I would like to thank our membership for electing me to serve out the remainder of this term as president. I am honored to have been selected and to have the opportunity to serve VID and its members. I am thrilled that you have chosen Eli Hausknecht to be Vice President and to serve along with our two outstanding VPs, Lorna Gottesman and Tim McNerney, our superb Treasurer and Secretary, Kathy Jacobson and Celia Wu respectively, our terrific Corresponding Secretary, Annette Zaner, the dedicated Yvonne Sherwell of our Tenants Clinic, and all who devote time on our Executive Board.
We continue to assert our progressive ideals, to protect and defend our civil rights, to strive for fair and full economic opportunity, education, healthcare for all. We seek a community where the most needy and vulnerable – the elderly, the young, the disabled, the out-of-work — are cared for and not forgotten. Some of our goals are far reaching, say, for a more peaceful world or habitable environment. Some are smaller in scale but no less valued, such as the day-to-day issues presented by tenants to our Tenants Clinic.
Having reiterated those principles, we must now turn to the job we have immediately ahead of us: rebuffing the rightward swing of the Teabaggers and their extreme ideological purification campaign to eliminate Democrats, progressives and even moderate Republicans. This is no time to be complacent because we assume that Manhattan is safely Democratic. What we do here will have statewide and national ramifications, and it is our job to organize a heavy downstate Democratic majority to offset the conservative vote elsewhere. VID must turn its energy to getting out the Democratic vote November 2nd: canvassing, sending good neighbor letters, campaigning and getting voters to the polls on Election Day. Please join with me in this effort.