Mar 272014
Clean Energy

Nancy Anderson, Samara Swanston, Lisa DiCaprio and moderator Frieda Bradlow

April General Membership Meeting Features a Forum on Clean Energy

Thursday, April 10th, 6:30 PM-St.John’s Lutheran Church-Meeting Room-83 Christopher St

1- District Leader Report– Keen Berger,
2- Committee Reports3- Forum- “The Power to Change: Clean Energy and the Future of New York City”  

 Samara F. Swanston– Legislative counsel to the Environmental Protection Committee of the New York City Council, an Adjunct Professor at the Pratt Institute Graduate School for Urban Planning and the Environment, and an Adjunct Professor at the Hunter College Graduate School for Urban Affairs and Planning.

Lisa DiCaprio– Associate Director of Curriculum, Clinical Associate Professor of Social Sciences-Paul McGhee Division New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies

Nancy Anderson- Executive Director of the Sallan Foundation.  The mission of the Sallan Foundation is advancing useful knowledge for greener cities.

The presentation will be 30-minutes followed by a question an answer period.

4- Resolution:
a- Resolution urging the NYC Council to pass a resolution urging NYC pension board to divest its pension funds from the fossil fuel industry-Frieda Bradlow

5- New Business

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Mar 272014
2014 Petitioning

Ed Yutkowitz, Laura Morrison, Tony Hoffmann, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and NYS Assemblymember Deborah Glick launch VID’s petitioning season.

2014 Petitioning season began on March 8th for the Congressional Primary and continues through April 5th.  VID is supporting incumbents Jerrold Nadler and Carolyn Maloney.

State primary petitioning will begin in June.  Stay in touch with Campaign Chair, Ed Yutkowitz, at . 

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Mar 272014


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Author John Strausbaugh livens up March Meeting; Resolutions; Congressional Petitioning…

It’s been a lively month at VID with no slow-down in our Spring to Summer agendas.  John Strausbaugh reminded everyone of the color and character of Greenwich Village from its very inception with no shortage of questions and comments from the VID members and guests who were not shy about getting Mr. Strausbaugh’s signature on their new copy of his book, The Village:  400 years of Beats and Bohemians, Radicals and Rogues.

Congressional Petitioning 2014Then it was on to resolutions – all passed by the membership:  Restoration of Bus Service on University Place, introduced by Tom Connor and Support for GVSHP’s initiative to landmark historic LGBT buildings, introduced by Jonathan Geballe.

Tony Hoffmann also announced the launch of Congressional petitioning with VID clubhouse open every Monday (6-7:30 pm), Thursday (6-7:30 pm) and Saturday (10-11:30 am) through April 5th to pick up and return petitions.   This year’s petitioning chair is Ed Yutkowitz; you can reach him at EddieNY (at)

MINUTES:  Minutes-March 13, 2014 Mtg


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Mar 012014

Forum Speakers Offer Specifics to Increase Affordable Housing in NYC

By Marlene Nadle, VID Housing Committee Chair 

Affordable Housing Forum

Marlene Nadle, VID Housing Committee Chair

“The conventional wisdom that the city can’t do anything about affordable housing is destructive, demoralizing, and legally wrong,” said tenant attorney Seth Miller. He was one of the speakers at a February affordable housing panel and film cosponsored by the Village Independent Democrats and Judson Memorial Church . The program was organized by VID Housing Chair, Marlene Nadle. Miller proposed a number of actions addressing affordable housing that could be carried out by the City Council and didn’t need Albany’s approval. They include:

  • Pass an ordinance penalizing the warehousing of apartments.
  • Pass an ordinance prohibiting the reduction of apartment units in a building and the demolition of units in a building, or only allow it if the units are replaced by affordable apartments that are offered to the displaced tenants.
  • Devote any property taken in tax foreclosure to affordable housing and stop selling tax liens.
  • Pass an ordinance tightening the enforcement of the J-51 tax abatement given to developers.
  • Change the formula for setting first rents in 421-a and other city-subsidized apartments.

Tom Angotti, a professor of urban planning at Hunter College, also added things to do to get more affordable housing that didn’t depend on the state. His suggestions, like all of the panelists suggestions, began to correct the former housing policies described in the screened film, The Vanishing City, produced by Fiore DeRosa and Jen Senko.

Affordable Housing panelists

Seth Miller, Moses Gates and Tom Angotti

Angotti’s proposals:

  •  All housing subsidized with public funds should be made permanently affordable by using land trusts and regulatory agreements.
  • Demand the city change the way it defines affordable by basing it on neighborhood median income instead of the median income for the entire metropolitan region.
  • The city should increase taxes on habitable housing left vacant for more than a year and expropriate housing vacant for more than two years.
  • Demand changes to the City Charter to give community Boards the power and resources to make major decisions on land use and infrastructure.
  • Demand an end to the public give aways to developers by doing away with J-51 and 421-a.

Moses Gates, a policy planner at the Association of Neighborhood and Community Development, supported most of these proposals. He suggested another way to get around the state was to go to the Federal level and push to have the Housing Trust funded and to get the HUD office to initiate public/private development of affordable housing. Gates also stressed the need to form alliances on housing issues with people like Public Advocate, Tish James,  City Council Speaker, Melissa Mark Viverito, and the Chair of the Council’s Housing Committee, Jumaane Williams. There was a shared feeling that DeBlasio’s plan to build 200,000 new units was not sufficient. “Bloomberg built 165,000 units of affordable housing, but lost more affordable units than that,” Angotti said.

The same thing is likely to happen with the DeBlasio plan if 200,000 units are built without incorporating any of the other changes the panelists suggested.


Related Reference: RoofLines, the Shelterforce Blog, Feb. 7, 2014, Home Rule and Rent Stabilization


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