Apr 302018
 

The 61st Annual Spring Forward Awards, held on April 26th at Tio Pepe Restaurant

This year’s honorees included Ravi Ragbir of the New Sanctuary Coalition of NYC; Ken Kidd and Hal Moskowits of Gays Against Guns and Nadine Hoffmann, past President of VID.

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 Posted by at 10:31 am
Apr 302018
 

The April 12, 2018 General Meeting endorsed two candidates, passed two resolutions and heard a report on the Democratic County Committee

Full April 12, 2018 General Meeting Minutes

April 12, 2018 General Meeting_Annete Zaner

Annette Zaner and VID President Erik Coler at the 61st Annual Awards night.

President Erik Coler opened the April 12, 2018 General Meeting by announcing three new committees:  Gun Reform, chaired by Deb Sherman and Allison Stowell, Communications, chaired by Sara Kimbell, and the County Democrats Reform Committee, with Elissa Stein and Irene Kaufman.  He also announced that The Executive Committee had agreed to make Annette Zaner VID member for life–and the membership unanimously agreed.

Jeanne Wilcke reported on the Democratic County Committee Rules Committee and how the process for reform was very laborious and detailed, with the minutes for the March meeting running to 17 pages!  There was plenty of fighting on the grassroots level, with many complaints not acknowledged by the County Committee, no unified email list for notifications, etc.  The Ethics Committee was divided on not allowing the County Leader to be a lobbyist–the vote was no, 9-3, based on language problems. Everyone agreed that the screening panel for judges should be comprised of Democrats registered in NYC.  This triggered a small discussion about who was previously on the panel, and how do incumbent judges who are challenged get a fair hearing. 

Deborah Glick rose to speak–and was unanimously endorsed.  She spoke of her efforts to take abortion protections out of the penal code and put into health care federal law, which failed.  She announced a shredding event at Sirovich Senior Center on May 1.  Money for students economically and educationally disadvantaged was restored in the budget, along with support for child care centers.  There was a $5 M matching grant for no-kill animal shelters.  There was no support in the Senate for early voting.  There is hope for a ban on fracking and money for reproductive health care in November, but we need a Democratic Senate.

Brad Hoylman was unanimously endorsed, but was not present.  Liz Kreuger will be addressed next meeting.

The Resolution on the L Train was read, and changes were discussed.  Elissa Stein discussed the 14th Street Coalition and the Arthur Schwartz lawsuit, amendments were made, and the resolution passed, with one no vote and four abstentions.

Alison Greenberg read her Resolution regarding the proposed rule changes at the LPC and calling for resignation of the chair and input from the public and preservation experts on any rule changes.  After discussion, the resolution passed overwhelmingly with one no vote and one abstention. 

Nat Johnson reported on the Environmental Committee’s focus on composting, mentioning Tal Zaken’s previous presentation on organic composting.  He toured the Simms Recycling Center in Brooklyn and will show a power point presentation.  Other concerns were the plastic bag task force, styrofoam and plastic straws.  Nat set up a future meeting with the Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board. 

Laurie Hardjowirogo reported on the Voter Reform Committee’s efforts to defeat John Faso in D19.  Sara Kimbell sent 150 post cards for Conor Lamb.  There will be a phone bank for the WFP on April 15, and Corey Johnson will host a Day of Action to get Shelley Mayer elected on April 22. 

Tony Hoffmann and Laurie reported next on the Campaign Committee.  They have collected about 1,000 signatures–660 for Nadler, and 330 for Maloney.  They discussed the number of signatures needed –at least 1,250.  And they noted that petitioning for local races starts June 5th. 

At the end of the meeting’s agenda was election of Judicial Delegates.  There was a discussion about whether to change the slate, sharing with VRDC and DID.  It was agreed not to at this time, but change was possible next year.  The candidates were Jen Hoppe (19), Allison Stowell (28), Deb Sherman (16), and Grace Price (3).  The top vote getters were Delegates, and the others were Alternates.

Katharine Wolpe announced the passing of Stanley Geller on April 6 at the age of 98.  He was an early President of VID as the Club grew to prominence in their opposition to Carmine DeSapio.

