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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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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