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 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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