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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Feb 282018
 

VID’s General Meeting Covered L-Train, KidsRise, Endorsements, Campaigning and More…

L-Train, KidsRise, Endorsements, Campaigning were the mail topics at February’s General Meeting held at PS 41 on the 8th.  John Weatherall spoke a meeting addressing the L train shutdown at a February 14 MTA Open House.  

L-Train, KidsRise, Endorsements, Campaigning_Chris Marte

Chris Marte discusses 85 Bowery

Chris Marte made a report on 85 Bowery, a building where almost 75 residents, children and seniors among them, were evacuated because of structural issues which the new landlord had not addressed.  He had disputed the status of the building as rent-stabilized and had not fixed the staircase for two years, so the court ordered the evacuation and gave the landlord two weeks to do the repairs.  The tenants, many of whom don’t speak English, were sent to a homeless shelter in East New York, where they were packed six to a room.  Both VID and DID sent letters to the local electeds. There’s more background and an update here.

L-Train, KidsRise, Endorsements, Campaigning_Berger

Keen Berger

Keen Berger spoke of her work with the New Sanctuary Movement, the deportation of Jean Montrevil to Haiti, and the future deportation of Ravi Ragbir.  Both of these people are activists in the NSM.  Nydia Velazquez introduced a private bill to rectify the situation.  Eric called for a motion that VID support special bill HR 4937–this passed unanimously, and Jonathan Geballe will work on it and send it out.

Assemblymember Deborah Glick introduced Julie Menin–she worked with Julie and CB1 after 9/11, then Julie ran for Borough President, after which Ms. Menin became the Consumer Affairs Commissioner and is now the Media and Entertainment Commissioner, where she is working on womens’ issues such as pay disparity.  Deborah applauded her for her long history of community organizing.

L-Train, KidsRise, Endorsements, Campaigning_Menin

VID Feb. 2018 Meeting with guest speaker, Commissioner Julie Menin, Mayors Office of Media and Entertainment, describing NYC Kids Rise program

Julie expressed her happiness to be back and spoke of NYC Kids Rise, her program to provide low-income children a $1,000 college savings account.  She is also involved in protecting the undocumented.  In Media and Entertainment, her focus is on various programs to provide women opportunities in film and onstage, including a $5M fund for women filmmakers and playwrights.  She also promotes sustainability and when a production is in the neighborhood, everything must be bought locally.  

Following Commisssioner Menin the Club listened to the candidates running in the Democratic Primary for Federal offices. The endorsements went to Gillibrand, Nadler and Maloney after in-depth discussion.

Nat Johnson reported for the Environmental Committee, speaking of the four pillars of the Committee:  use less and reuse, use everything more efficiently, protect the neighborhood and world environments, and assure progressive policies rooted in social safety nets and environmental justice.  There will be a presentation in the VID March 8 meeting featuring Tal Zakan, Senior Coordinator, Organics Outreach, DSNY, to discuss recycling.  There will also be a Town Hall followup on these same themes.

L-Train, KidsRise, Endorsements, Campaigning_Audience

Tony Hoffmann, Sara Kimball, Laurie Hardjowirogo

Laurie Hardjowirogo recounted a great meeting two weeks ago where phonebanking at Livvey Mann’s persuaded 50 voters to re-register upstate at their second homes.  The Committee is working with organizations like True Blue and people like Julian Spector, and will host a forum with Ross Barkan and Andrew Gounardes at Greenwich House.

Tony and Laurie outlined the last Campaign Committee meeting, which was attended by 19 people and set the calendar for endorsements.  There will be a forum for statewide candidates on May 7, and a breakfast March 3 which Nadler will probably attend, and petitioning begins March 6.

See Full Minutes

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Feb 012018
 

The start of the New Year was all about standing up and being counted…

Throughout Manhattan VID Members and friends gathered to support progressive agendas.  At the January 11 General Meeting, Erik Coler got the ball rolling on standing up and being counted by introducing his newest idea – posting anti-Trump fliers in coffee shops to stimulate membership in VID.  [Meeting Minutes Here]

Standing Up and Being Counted_DiNapoli

NYS Comptroller, Tom DiNapoli

This meeting also hosted NYS Comptroller Tom DeNapoli who regaled the club with a speech congratulating Jerry Nadler, Brad Hoylman, Deborah Glick, and others. He complimented the VID holiday party and spoke of the intricacies of the comptroller’s office and the financial soundness of the city, then took questions about prison reform, Medicaid and nursing homes.

On the Immigration front, Keen Berger and Erik Bottcher reported on the demonstration for Ravi Ragbir, head of the New Sanctuary Coalition.  Erik Bottcher spoke about the rally, which was attended by Borough President Gale Brewer and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, and during which two Councilmembers, Jumaane Williams and Ydanis Rodriguez, were arrested.  Keen also mentioned Jean Montreal, who also is in danger of deportation.  

The Environmental Committee met on January 19th.  Nat Johnson, Chair of the committee, reported that the Trump administration was undermining EPA regulations, which required public hearings, not being held in New York.  He urged members to register objections at the EPA website.  The night before they had met with the Manhattan Solid Waste Management organization.  

Laurie Hardjowirogo solicited volunteers for the True Blue anti-IDC phone banks.   

On Saturday, January 20th a large number of VID Members and friends gathered for the Women’s March. (See the slideshow for Tony Hoffmann’s pictures).

On January 22, VID Member, Livvey Mann host a second-home registration phone bank. 

On January 25th there was an anti-IDC demonstration in front of Senator Flanagan’s office. 

And, then there were the Inauguration festivities for Councilmember Carlina Rivera and for Council Speaker Corey Johnson (also depicted in the slide show – thank you Tony).

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Dec 182017
 
VID Officers for 2018_Erik Coler President

Senator Brad Hoylman speaking on the IDC at the December Meeting

Erik Coler topped the list of VID Officers for 2018 as he was re-elected President

Also elected at the December 14 meeting, as VID officers for 2018 were Vice Presidents, Jennifer Hoppe and two new Vice Presidents, Erik Bottcher and Laurie Hardjowirigo.  All three have been ardent campaigners for local candidates as well as frequent volunteers in Up-State New York, Pennsylvnia, Virginia and Georgia.  We are now, officially, infused with exceptional energy and Democratic commitment for another momentous year.

At the January General Membership Meeting candidates for Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Treasurer, and the Executive Committee will be elected.

Other Topics

Other initiatives discussed from the Dec. 14th agenda included Brad Hoylman speaking about the negotiations in the NYS Senate regarding the IDC; Laurie Hardjowirigo gave the Voter Reform Committee Report; Nat Johnson gave the Environmental Committee Report by stressing what was learned at the December 4 Future of Renewable Energy Forum; Erik Coler of Affordable Housing recapped the year’s achievements by saying this year 42 units had been re-stabilized and he was hoping next year to add 90 more.  

Carlina Rivera, our new City Council member, gave a short speech in which she thanked the VID for its incredible support in her campaign.  She won the Primary with 60% of the vote, the General with 80%. 

Tony Hoffmann explained the new revised constitutional amendment and the process involved.  After reading the amendment, it passed overwhelmingly with one opposed.

Erik Coler introduced the Final Mt. Sinai/Beth Israel Resolution.  Tony thanked Zella Jones, Marlene Nadle, Judy Wessler, Susan Gottesman, Alec Pruchnicki, Barbara Ruether, Jim Yates, and Jonathan Geballe.  After some discussion, in which some errors were discovered, a proposal was made to send the resolution back to committee.  This was passed unanimously.

You can read the full meeting minutes here.

 

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