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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Jan 172018
 

DACA First…Contact Your Elected Leaders

Village Independent Democrats urges support of DACA first.   We stand with elected officials, law enforcement professionals, faith and civic leaders in supporting Dreamers and DACA recipients.  We recognize their enormous positive and productive role in our communities, and their contributions to our schools, workplaces, and shared prosperity as a nation.

Here’s our message.  Copy and send,liberally, to: 
Congress Member Jerold Nadler 
Sen Charles Schumer, 
Congress Member Carolyn Maloney
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

Dear Congressman Nadler,

Village Independent Democrats stands with elected officials, law enforcement professionals, faith and civic leaders in supporting Dreamers and DACA recipients.  We recognize their enormous positive and productive role in our communities, and their contributions to our schools, workplaces, and shared prosperity as a nation.
 
Since June 2012, nearly 800,000 young people who came to the United States as children have passed background checks and received permission to live and work in America.  Through DACA, they have advanced their education, started businesses, and established themselves as integral members of our society.
 
Ending DACA would put these young people at risk of deportation and separation from their families and our communities.  Not only would this would be senselessly cruel, it would remove hundreds of thousands of young men and women from our workforce.  It would cost the country an estimated $460.3 billion in lost Gross Domestic Product over a decade and tens of billions more in contributions to Medicare and Social Security.  It would force businesses to incur $3.4 billion in turnover costs.
 
In late June, attorneys general from ten states threatened to sue the Trump Administration if it does not end DACA; but twice that number wrote to encourage the administration to maintain and defend the initiative
 
We urge President Trump, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, and our members of Congress to keep their political and moral commitments to preserve DACA.  We also encourage President Trump and Republicans and Democrats in Congress to enact legislation that replaces fear and uncertainty with permanent protection for Dreamers. The recently introduced stand-alone Dream Act of 2017 would do that and we support it.
 
Dreamers and DACA recipients have enriched and strengthened American cities, states, schools, businesses, and religious institutions.  It is a moral imperative that the the country recognize them, value them, and stand with them.  Let them fulfill their destiny in the United States of America.  

Thank you,

 

Erik Coler                                                                               
President                                                                                
Village Independent Democrats

Executive Committeee
Village Independent Democrats

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Dec 122017
 

VID had a very busy November.  Polling, poll watching, GOTV – here and elsewhere, and phone-banking consumed most Club members.

 

Busy November_Virginia Election

Polls in Virginia and in New York drenched but victorious.

Our busy November began with a bus trip to Virginia, coordinated by Jen Hoppe with the usual cookie sustainance from Keen Berger.  Tony Hoffmann congratulated the Election Committee and VID Members  on their incredible performance. November 7th, even though in the world of excitement, this year’s election was not near the top (in NYC).  The weather in the morning was cold and in the evening, it rained.  Laurie Hardjowirogo, Ed Yutkowitz, Elissa Stein, Irene Kaufman, Jen Hoppe, and Erik Coler led the pack.

The Voter Reform committee’s Laurie Hardjowirogo was very happy to announce that the three candidates she campaigned for upstate all won.  Where Indivisible groups were active, results were good; where they weren’t, results were not so good.  The second phone bank for upstate second home owners got many people to re-register, and a few went to the True Blue Summit, in late October  There was still a lack of transparency with the DNC, and she was concerned that millennials, who will outnumber baby boomers in 2020, are mainly registering as Independents.

A rally on November 13 at Cuomo’s office on Fifth Avenue urged him to stop the Williams Pipeline and commit to transitioning NYS to renewable energy.  

Paul Newell reported on the County Committee where certain reforms were pushed at the September meeting, with seven resolutions proposed.  Five were straightforward rules changes, but the seventh one, regarding Keith Wright, was quite controversial.  It called for Keith to resign one of his positions, County Leader or lobbyist.  A Rules Committee has been convened and will meet in three months, which has never been done before–most meetings are held every six months.  He urged anyone interested in proposing rules changes to let Keen know–he said we can convene a new meeting, and he feels we will win.  The Democratic party must be set up to be open to outside groups and other activists.

Assemblyman Deborah Glick spoke, advising everyone of her seminar on climate change held November 28 at the New School.  She also spoke of her proposal of an enhanced TAP for private colleges.

