Jul 102017
 

Tim Wu ReturnsTim Wu returns as guest speaker at General Membership Meeting on Thursday, July 13th, 6:30 pm
St. John’s Lutheran Church, 83 Christopher St.

 The meeting will open with reports from VID President, Erik Coler, Elected Officials and District Leader Keen Berger

At 7:00 pm,  Special Guest Speaker, Tim Wu returns to VID to discuss the future prospects for keeping the internet free from control.

Tim Wu is Professor of Law at Columbia, Former New York Lt. Governor candidate.   He is also a leading expert on the future of the internet and net neutrality, having authored three acclaimed books: Master Switch, The: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires , Network Neutrality, The Next Digital Decade.

Thursay’s discussion will center on protecting the Internet.

Following will be Committee Reports

  •   Voter Reform Committee – Laurie Hardjowirogo
  •   Environmental Committee – Nat Johnson
  •   Campaign Committee – Tony Hoffmann & Laurie Hardjowirogo
  •   Affordable Housing – Erik Coler

Tim Wu_Carlina RiveraAt 8:15pm – Carlina Rivera will provide an Update on the Mt. Sinai Beth Israel Hospital
The future of Healthcare in Lower Manhattan and what is happening and what we will do to protect the village.

The meeting will adjourn after New Business is discussed.

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Jul 102017
 
gerrymandering_David Daley

David Daley talks Gerrymandering

Redistricting on Steroids is the gerrymandering model David Daley revealed in his June 8th appearance at VID

Erik introduced Dave Daley, author of “Ratf**ked;  the True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy”.  He delivered a riveting talk on how the Republicans took over in 2010 by using computer modeling to gerrymander and steal elections.  Gerrymandering, which can be traced back to at least 1788, has resulted in 69 of 99 state legislatures and both houses in 35 states to be controlled by Republicans in a country in which both parties are pretty evenly represented, with Democrats slightly ahead.  Dave called the new computer techniques, dreamt up by Karl Rove, “gerrymandering on steroids”.  He warned that the hard work is yet to be done to undo this catastrophe, the structural problems are deep and difficult to undo, and the usual electoral solutions may not be enough.

Dave recommended Dems should push voting rights, labor rights, and women’s rights.  He warned that the Supreme Court has ruled against racial gerrymandering but has never ruled on partisan gerrymandering.  Changes to the electoral college lose whenever they are brought before SCOTUS, because there is no precedent.  He also cautioned that there is no happy ending–winning elections will not redraw the lines.  He advocated concentrating on governorships to start the hard work.  This instigated a robust discussion.

You can read or  listen to an NPR interview with Mr. Daley here

Regular Business – State Politics, Petitioning, Housing and the Environment

President Erik Coler opened the meeting with a discussion of the 311 issues from the last meeting.  He proposed putting together “complaining blocs” –adding other complainants who live nearby and getting them to call 311 also.  May’s Trivia Night was a big success; Trivia Night will resume in July.  VID plans to sponsor a street festival June 17, with the opportunity to hand out literature and secure signatures on petitions.  There will be a Community Service Day in early July–Lois Rakoff will contact Washington Square Park to work out details.  

The Petitioning Kickoff Breakfast is scheduled for June 10th at the clubhouse, with appearances by Corey Johnson, Carlina Rivera, Scott Stringer, and Chris Marte.  And Keith Wright will be sent a letter regarding his new lobbying job.

gerrymandering_Keen Berger

Keen Berger at Trump Tower Protest in May. Photo: Nadine Hoffmann

Keen Berger opened her report with an anecdote about a homeless panhandler she encountered on the F train while she was with her grandson.  She makes it a policy not to give, but it made her think about Comey and a need to change the system.  She called for retaking Congress and working for impeachment.

