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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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.

VID RESOLUTION SUPPORTING HR4937
FOR PERMANENT LEGAL STATUS FOR RAVI RAGBIR
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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