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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May 082016
 

VID’s April Membership Meeting covered petitioning results, Candles for Clemency, the AIM Pipeline, 45 Rivington St. AND endorsements for NYS candidates.

MINUTES

The meeting opened with a reminder from President Nadine Hoffmann about the Hillary fundraiser on May 12 cosponsored by Renee Feinberg at 303 Mercer.  A vote was taken to support the Washington Square Park Music Festival fundraiser on May 8 at the Greenwich Village Music School.  Nadine further reported that former member and supporter Marilyn Appelson remembered VID in her will.

Tony Hoffmann of the Campaign Committee thanked everyone who participated in the petitioning effort reporting that VID had secured 700 signatures for Jerrold Nadler, more, he thought, than any other club. A hundred signatures were secured for Carolyn Maloney.  On other business, Tony shared that The Candles for Clemency campaign was thinking about sending a few people to the Governor’s house in Mt. Kisco to picket on a weekly basis because it would be more effective.

Nat Johnson had postcards protesting the AIM pipeline, to be sent to the Governor.

Then, the endorsements:

State Senator Brad Hoylman, running unopposed in the 27 SD, had several people speak in his favor and was eventually unanimously endorsed by acclamation.

In the Assembly, where the incumbent, Deborah Glick, was running against challenger Arthur Schwartz, required a ballot, which Glick won, 30 in favor and one abstention.

State Committeewoman/66 AD Rachel Lavine was unopposed, and after discussion was unanimously endorsed by acclamation.

The State Committeeman/66 AD was sought by four candidates;  Deley Gazinelli, Dodge Landesman, John Scott, and Benjamin Yee.  There was much discussion and many testimonials for each candidate, but Ben Yee ultimately won.  The vote was:  Deley 3, Dodge 4, John 4, and Ben 24, with one no endorsement.

Following the candidate endorsements was a call for the club endorsement of the March for a Clean Energy Revolution, to be held in Philadelphia on July 24, the day before the Democratic Convention.  After discussion, the motion passed by a vote of 21 in favor, 4 against and two abstentions.

Last on the agenda for the April Membership Meeting was a resolution regarding the City’s sale of 45 Rivington Street with a restrictive covenant for nonprofit use to a private developer planing to build condos on the property. The resolution had previously been passed by the Downtown Independent Democrats.  There was much discussion about what exactly should be done, with a final agreement to sign on to the resolution, with letters to be sent to Councilmembers Rosie Mendez, Corey Johnson, Margaret Chin, Allure (the firm to which the City sold the rights) and possibly others.  This was passed by the members unanimously.

The meeting was adjourned, in time for everyone to watch the Democratic Presidential Debate.

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Mar 092016
 

VID held a lively February Meeting…

which included approval of a letter to Landmark Julius Bar, a resolution for the DNC to schedule more debates, approval of the VID endorsement calendar and a debate over affordable housing vs. local gardens.

February 2, 2016 Meeting Minutes
February-meeting_BergerOur new Vice President, Erik Coler, stood in for President Nadine Hoffmann, and opened by introducing two judges, the Honorable James E. d’Auguste and Honorable Alexander M. Tisch.   He then presented Nadine’s letter in support of landmarking Julius’ Bar.  The members unanimously approved.  Also approved at the February meeting was Kathy Slawinski’s resolution urging the DNC to schedule more official debates for the Democratic Presidential candidates.  And finally, following a lively discussion led by District Leader Keen Berger, the VID endorsement calendar was approved as well.

District Leader Arthur Schwartz addressed the club to announce that ‘s he has been retained by the Bernie Sanders campaign. He also mentioned Zephyr Teachout’s announcement that she will be running in the 19th CD.   He also announced that he will be running against Deborah Glick in the 66th Assembly District.

At Jim Fouratt’s urging Mr. Schwartz explained the New York super delegate situation.

  • There are 250 total delegates in New York:
  • 175 elected by CDs,
  • 55 at-large delegates
  • Super delegates are the rest and are comprised of Democratic Congresspeople and Senators and members of the DNC.

Each state usually gives delegate status to the top electeds, and their votes are not bound by voters in the state.

Update on the Voter Empowerment Act 

Erik Coler met with Brian Kavanaugh, one of the co-sponsors, to discuss building a coalition to pass it.  Brian suggested passing it piecemeal, starting with an early voting provision, which would also solve the problem of excess voters expected in the upcoming election.

The Special Presentation on the Elizabeth Street Garden Site

February Meeting_PanelThe issue: whether senior affordable housing should be constructed on the City-owned site at Elizabeth St between Spring and Prince St.   Tobi Bergman, chair of CB 2, and Janine Kiely discussed alternate sites and spoke of the need for the garden to become an official park site.  K Webster, CB 2 resident and President of the Sara D. Roosevelt Park Coalition spoke in favor of the housing.  Alison Greenberg moderated.

K. Webster spoke about the burgeoning population of seniors who need housing, and the wealth of community gardens in the area.  She said the site had been picked by HPD because the land is city-owned.  She felt HPD would do it, despite any opposition by the mayor, and that there would be plenty of space there open to the community.

