Feb 282018

VID’s General Meeting Covered L-Train, KidsRise, Endorsements, Campaigning and More…

L-Train, KidsRise, Endorsements, Campaigning were the mail topics at February’s General Meeting held at PS 41 on the 8th.  John Weatherall spoke a meeting addressing the L train shutdown at a February 14 MTA Open House.  

L-Train, KidsRise, Endorsements, Campaigning_Chris Marte

Chris Marte discusses 85 Bowery

Chris Marte made a report on 85 Bowery, a building where almost 75 residents, children and seniors among them, were evacuated because of structural issues which the new landlord had not addressed.  He had disputed the status of the building as rent-stabilized and had not fixed the staircase for two years, so the court ordered the evacuation and gave the landlord two weeks to do the repairs.  The tenants, many of whom don’t speak English, were sent to a homeless shelter in East New York, where they were packed six to a room.  Both VID and DID sent letters to the local electeds. There’s more background and an update here.

L-Train, KidsRise, Endorsements, Campaigning_Berger

Keen Berger

Keen Berger spoke of her work with the New Sanctuary Movement, the deportation of Jean Montrevil to Haiti, and the future deportation of Ravi Ragbir.  Both of these people are activists in the NSM.  Nydia Velazquez introduced a private bill to rectify the situation.  Eric called for a motion that VID support special bill HR 4937–this passed unanimously, and Jonathan Geballe will work on it and send it out.

Assemblymember Deborah Glick introduced Julie Menin–she worked with Julie and CB1 after 9/11, then Julie ran for Borough President, after which Ms. Menin became the Consumer Affairs Commissioner and is now the Media and Entertainment Commissioner, where she is working on womens’ issues such as pay disparity.  Deborah applauded her for her long history of community organizing.

L-Train, KidsRise, Endorsements, Campaigning_Menin

VID Feb. 2018 Meeting with guest speaker, Commissioner Julie Menin, Mayors Office of Media and Entertainment, describing NYC Kids Rise program

Julie expressed her happiness to be back and spoke of NYC Kids Rise, her program to provide low-income children a $1,000 college savings account.  She is also involved in protecting the undocumented.  In Media and Entertainment, her focus is on various programs to provide women opportunities in film and onstage, including a $5M fund for women filmmakers and playwrights.  She also promotes sustainability and when a production is in the neighborhood, everything must be bought locally.  

Following Commisssioner Menin the Club listened to the candidates running in the Democratic Primary for Federal offices. The endorsements went to Gillibrand, Nadler and Maloney after in-depth discussion.

Nat Johnson reported for the Environmental Committee, speaking of the four pillars of the Committee:  use less and reuse, use everything more efficiently, protect the neighborhood and world environments, and assure progressive policies rooted in social safety nets and environmental justice.  There will be a presentation in the VID March 8 meeting featuring Tal Zakan, Senior Coordinator, Organics Outreach, DSNY, to discuss recycling.  There will also be a Town Hall followup on these same themes.

L-Train, KidsRise, Endorsements, Campaigning_Audience

Tony Hoffmann, Sara Kimball, Laurie Hardjowirogo

Laurie Hardjowirogo recounted a great meeting two weeks ago where phonebanking at Livvey Mann’s persuaded 50 voters to re-register upstate at their second homes.  The Committee is working with organizations like True Blue and people like Julian Spector, and will host a forum with Ross Barkan and Andrew Gounardes at Greenwich House.

Tony and Laurie outlined the last Campaign Committee meeting, which was attended by 19 people and set the calendar for endorsements.  There will be a forum for statewide candidates on May 7, and a breakfast March 3 which Nadler will probably attend, and petitioning begins March 6.

See Full Minutes

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Feb 172018

VID 2018 Endorsements

VID endorses Gillibrand, Nadler and Maloney_VID membersVID Endorses Gillibrand, Nadler and Maloney, at the February 8th meeting.  The primary for these Federal offices will be on June 26th, with petitioning starting March 6th and a kick-off breakfast on March 3rd at VID headquarters, 26 Perry St., from 10:00 am to Noon.  Congressman Nadler will join us at 10:30am.

The membership listened to three candidate representatives and one candidate.  The seat most contested was the 12th Congressional District where Carolyn Maloney is the incumbent.  Challenigng her are Sander Hicks and Suraj Patel.  Ballotpedia provides some comparative background on Congresswoman Maloney and Suraj Patel.  

Rob Gottheim, the Congressman’s District Director spoke for Jerry Nadler; Minna Elias, the Congresswoman’s Chief of Staff spoke for Carolyn Maloney.

The Tallies

US Senate – 26 votes for Gillibrand; 5 votes for No Endorsement;  1 vote for Al Franken

10th Congressional District – Unanimous for Nadler

12th Congressional District – 20 votes for Maloney; 17 votes for Patel (17); 0 votes for Hicks; 2 votes for No Endorsement


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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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Oct 062017

On October 12th VID will vote for the clubs City Council District 1 endorsement….

At the October 12th General Meeting there will be a vote for the City Council District 1 candidate endorsement, updates from the Campaign Committee, Voter Reform Committee, Environmental Committee and the Affodable Housing Committee, as well as a Club vote to amend the By-Laws.

Thursday, October 12th, 6:30 pm
St. John’s Lutheran Church, 83 Christopher St.

Here’s the agenda:

1.  President’s Report – Erik Coler

2.  District Leader Report – Keen Berger

3.  6:45pm – Vote on Constitutional Amendment regarding Executive members/Officers running on opposing slates
Please see below for the proposed Amendment

4. Vote on Endorsement for General Election City Council District 1
  General Endorsement Rules apply

5.  Committee Reports

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

6.  8:15pm – Vote on official position of two referendum propositions on November ballot
See below for propositions

7.  New Business
8.  Adjournment

A.  Proposed VID Constitutional Amendment 

Any officer of VID or member of the Executive Committee who runs against a VID slate or a VID endorsed candidate shall forfeit his/her office/seat on the Executive Committee for the remainder of his/her term. The office/seat shall be considered vacant. At the next annual election for Executive Committee or officers the person may run for VID office again. Any ex officio member of the Executive Committee (District Leaders, past president) who runs against a VID slate or endorsed candidate will forfeit his/her seat on the Executive Committee until the next annual vote for Executive Committee members. At that point they will regain their seat.

B. Two Referendum Propositions on the November Ballots

Proposal 2 would allow judges to reduce or revoke the state pension of a public officer convicted of a felony related to his or her duties.  
Proposal 3 would create a 250-acre land bank, which would allow local governments to request forest preserve land for projects in exchange for the state acquiring 250 acres for the forest preserves.
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