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 162018
 

On February 13th New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) hosted two public webinars to provide an overview of the New York State Offshore Wind Master Plan

New York State Offshore Wind Energy Plan….and the next steps that New York State will take to advance offshore wind energy development.  To spur the development of renewable resources, Governor Cuomo announced in his 2018 State of the State address that the state will issue solicitations in 2018 and in 2019 for a combined total of at least 800 megawatts of offshore wind power.  You can read and download the 53-page comprehensive Offshore Wind Master Plan here.

Introduction to the New York State Offshore Wind Master Plan

In light of the Clean Energy Standard mandate, and recognizing the enormous potential renewable energy resource that exists off of its Atlantic coast, New York has set its sights squarely on offshore wind energy as a key component of the State’s clean energy strategy. Governor Cuomo directed the State to engage community members, environmental advocates, and government partners at all levels to create the New York Offshore Wind Master Plan.2 Then, as part of his 2017 State of the State Address, Governor Cuomo set a nation-leading offshore wind energy development goal of 2,400 MW by 2030, enough to power up to 1.2 million New York households.

Taking the first step to reach this goal, Governor Cuomo, in his 2018 State of the State Address, called for the procurement of at least 800 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind power between two solicitations to be issued in 2018 and 2019.  In addition, Governor Cuomo directed NYSERDA to invest $15 million in clean energy workforce development and infrastructure advancement to train workers for jobs in this good-paying industry, including offshore wind construction, installation, operation, maintenance, design, and associated infrastructure.  After two years of in-depth research, analysis, and outreach, New York State presents its Offshore Wind Master Plan (Master Plan)—the most comprehensive offshore wind planning process to be undertaken by any state, which charts a course toward achievement of the State’s bold offshore wind energy objectives.

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Feb 012018
 

The start of the New Year was all about standing up and being counted…

Throughout Manhattan VID Members and friends gathered to support progressive agendas.  At the January 11 General Meeting, Erik Coler got the ball rolling on standing up and being counted by introducing his newest idea – posting anti-Trump fliers in coffee shops to stimulate membership in VID.  [Meeting Minutes Here]

Standing Up and Being Counted_DiNapoli

NYS Comptroller, Tom DiNapoli

This meeting also hosted NYS Comptroller Tom DeNapoli who regaled the club with a speech congratulating Jerry Nadler, Brad Hoylman, Deborah Glick, and others. He complimented the VID holiday party and spoke of the intricacies of the comptroller’s office and the financial soundness of the city, then took questions about prison reform, Medicaid and nursing homes.

On the Immigration front, Keen Berger and Erik Bottcher reported on the demonstration for Ravi Ragbir, head of the New Sanctuary Coalition.  Erik Bottcher spoke about the rally, which was attended by Borough President Gale Brewer and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, and during which two Councilmembers, Jumaane Williams and Ydanis Rodriguez, were arrested.  Keen also mentioned Jean Montreal, who also is in danger of deportation.  

The Environmental Committee met on January 19th.  Nat Johnson, Chair of the committee, reported that the Trump administration was undermining EPA regulations, which required public hearings, not being held in New York.  He urged members to register objections at the EPA website.  The night before they had met with the Manhattan Solid Waste Management organization.  

Laurie Hardjowirogo solicited volunteers for the True Blue anti-IDC phone banks.   

On Saturday, January 20th a large number of VID Members and friends gathered for the Women’s March. (See the slideshow for Tony Hoffmann’s pictures).

On January 22, VID Member, Livvey Mann host a second-home registration phone bank. 

On January 25th there was an anti-IDC demonstration in front of Senator Flanagan’s office. 

And, then there were the Inauguration festivities for Councilmember Carlina Rivera and for Council Speaker Corey Johnson (also depicted in the slide show – thank you Tony).

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Dec 212017
 

VID’s Renewable Energy Forum Packed with Details

Renewable Energy_speakers

Nat Johnson, VID’s Environmental Committee Chair; John Franceschina. President, New York Geothermal Energy Organization (NY-GEO) and Greg Hale. Senior Advisor to the Chairman of Energy & Finance, Office of the Governor

Nat Johnson, Chair of VID’s Environmental Committee put together an excellent program for December 4th’s Renewable Energy Forum which included speakers from the NYS Reforming Energy Vision (REV) program and the New York Geothermal Energy Organization (NY-GEO).

REV’s 2030 goals include a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels; 50% of electricity from renewable sources; 23% reduction in energy consumption of buildings from 2012 levels.  Ambitious but as Greg Hale, Senior Advisor to the Chairman of Energy & Finance, Office of the Governor says, “Doable.”  Their strategy is to support a broad range of renewable options, from rooftop solar panels to grid-scale wind farms, all with an emphasis on integrating these diverse energy sources into the grid. Simultaneously, New York is working to reduce soft costs and other market barriers to make these solutions more competitive in the energy market.  To accomplish this REV has embarked on more than 40 initiatives covering seven categories:

  1. Renewable Energy
  2. Building & Energy Efficiency
  3. Clean Energy Financing
  4. Sustainable & Resilient Communities
  5. Energy Infrastructure Modernization
  6. Innovation and R&D
  7. Transportation

You can review Mr. Hales whole presentation, Reforming the Energy Vision – New York Public Service (PowerPoint)

Renewable Energy ForumAnother fast-growing option utilizes Geothermal energy.   John Franceschina, President, New York Geothermal Energy Organization (NY-GEO) explained the process and benefits for using ground-source heat pumps to heat and cool buildings in New York State.  First, it is a naturally available and steady resource; the earth itself is a solar collector as well as an energy storage system.  Geothermal heat pump (GHP) Systems are extremely scalable, from low income housing to community loops serving multiple buildings on college campuses (such as the Skidmore Energy Node Project).  Since the Renewable Energy Forum,  on December 11, 2017, New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan and New York State Senator Robert Ortt announced the passage of their new law allowing geothermal heating & cooling systems to be included in New York’s On-Bill Recovery Financing Program.  This program, administered by the New York Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), allows homeowners, small businesses and not-for-profits to finance energy efficiency improvements through a charge on their utility bill.

You can also learn more about the movement toward geothermal energy from The Alliance for a Green Economy (AGREE)

OR you can download VID’s Forum Resource sheet.

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