Feb 162018

Ravi Ragbir rally posterAt the February 8th General Meeting VID voted unanimously to support legal status for Ravi Ragbir, as introduced by District Leader Keen Berger.  Many VID Members participated in a rally on his behalf on Jan. 25th. 

Following is the resolution supporting Ravi Ragbir which can also be downloaded here.

February 8, 2018

WHEREAS Ravi Ragbir was convicted of wire fraud 18 years ago, served time, and paid his “debt to society”;

WHEREAS he was a legal immigrant with a green card which was negated because of his conviction,

WHEREAS he has gone to every check-in and otherwise complied with e everything required by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), as well as married and become an exemplary member of the community, and

WHEREAS Ravi was without notice detained, jailed and sent to Florida to be deported, without a fair hearing, and without regard for a balance of the equities since he has followed all requirements and, but for the one mistake, has lived without repeating that error, and has become a community leader and a leading force in the New Sanctuary Movement,

WHEREAS District Judge Katherine Forrest has determined that his current detention is unmerited and ordered Ravi Ragbir let out of detention, yet he still faces the possibility of deportation on February 10;

WHEREAS Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez has proposed and submitted a special bill (HR4937) which would give Ravi Ragbir permanent legal status in the United States as a valuable member of our community;

THEREFORE the Village Independent Democrats endorses and supports HR4937 and calls upon the House of Representatives to enact this bill, grant Ravi Ragbir permanent legal status and prevent his deportation now or in the future.


Passed unanimously at VID General Membership Meeting – February 8, 2018

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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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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).

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Feb 232017

The planned DNC Candidate Endorsement at our February General Membership Meeting was cancelled due to a blizzard.

We were disappointed that we were unable to have a membership meeting due to the weather in order to make a DNC Candidate endorsement as a Democratic club. However, the VID Executive Committee felt that this election is too important not to voice our opinion.  As a result, after background research, much deliberation and discussion the Executive Committee endorsed Keith Ellison with the following resolution:

Whereas, the scheduled and advertised endorsement meeting of the Village Independent Democrats (VID) regarding the chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was canceled because of a blizzard, and

Whereas, the DNC will choose a chair before the next general VID meeting, and

Whereas, the VID is dedicated to a vibrant and effective Democratic party, both locally and nationally,

Whereas, the members of the Village Independent Democrats executive committee have considered the candidates for DNC chair by studying their websites and viewing other forums at which they spoke, and

Whereas, members of the VID Executive Committee have voted regarding all 10 candidates for this position,

Therefore, the VID Executive Committee strongly supports Keith Ellison for the next DNC chair. His plan as Chair would revitalize both the states and national Democratic parties, build a stronger Democratic platform, and focus on a grassroots approach.


You can review the candidates qualifications and the process to be followed in this thorough National Public Radio piece or in this updated CNN coverage.

DNC candidate endorsement

From left: Democrats Keith Ellison, Jaime Harrison, Tom Perez and Pete Buttigieg are competing to become the next chair of the Democratic National Committee. Other candidates include Sally Boynton Brown and Jehmu Green.  Photograph:  NorthCountryPublicRadio.org

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