Sep 292012
Massachusetts Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren

Tony Hoffmann, Massachusetts US Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren and Jonathan Geballe at Manhattan Fundraiser

Tony Hoffmann, Celia Wu and I attended a fundraiser for Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren last night in SoHo. Several hundred neighborhood supporters gathered, and Warren walked through the milling crowd, shaking hands and thanking donors. That gave me the chance to greet her and announce that our team of New York election attorneys (via the New York Democratic Lawyers Council) would be coordinating with her lawyers to protect the vote in MA on election day. She was thrilled, and grateful.

Professor Warren then took the microphone and gave a vigorous, engaging and powerful speech. True to her professor training she opened with a brief history on how in the 1930s our country knitted together great strength and solidity by enforcing a somewhat level playing field, from workers to financial institutions. But Wall St was able to undermine the strong regulatory restrictions in the 1980s and things began to pull apart. Warren’s driving effort is to return to that pre-1980s equilibrium. She responds to the ugly personal attacks of opponent Sen. Brown campaign by simply reciting his pro-corporation, pro-oil, anti-middle class voting record. The crowd went silent when Warren closed by reminding us that we will be remembered for what happens in this election, and the direction we set for the next generation. And then erupted into applause and cheers. Warren is the real thing; a genuine battler for consumer rights and for making Wall Street live by the same rules as the rest of us.

VID has asked you for contributions to our bus campaign for Obama in Pennsylvania and for other causes … but if you have a few extra dollars a good place to send them is to Warren. Her voice is our voice, and we need her on the floor of the SenateYou can get to her campaign at


Other Reading:  New York Magazine, Sept. 20, 2012

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    Sep 252012

    Here’s a picture of the volunteers and collaborating organizers in front of the OFA office in Bethlehem at the end of the day before getting back on the bus to NYC, Courtesy of the Manhattan Young Democrats

    Over the past two Saturdays canvassers from the VID buses in Bethlehem and Nazareth, Pennsylvania, knocked on 6,514 doors, had 1,787 conversations with voters, registered over 200 people and secured 722 signed commit to vote cards from Obama supporters. That’s the way you win elections.

    VID president, Jonathan Geballe, and VID co-campaign chair, and bus captain for life, Peter Crosta have made both Saturday trips, joined last Saturday by VID co-campaign chair Tony Hoffmann. The energy and bonding with fellow NYC Democrats on board the bus is contagious and the welcome from our PA neighbors is warm and generous. We were met by Obama volunteers who opened their homes to all of us New Yorkers (from VID and all the clubs we organized) and served breakfast and lunch. The voters were (mostly) super friendly. President Obama has lots of support in the Lehigh Valley (he received 73% of the Bethlehem vote in 2008). Our job is to make sure the Democrats get out and vote, and secure this crucial battleground state. We ask staunch Obama supporters to sign a voter commitment card which is mailed back to the voter before the election — the most effective way to mobilize voters.

    Much credit goes to those who are organizing and facilitating this operation. It has been a team effort. Primary kudos go to Yayoi Tsuchitani who organized the entire effort-from securing commitments and money from various local organizations, to recruiting volunteers, to renting buses at super low rates to raising money to subsidize the buses-Yayoi has done it all. Working with Yayoi are Nadine Hoffman, the person who keeps track of all bus registrants and tabler extraordinaire; Celia Wu, Georgina Christ, and Yayoi-the other tabler extraordinaires (they’ve raised over $500 in just two weeks); Yayoi and District Leader Keen Berger the master chefs who have baked a zillion cookies and cakes that are selling like hot cakes; bus captain Peter Crosta and future bus captain Marti Speranza; and finally Tony and Nadine Hoffmann whose September fundraiser pulled in over $2000 for the canvassing effort. VID can be proud of what we’ve accomplished.

    Jonathan, Peter and I would love to have other VID’ers accompany us on the bus. We leave every Saturday at 8:30 AM (arrive by 8:00 to check in) from in front of Babies R’ Us which is located between 15th & 16th Streets on the east side of Union Square Park. The buses return by about 7:00 p.m. To register you can email Nadine Hoffman at or call VID at 212-741-2994 and leave a message. Please join us and be part of the Obama campaign. Looking forward to seeing you.

    Tony Hoffmann

    Co-Campaign Chair
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      Sep 142012
      Brad Hoylman Primary Victory

      Brad Hoylman with Senator Tom Duane thanking staff and many friends for victory in the Democratic Primary. Photographer: Tony Hoffmann

      Congratulations to Brad Hoylman for a resounding victory in last night’s Democratic Primary for the 27th Senate District. The nearly complete reported results show that Brad took around 70% of the votes, a very impressive number which shows the wide range of support Brad has earned from his years of dedicated service.

      Of course VID had a part to play in this victory and we celebrate the organizational efforts of our campaign chairs, Tony Hoffmann and Peter Crosta, the ground game energy of Marti Speranza, Katharine Wolpe, Georgina Christ, Anne Kjellberg, Mary Petretti, Frieda Bradlow, Nadine Hoffmann, Alexander Meadows, Rachel Lavine, Dodge Landsman, Irene Kaufman, Anne K. Johnson,  Harold Stelter and the irreplaceable strategical assistance, skills and experience of Laura Morrison.
      You know, we are really excited to be Brad’s “home club.”  And we give full credit to Brad’s determined and top-notch campaign team, and the other clubs who supported Brad across the district. Hey, that NY Times endorsement didn’t hurt, either.
      So congrats, Brad. We know you will be fighting the good fight in Albany, as Tom Duane did for us so effectively and gracefully for many terms.”

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        Sep 142012

        Obama-BidenWe are among several NYC Democratic clubs*  working together to send bus loads of volunteers to canvass and support President Obama’s campaign in the Leigh Valley in PA. an area that has been hit hard by the Great Recession and the loss of manufacturing jobs. The economic downturn has left boarded up houses and created a transient populace. With the coordination of ACT NOW we will register voters, explain the new voter registration laws and canvass.

        The fare for the bus has been lowered to $10 thanks to our fund-raising efforts, BUT… if you are a student, or on a limited income, your enthusiasm is enough.

        Here’s the schedule:
        September 15, one bus
        September 22, 29, two buses on each Saturday
        October 6, two buses (US Coachways)
        October 13, 20 two buses
        October 27, three buses
        November 3, three buses
        November 6, two buses

        The buses will depart (loading at 8:00am, depart 8:30 sharp) from and return (to NYC about 8pm) to Union Sq & 14th St in front of Babies R Us. The police dept was very helpful back in 2008 and are agreeable to our plans this year.

        Call the VID phone number : (212) 741-2994 and leave a message.
        OR e-mail, Nadine Hoffman is taking reservations

        ACT NOW, Chelsea Reform Democrats, Downtown Independent Democrats, Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats, Greater New York City for Change, Lower Manhattan Democrats, Manhattan Young Democrats, NYU Law Democrats, the Samuel L. Tilden Democratic Club, Stonewall Democrats, and Village Independent Democrats.

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