The November meeting featured a discussion of Mt Sinai/BethIsreal Hospital;  Judy Wessler and Anthony Feliciano represented the community–Mt. Sinai/Beth Israel declined to attend, saying they had already spoken enough on the issue.  Jonathan Geballe had put together a resolution re Beth Israel.  There was a discussion, and Tony Hoffmann recommended putting together a committee comprised of Susan Gottesman, Zella Jones, Alec Pruchnicki, Marlene Nadle, and Judy Wessler and Anthony Feliciano.  They will meet before the next membership meeting.  This passed unanimously. SEE THE FINAL RESOLUTION.

Again, a substitute amendment re Executive Committee members running for Judicial Candidate positions at a different club, saying the amendment that passed was meaningless.  Susan proposed tabling this to the Executive Committee meeting.  This passed with 25 for and one abstention.  It will be re-introduced at the December meeting.

There was an election for two new Executive Committee members to fill two vacancies.  The candidates (and election results) were Deb Sherman (22 votes), Irene Kaufman (19 votes), Yvonne Sherwell (9 votes), and Cam Krause (2 votes).  So, the new members are Deb Sherman and Irene Kaufman.

Rounding out the busy November schedule, Laurie announced a November 16 phone bank against the IDC.

Here are the FULL MINUTES of the Nov. 9th, 2017 General Meeting.

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Oct 262017
 

At the Oct. 12th Meeting VID voted upon November 7 Ballot  Endorsements

VID voted to oppose proposal #1 and approved proposals # 2 and #3.  For City Council District 1 there was no endorsement.

On the first of the November 7 ballot endorsements asking for a majority vote for a Constitutional Convention, VID unanimously rejected the proposal and thus agreed with the opinion of the New York Civil Liberties Union at the September meeting.  Question #2, “Allowing the Complete or Partial Forfeiture of a Public Officer’s Pension if He or She is Convicted of a Certain Type of Felony,” and question #3 “Authorizing the Use of Forest Preserve Land for Specified Purposes” received unanimous approval at the October meeting.

 You can see the full text of all three proposed ammendments here.

Because VID’s primary endorsed candidate, Christopher Marte, was defeated by incumbent Councilperson Margaret Chin, the membership then took up the question of whether to make a second endorsement for the General Election.  Mr. Marte, as a result of several write-ins on the Independence Party line, moved to take up the option to running as an Independence Party candidate.  After a lengthy debate, that considered whether a Democratic Club should endorse an Independence Party candidate at all,  the membership voted to make no endorsement with 19 votes.  Marte received 11 votes and Chin 5.

November 7 ballot endorsements were not the only topics of the October 12th meeting, however.  

November-7-ballot-endorsements_YeeAfter reports from District Leaders Keen Berger and Arthur Schwartz (who announced that he was leaving the Village Reform Democratic Club), County Committeeman and County Committee Secretary, Ben Yee reported on the status of several rules changes that had been introduced at the County Committee meeting in September.  Though anticipated to be reviewed by the Rules sub-committee, they have not.  The Executive Board, which had met before, decided to table the resolutions. The County Committee will reconvene in three months to review certain resolutions–in particular, one asking Keith Wright to step down from one of his positions, and also one asking the IDC to rejoin the Democrats or not get support from the party.  Ben applauded Rachel Lavine’s work with the Progressive Caucus as very important.   You can read more about the NYS Progressive Caucus here.

And get updates from Ben Yee here.

Laurie Hardjowirogo briefly of her campaign in CD 19 against John Faso. Both Laurie and Jen Hoppe announced coordination with the Keep VA Blue initiative, Nov 4th with a bus leaving NYC for an overnight in a tight district in Pennsylvania to get out the vote.  Tony Hoffmann and Laurie discussed VID palm cards to be distributed at every polling place in the district letting voters know ofour opposition to the Constitutional Convention.  The Supreme Court nominees must be endorsed, but because of time limits, he asked for permission for the Executive Committee to make the endorsement.  This passed unanimously.

The last item on the agenda was a visit from Marc Fliedner, running against Cy Vance for NYC District Attorney.  He offered a summary of his background and qualifications–30 years of criminal justice experience, mostly prosecuting hate crimes, and sex crimes.  He has since found a Manhattan residence, so he will qualify for the ballot.  Erik Bottcher spoke up for his work in the LGBTQ community.

You can read the full minutes of the October 12th Meeting here.

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