presided Over the First Meeting of the New Year Here’s his meeting wrap-up… First I would like to congratulate our new officers — Erik Coler as Treasurer, Kathy Slawinski as Recording Secretary, Ed Yutkowitz and Jonathan Geballe as Corresponding Secretaries.  The 2019 Executive Committee includes Frieda Bradlow, Melissa Carty, Susan Gottesman, Laurie Hardjowirogo, Tiffany Hodges, Nadine Hoffmann, Jennifer Hoppe, Linda Jacobson, Nathaniel Johnson, Irene Kaufman, Cameron Krause, Alec Pruchnicki, Lois Rakoff, Deb Sherman, and Elissa Stein. Second If you are interested in coming up to Albany on Tuesday, January 15, to lobby […]

Be Sociable, Share!
Jan 102019
 
Be Sociable, Share!

Be Sociable, Share! TweetThe Public Advocate Candidates Forum 2019 Featured 17 Candidates and Nine Clubs Held at the LGBT Center on West 13th St, the Public Advocate Candidates Forum 2019 attracted hundreds of activist voters with no shortage of questions to ask of the candidates.  And, the well-credentialed roster was certainly up for the task.  VID endorsed Benjamin Yee for Public Advocate, in a members-only meeting following the Forum. Candidates The candidates included, in order of appearance, Jared Rich, an Attorney;  Nomiki Konst, a progressive activist and watchdog journalist; Raphael Espinal, NYC Council;  Danny O’Donnell, member of the NYS Assembly;  Dawn Smalls, an […]

Be Sociable, Share!