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May 252017
 

At the May 11th meeting, VID endorsements for City-Wide candidates were voted upon after reports from the Voter Outreach, Environment, Affordable Housing and Gala Committees.  

VID Endorsements for City-Wide Candidates_JamesThe VID endorsements for City-Wide candidates followed a highly successful and well-publicized Candidates Night at the LGBT Center on May 2nd [read The Villager’s coverage]and the general meeting’s focus on Club committee work and community issues. 

You can read the full meeting minutes here.

The meeting began with a request from President Erik Coler to the membership to itemize a list of community concerns.  The responses included tax issues, civil rights protections, parks, after school programs, a new bathroom in the Jefferson Market Library.  Also mentioned were bike racks, broken sidewalks, potholes, “curb cut” ramps, less stop and frisk, noisy clubs, mental health care, more mom and pop stores and small business in general.  Also traffic congestion, lack of coordination at construction sites, participatory budgeting, and fair wages for service employees, eliminating tipping.  There was, additionally a big discussion about the coming work on the L train, and how that would affect the neighborhood, along with the need for more benches, elevators and escalators in the MTA.

Laurie Hardjowirogo, chair of the Voter Outreach Committee reported on their work to support Democratic candidates in Republican held Congressional Districts.  CD 19 currently held by John Faso has been a target of their efforts.  John Patrick Maloney’s Town Hall in Faso territory attracted over five hundred people, along with members of the activist group Indivisible.  More of these will be held, with Kirsten Gillebrand, Chris Murphy, and others.  The object is to raise money and attract volunteers to organize voters to overturn such Republican seats.

Nat Johnson’s Environment Committee reported on progress in curbside composting pick-up.  Community Board #2 approved a resolution calling for this type of curb-side pick-up.  He also reported that Deputy Commissioner Bridget Anderson had set goals for recycling, with zero waste going to landfills by 2030.  Single stream recycling is targeted for 2020, but organic compost is contaminated with plastic bags and must be separated.  But, for every ten buildings that commit to curbside composting, the city will send a truck for pickup.  Already StuyTown is committing to organic recycling.  This summer, on July 25, there will be a Food Waste Fair at the Brooklyn Expo Center.

VID Endorsements for City-Wide Candidates_galaNadine Hoffman, co chair of the Gala Committee, announced that the event grossed $37,170.00, with over 150 attendees.  Dr. Alec Pruchnicki donated $150 by selling 15 copies of his book for $10 each and donating the money.  

In the Affordable Housing arena, Erik Coler gave an update on the 421a tenants initiative.  You can read about in The Villager.  In early June, he will be going to buildings where units have been illegally destabilized, and advise them to sign onto a lawsuit on a contingency basis.

And the winners of VID City-Wide endorsements were:

Borough President – Gale Brewer
Comptroller – Scott Stringer
Public AdvocateLetitia James
Mayor – Bill DeBlasio

May 032017
 

candidates night round 2Lots-O-Candidates and Lots-O-Questions at Candidates Night Round 2 last night at the LBGT Community Center.

Candidates Night Round 2 wouldn’t have happened without a whole lot of cooperation.  Thanks Laurie Hardjowirogo, Tony Hoffmann and Club President Erik Coler with major assists from Downtown Independent Democrats Village Reform Democratic Club Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club CODA LES Chelsea Reform Democratic Club (CRDC). And thanks Bill de Blasio Sal Albanese Robert Gangi Michael Tolkin David Eisenbach Letitia “Tish” James Cyrus Vance Gale Brewer Scott M. Stringer and Kevin Coenen.  You all made it an exciting night for Democrats.

So here’s how it happened:

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And, then, there was a nice clip on NY1 News this morning.

 

Apr 302017
 

candidates night round 2Candidates Night Round 2 features Mayor, Comptroller, Public Advocate, District Attorney and Manhattan Borough President Candidates

On Tuesday, May 2nd Candidates Night Round 2 will occur at the LGBT Center, 208 West 13th St. beginning at 6:30 PM.

Co-Sponsored by Village Independent Democrats, The Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, Village Reform Democrats, CODA, Chelsea Reform Democratic Club and DID this forum follows the very successful first round which included candidates for City Council.

Candidates Attending:

Mayoral Candidates
Sal Albanese
Bill De Blasio
Robert Gangi
Michael Tolkin

Public Advocate
David C. Eisenbach
Leticia James

NYC Comptroller
Scott Stringer

Manhattan Borough President
Gale Brewer

District Attorney
Cy Vance

Apr 302017
 

Curbside Composting Pickup Resolution At the April 13th General Meeting VID passed a Curbside Composting Pickup Resolution 

VID agrees with the New York City Department of Sanitation program for collecting food scraps, spoiled food, food-soiled paper, and yard trimmings and plants – collectively known as organics or organic waste. This waste comprising almost one-third of the waste that the NYC Department of Sanitation collects when composted can enrich and not damage our environment, as well as saving the City money on landfill costs. New York City will be contributing to the “zero waste” to landfills by 2030 policy.
The full curbside composting pickup resolution calls upon Community Board #2 Manhattan (CB#2)  and the NYC Dept of Sanitation to expand the program to Manhattan and specifically to CB#2:

“Whereas, there are no Manhattan neighborhoods participating in the City’s curbside composting program and we feel that Community Board 2 Manhattan meets the characteristics for this program.”

Here are the three Resolves requested:

  1.  The Village Independent Democrats urges Community Board 2 to explore participation of the district in the City’s curbside collection of organic waste program;
  2.  The Village Independent Democrats urges Kathryn Garcia, Commissioner New York City Department of Sanitation as she has stated, to enhance organic waste as a resource;
  3.  The Village Independent Democrats urges our City Council representative Corey Johnson, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to support curbside compost pickup in Community Board 2.

This initiative is on the list of strategic actions adopted by the Environmental Committee for 2017.  The resolution was introduced by Nat Johnson along with two others at the Apri 13th meeting.

At present there are organic waste drop-off sites at Spring St. and Sixth Avenue (Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8-11AM) and at the Abingdon Square Green Market on West 12th and Eighth Avenue (on Saturdays from 8AM-1PM).