May 282015

NYC Human Rights Law is the subject of the featured panel discussion at the June General Membership meeting

Thursday, June 4th at St. John’s Lutheran Church Annex, 83 Christopher St. at 7:00 PM

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A distinguished panel assembled by VID’s own Alison G. Greenberg, Esq. will discuss the NYC Human Rights Law’s political, legal and practical implications for workers.

According to Fair Play Legislation, a website that covers this subject:

We have already made substantial progress, especially after the Local Civil Rights Restoration Act of 2005 insisted that judges honor the uniquely broad and remedial purposes of the local New York City Human Rights Law. Despite the failure of the Human Rights Commission to use the administrative enforcement route effectively, civil rights attorneys have been quite successful in vindicating the law in court.

This is a unique moment to consolidate and expand our gains and to protect against reactionary forces that are always looking to roll back the law.

On April 20th of this year New York City Mayor Bill DiBlasio signed a pair of bills designed to enhance the City Human Rights Commission’s investigative and enforcement efforts in the areas of employment and housing discrimination. But is this the only remedy?


Craig Gurian, Esq.Executive Director, Anti-Discrimination Center and Director of Advocacy, Fair Play Legislation

Daniela Nanau, Esq., of Law Offices of Daniela Nanau, P.C. and Member of NELA/NY


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May 082015

VID General Membership Meeting

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St. John’s Lutheran Church Annex
83 Christopher St.
Thursday May 14, 2015
6:30 PM


Our May 14th General Membership Meeting has a pretty full agenda.  In addition to Club business we will be hosting an important discussion on Fracking and Gas Pipeline Infrastructure, as well as presentations from and endorsements of Civil Court and District Leader candidates.  Following is the agenda:
I.  President’s Report

II.  District Leader’s Report–Keen Berger

III. Special Forum:
Fracking and Gas Pipeline Infrastructure
Nat Johnson–Organizer
Panelists:  Clare Donohue, Sane Energy Project
Eric Weltman,  Food & Water Watch in New York
Ling Tsou, United for Action
Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal, Status of the Port Ambrose LNG

IV.  Update on Saving Small Business Petitioning–Sharon Woolums

V.  Update on Gala–Jen Hoppe

VI.  Presention by Civil Court Judge Candidates  (See election protocol for all candidates below)

VII.  Endorsement of Civil Court Judge Candidates

VIII.    Presentation by District Leader Candidates

IX.     Endorsement of District Leader Candidates.

X.     Election of VID’s Judicial Delegates and Alternates

   XI.      New Business

Election Protocol
Village Independent Democrats

Eligibility to vote and/or be a candidate:

     a- Must be a VID member for 90 days
b- Dues must be up to date
c- If your dues have expired, you can pay back dues in order to vote.  However, per VID constitution you can only pay back dues for one year and one month.  Therefore, anybody who’s dues expired before April 14, 2014 is not eligible to vote.Election Protocol:

  • Civil Court
  1. Each candidate can speak for up to 5 minutes
  2. Each candidate will take questions from VID members for up to 5 minutes
  3. VID members are allocated up to 5 minutes speak on behalf of a candidate.  No member can speak for more than one minute unless nobody else wishes to speak.
  4. A candidate must get a majority of the votes cast in order to get the VID endorsement.  In case no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast on the first ballot and there are only two candidates on the ballot then no endorsement is the position of the club. If there are more than two candidates then there is one more ballot with the two top vote getters staying on the ballot.  If no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast on the second ballot then the position of the club is no endorsement.
  • District Leader

Same rules as for Civil Court candidates with the exception that the candidates only receive three minutes each to speak.

  • Judicial Delegates and Alternate Judicial Delegates
  1. Each candidate receives 1 minute to speak
  2. VID members have five minutes to as candidates questions
  3. The candidates who receive the most votes are elected to represent VID on the ballot as judicial delegates.  The candidates who receive the next highest number of votes become the alternate judicial delegates.
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May 032015

Village Independent Democrats will hold a forum on halting the advance of gas pipeline infrastructure which threatens health, environment and economic life of New York State.  

The forum will take place on May 14, 2015 at 7:00 PM, at St. John’s Lutheran Church Annex, 83 Christopher St. (just west of Seventh Avenue).  The public is invited.  Admission is free.

Gas Pipe Infrastructure_Map

Sane Energy Project – Online Interactive Map: You Are Here. Click to go to the map.

“The gas industry wants to expand the natural gas infrastructure in New York State to maximize its ability to export natural gas to more profitable overseas markets,” says Nat Johnson, organizer of the forum.  “We have to develop stronger regulatory protocols to protect domestic energy markets and further the development of renewable energy, resource conservation and energy efficiency.”

Participants In this panel discussion Include:

  • Sane Energy Project – Even though high-volume horizontal fracturing has been banned in New York State, the invasion of fracking infrastructure is going full tilt. To date, Sane Energy Project has identified more than 137 pipelines, compressor stations, frack waste or storage facilities that are proposed, under construction or in operation. Program Director, Clare Donohue, a recipient of the Village Independent Democrats Annual Gala Award in 2013, presents a visual presentation of the website and its significance.
  • Gas Pipeline Infrastructure_Equipment

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    Eric Weltman, Senior Organizer for Food & Water Watch in New York, reports on the status of Fracking in the region and its effects in the more than 7,500 accidents related to fracking since  2013, leaks and spills including oil trains and negatively impacting water quality in rivers, streams and shallow aquifers. This includes projects like the Constitution, Algonquin and Spectra Pipelines and particularly the Port Ambrose Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal (LNG).

  • United for Action is a group of volunteers who shape public policy decisions by organizing and mobilizing groups of like-minded citizens. Ling Tsou co-founder of the group discusses advocacy for the implementation of renewable energy, conservation and energy efficiency policies particularly the Port Ambrose liquefied natural gas (LNG) port project and the proposed offshore wind farm.
  • Gas Pipeline Infrastructure_Port AmbrosePort Ambrose LNG terminal has been proposed by Liberty Natural Gas off Long Beach, Long Island for the New York/New Jersey area. Linda B. Rosenthal represents District 67 in the New York State Assembly; she along with State Senator Brad Hoylman sent a letter to Governor Cuomo urging him to veto this project. Assemblymember Rosenthal discusses the status of the opposition to the Project – which would damage our marine ecosystem, put us at risk from terrorist attacks, exacerbates climate change and put pressure to frack for more gas across the Northeast region.

Press Contact:   VID President Nadine Hoffmann at 212-741-3265, or email her here.


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May 012015

Zephyr-TeachoutZephyr Teachout Addresses April 9th General Membership Meeting

Ms. Teachout started by announcing that she had just gained tenure at Fordham.  She finished her book, “Corruption in America“, and had just written a letter to the Supreme Court regarding the Citizens United decision.

She discussed how the Founding Fathers found corruption the biggest threat to democracy, although now over 50% of former congresspeople become lobbyists.  This profession was a felony in many states for over a hundred years of our history.  Zephyr Teachout also spoke of renewable energy, net neutrality, and a possible second book about effects of high-stakes testing for teachers.  She also seemed optimistic about the choice of Carl Heastie to replace Sheldon Silver, and discussed the corrupting influence of money in politics and the fate of the Moreland Commission.

For more about the April meeting, click here for the minutes


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