Janine Kiely brought up the history of the proposal, citing a side deal to the SPURA rezoning agreement with no public notice or involvement.  She felt Little Italy, Soho, Noho, and the East Village were under-served by open spaces, and there was an alternative site, 2 Howard, which is currently a parking garage.  Jerry Nadler, Deborah Glick, Daniel Squadron, Gale Brewer, CB 2 and New Yorkers for Parks were all in support.

Tobi Bergman spoke of his past history with the park, and the fact that CB 2 had no input whatsoever, though he expected it would come to the CB eventually.  He spoke of the DEP site at Hudson Street between Howard and Clarkson, and said this space is bigger than the Elizabeth Street site both vertically and horizontally.

Lisa Kaplan, former Chief of Staff for Rosie Mendez and former CB 3 member, differed with this version.  She said in 2008 CB 3 entered into negotiations with the city to develop affordable and market rate housing.  There was a last minute push for a better deal, and all Margaret Chin could find was the Elizabeth Street site, so everybody jumped on it.

John Bredin thanked everyone and commended the club for putting democracy first.  He acknowledged that parks and housing are needed.

Preparing for This Year’s Gala 

Jen Hoppe addressed members at the February meeting regarding the upcoming Gala, to take place Thursday, April 24.  She solicited volunteers to find venue sites and Cormac Flynn volunteered to find some.  UPDATE:  The location has been secured.

VID 59th Annual Awards Celebration
Thursday, April 28, 2016
Tio Pepe Restaurant
168 West 4th Street
6:00-9:30 PM

 New Business

Ben Yee, of Manhattan Young Dems, announced an organizing event on March 1, Super Tuesday, to be held at the Red Room on East 4th Street.  Reps from Bernie and Hillary will be there to expound on their stands on women’s issues especially.

Mary Petretti, of the Cornelia Street Coalition, brought forward the planned IFC expansion onto Cornelia Street, involving changing residential zoning to commercial zoning in a very residential area.  She distributed literature asking people to contact the CB and protest.  She also took names and phone numbers of anyone willing to volunteer.

Cormac Flynn said he wanted the Exec Committee to work up language to evaluate the Presidential candidates on key issues and push those issues in a progressive direction.

Jim reminded the members to educate themselves about the super delegates.

 

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Oct 232015
 

The September Meeting Covered Many Topics…

Minutes-2015-9-17

September Meeting_Judges

The audience at the Judicial Forum held at Judson Church, Sept 20

September was a busy month:  leafleting, poll watching, campaigning, judicial candidate selections, forums, vigils, the Judicial Delegates Convention and more.  Following is a brief summary of the General Membership Meeting with a link to the full minutes.

  • Tim Wu will be working for the NYS Attorney General, specializing in technology.
  • The Executive Committee had voted to donate $225 to the Cooper Square Committee for an ad in their journal, it was approved by the Membership.
  • Terri Cude and Dennis Gault won by a large margin, and
  • All six of our judicial delegates won.
  • VID will be working with Food and Water Watch regarding regarding the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in raising livestock and its role in causing antibiotic-resistant bacteria.  VID has already passed a resolution on the topic.
  • Keen Berger began the District Leader Report by speaking on the battle over the Elizabeth Street Garden. She also brought up two races, those of Donna Edwards and Sheldon Whitehouse, whom she thought were worthy candidates.

There was a presentation on the Lenox Hill Emergency Center, made by Alex Hellinger, Executive Director and Wayne Kawadler, Director of Community Relations.  They brought out many points like the number of patients treated (24, 996), the speed and quality of care involving the very latest high tech equipment, and the impact on the community.  It is important to note that they are not an urgent care center and should only be used in critical cases except for traumatic heart problems or blocked airways.

  • After the presentation Tony Hoffmann discussed the Candles for Clemency vigil to be held Saturday the 26th.  The emphasis will be on clemencies for longtime, elderly prisoners who are rehabilitated and need to go home before death.  See coverage here.
  • Eric Coler reported on his Young Voter Outreach project, held in Union Square and Washington Square Parks.  He has some more strategies for reaching prospective voters, reaching out to political groups in colleges and supermarkets.  He plans his next event for the VID Street Fair on October 3.
  • Nadine introduced a resolution in support of A617, requiring the labeling of GMO foods in New York, to be addressed to Senators Schumer and Gillebrand.  This was unanimously approved.
  • Marti Speranza was recognized for her work in organizing ten local clubs to participate in a Presidential Forum, to feature representatives from each campaign and to be held November 1 at the School of Visual Arts Theater.
  • Nadine will be working with Kate Linker on a resolution in support of Letitia James initiative to divest from Walmart, Dick’s and other large gun sellers.
  • Sharon Woolums announced another Small Business Forum to be held September 30 in the Bronx.
  • Bruce Farrands and two other representatives from UFCW Local 1500 made a presentation on Mrs. Green’s new store in the Village.  He had participated in a previous battle at a Mrs. Green’s upstate, where when employees tried to organize they were fired.  There was general agreement that local electeds should be notified and involved.  Barbara Ruether volunteered to write a letter to this effect.See the Full Meeting Minutes Here
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