Next, Rachel Lavine, State Committee Member in the 66th AD, gave a report.  She outlined the two functions of the Democratic State Committee–electing candidates for statewide office in case of a vacancy, and putting forward resolutions to shape the party platform.  She asked for the VID to support their resolution to remove Jeff Klein from leadership of the IDC.  He will be asked to find another party and another line to run on.  All members of the IDC will have their clubs approached to request that they either run as Dems or on another party line.  

gerrymandering_IDC Protest

VID members participated in May protest at Trump Tower. Photo: Nadine Hoffmann

There is also a plan to request that Governor Cuomo share money with state Dem candidates–at least $1M should be redistributed to local races.  In addition, the Committee wants to amend rules so they have 25 days instead of 10 for petitioning–and to encourage more progressive members.   The NYS Progressive Caucus wants to make the State Committee more democratic and more progressive.  They will urge a vote to support these resolutions at the next meeting at the end of July.  Jim Yates proposed no party funds should go to the IDC, and Ben Yee is also very supportive.

On Saturday (6/10), Brad Hoylman will be at the clubhouse to deliver a talk on the IDC.  

Laurie Hardjowirogo has been working in NY’s 19th CD.  She’s been door knocking and getting out the vote.  On Saturday, Brad Hoylman will be at the clubhouse to deliver a talk on the IDC.  

Nat Johnson and his team have been working on shutting down Indian Point and composting.  Frieda had a screening of a film on Indian Point at her house, which was very successful.

Tony Hoffmann gave a report on petitioning–He said he has never seen such enthusiasm, and he asked for volunteers.

Erik gave a report on Affordable Housing.  He’s going after bad landlords–those getting J-51 tax breaks and illegally destabilizing tenants.  He said there has never been a club which has created affordable housing, and promised a class action lawsuit by the end of the month.

You can read the full Meeting Minutes of June 8th here.

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Apr 202017
 

Following an informative and very well attended forum on April 5th, VID’s first 2017 Endorsements made on April 13th

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VID members were well-prepared for their first 2017 Endorsements following a Candidates Night with more than 125 people in attendance and 17 candidates for City Council Districts 1,2 and 3 and for District Leader positions for the 66th AD, Parts A and B, 

At the April 13th General Meeting where the endorsements took place, members were free to make statements for or against candidates, with voting to follow.

Here are the results:

For City Council District 1, Chris Marte won over incumbent Margaret Chin
votes.

For City Council District 2, Carlina Rivera won endorsement over  Ronnie Cho, Erin Hussein and Mary Silver 

For City Council District 3, Corey Johnson won endorsement almost unanimously, with one abstention.

For Female District Leader in the 66th AD, Part A, Keen Berger won unanimously.
For Male District Leader in the 66th AD, Part A, the vote was “no endorsement” at 17, with 13 for Arthur Schwartz, and two write-ins received one vote each.

The next Candidates Night will be on Tuesday, May 2, 2017, 6:00 PM, where candidates for Mayor, Controller, Public Advocate, and District Attorney will be heard.  The event will take place at the LGBT Center, 208 W 13th St,. This forum is Co-Sponsored by VID, VRDC, CRD, DID, CoDA, and the Jim Owles Club.

For a full list of all 2017 candidates visit the Gotham Gazette or the New York City Campaign Finance roster of candidates.

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Apr 112016
 

The April General Meeting Agenda 

…highlights endorsements for New York State candidate primary, Clean Energy March, Rent Controlled Tenants and a Street Vendor Fundraiser.

Thursday, April 14, 2016
83 Christopher Street
6:30 PM
This meeting must end by 9:45 PM

April General  Meeting Agenda

  1. President’s Report-Nadine Hoffmann
  2. District Leader Report- Keen Berger
  3. Campaign Committee-Tony Hoffmann/Ed  Yudkowitz – Update on petitioning
  4. Gala Committee–Jen Hoppe
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  5. Endorsements
    Assembly/ 66 AD– Deborah Glick, Arthur Schwartz
    State Senate/ 27 SD–Brad Hoylman  (unopposed)
    State Committeewoman /66 AD–Rachel Lavine  (unopposed)
    State Committeeman /66 AD–Deley Gazinelli, Dodge Landesman, John Scott, Benjamin Yee
    You can see the Live Treet of the Candidates Forum, April 7th from Danielle Tcholakian at DNA Info here.
  6. Co-sponsor the March For A Clean Energy Revolution – Sunday, July 24 — The eve of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia
  7. Letter to Governor Cuomo regarding tenant issues for Seniors–Tom Connor
  8. Update on Candles for Clemency–Tony Hoffmann
  9. Street Vendor Fundraiser Party–Alison Greenberg
  10. New Business

 

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