 

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Apr 152018
 


Gun Control_VID ResosAt the March General Meeting VID Passed Two Resolutions on Gun Control

The first gun control resolution, addressed to the NYS Legislature, requests parity between two existing pieces of legislation.  On the one hand New York State law prohibits minors under the age of 21 from obtaining a license to own or carry handguns; on the other New York State allows anyone over the age of 16 to purchase and own rifles and other long-barreled firearms and the ammunition for them.  Here’s the resolution.  The resolution calls on Democrats and Republicans in the State of New York legislature to increase the minimum age to buy, own, transfer, and obtain a license for ALL firearms and ammunition to at least 21.

The second gun control resolution demands Congressional action to end gun violence  with eight specific requirements. These include:

  1. Increasing requirements for purchasing or transferring a firearms;
  2. Implementing universal background checks;
  3. A ban on assault weapons, bump stocks and high-capacity magazines;
  4. Prohibition of purchase or transfer of all weapons to violent criminals,
  5. convicted stalkers, and individuals listed on the Global Terrorism Database;
  6. Holding hold firearm manufacturers liable for the omission of safety mechanisms on firearms;
  7. The development and implementation of a National Gun Registry;
  8. Treating gun-related injuries and deaths as a public health issue.

The resolution further puts particular emphasis on opposing the  Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.

State Democrats have introduced several pieces of legislation since February that have been blocked by State Republicans.  Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins has published a comprehensive account of all legislation introduced, and their sponsors in a piece titled Senate Republicans Vote Down Gun Safety Legislation

The NYS Assembly passed their package on March 6th by a large margin.  The NYS Senate however, voted them down and instead “passed a series of so-called school safety measures that, among other steps, would require police officers at schools in New York City and provide grants to districts outside the city to hire retired law enforcement as school resource officers,” as reported by The NY Daily News.

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Apr 072018
 

The March meeting introduced many resolutions and a very thorough presentation on NYC Organics Collection Program

MARCH MINUTES.  Among the first orders of business were various activities surrounding the March Against Guns, scheduled for March 24th and a Gun Control Forum featuring State Senator Brian Kavanaugh on March 18.  Deb Sherman and Allison Greenberg, of the ad hoc Gun Control Committee, announced a high school walkout at the Clinton School on March 14 in honor of a student who was killed in the recent shootout.  Poster making, logistics and two resolutions highlighted the discussion.  See the more on these resolutions.   

March Minutes_Rachel-Lavine

Rachel Lavine, State Committee Woman

The March Minutes also reported on the election for the two State Committee positions.  Ben Yee, current State Committeeman, running unopposed and Rachel Lavine, current State Committeewoman also running unopposed.  Ben won his endorsement with 29 in support and one no endorsement; Rachel was reelected unanimously, with 30 in support.

 

March Minutes_OrganicsNat Johnson, chair of the Environmental Committee, introduced Tal Zakan, Senior Coordinator of Recycling and Sustainability, who gave a comprehensive slide show and presentation on the state of composting in the Village, with advice on how to organize your building and what should and can be composted.  This was followed by an animated discussion.

A resolution calling for the MTA and the DOT to Suspend the Radical 14th Street Transportation Plan Imposed by the Shutdown of the L Train Tunnel, ran into some strong opposition.  A friendly amendment was offered re the City and Country School on West 13th Street, which was accepted, but ultimately the resolution was sent back to the ad hoc committee, composed of Jonathan, Ed, David Siffert, and Janet Liff.  Here is the final Resolution on the L Train.

Another resolution on the Tech Alley Impact on the Community was read, calling for zoning changes to be implemented to preserve affordability in the area.  This passed unanimously. 

Jen Hoppe reported on the Governor’s Report on the Status of NY Women and Girls 2018, created by Kathy Hochul, Lieutenant Governor, and Melissa DeRosa, first female Secretary to the Governor.  She presented a slideshow on five major areas:  Health, Safety, Workplace, Girls, and Family.  This was a comprehensive look at what has been done and still needs to be done in NYS regarding the status of women.

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