May 252017
 

At the May 11th meeting, VID endorsements for City-Wide candidates were voted upon after reports from the Voter Outreach, Environment, Affordable Housing and Gala Committees.  

VID Endorsements for City-Wide Candidates_JamesThe VID endorsements for City-Wide candidates followed a highly successful and well-publicized Candidates Night at the LGBT Center on May 2nd [read The Villager’s coverage]and the general meeting’s focus on Club committee work and community issues. 

You can read the full meeting minutes here.

The meeting began with a request from President Erik Coler to the membership to itemize a list of community concerns.  The responses included tax issues, civil rights protections, parks, after school programs, a new bathroom in the Jefferson Market Library.  Also mentioned were bike racks, broken sidewalks, potholes, “curb cut” ramps, less stop and frisk, noisy clubs, mental health care, more mom and pop stores and small business in general.  Also traffic congestion, lack of coordination at construction sites, participatory budgeting, and fair wages for service employees, eliminating tipping.  There was, additionally a big discussion about the coming work on the L train, and how that would affect the neighborhood, along with the need for more benches, elevators and escalators in the MTA.

Laurie Hardjowirogo, chair of the Voter Outreach Committee reported on their work to support Democratic candidates in Republican held Congressional Districts.  CD 19 currently held by John Faso has been a target of their efforts.  John Patrick Maloney’s Town Hall in Faso territory attracted over five hundred people, along with members of the activist group Indivisible.  More of these will be held, with Kirsten Gillebrand, Chris Murphy, and others.  The object is to raise money and attract volunteers to organize voters to overturn such Republican seats.

Nat Johnson’s Environment Committee reported on progress in curbside composting pick-up.  Community Board #2 approved a resolution calling for this type of curb-side pick-up.  He also reported that Deputy Commissioner Bridget Anderson had set goals for recycling, with zero waste going to landfills by 2030.  Single stream recycling is targeted for 2020, but organic compost is contaminated with plastic bags and must be separated.  But, for every ten buildings that commit to curbside composting, the city will send a truck for pickup.  Already StuyTown is committing to organic recycling.  This summer, on July 25, there will be a Food Waste Fair at the Brooklyn Expo Center.

VID Endorsements for City-Wide Candidates_galaNadine Hoffman, co chair of the Gala Committee, announced that the event grossed $37,170.00, with over 150 attendees.  Dr. Alec Pruchnicki donated $150 by selling 15 copies of his book for $10 each and donating the money.  

In the Affordable Housing arena, Erik Coler gave an update on the 421a tenants initiative.  You can read about in The Villager.  In early June, he will be going to buildings where units have been illegally destabilized, and advise them to sign onto a lawsuit on a contingency basis.

And the winners of VID City-Wide endorsements were:

Borough President – Gale Brewer
Comptroller – Scott Stringer
Public AdvocateLetitia James
Mayor – Bill DeBlasio

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Apr 202017
 
VID Moves Progressive Agendas

Day of Action at Washington Square Park

VID Moves Progressive Agendas with a host of initiatives

At the April 13th meeting, President Erik Coler, Voter Outreach Chairs Tony Hoffmann and Laurie Hardjowirago and Environment Committee Chair confirmed that VID moves progressive agendas.

Nat Johnson, of the Environmental Committee, reported on their three major projects:

One is the VID Resolution passed by the Executive Committee promoting curbside compost pickup.  He read this to the membership and it was passed unanimously.

Second is a thank-you letter to the Governor for forming the plastic bag recycle task force.  He said Cuomo had proposed an energy initiative to build renewable energy sources for New York State, and he wants to invite Richard Kaufman, NY’s “energy czar” to explain.

Thirdly is preparation for the Earth Day celebration, April 22 at Foley Square [see calendar].  The next meeting of the Environmental Committee will be on the 19th.  Erik Bottcher mentioned that buses would be leaving New York on the April 29th for the Climate March in DC. [see calendar].

Tony Hoffmann, who is on the Campaign Committee, reported on the success of the candidate’s forum, where candidates for the City Council Districts 1, 2, and 3 spoke, along with the two District Leaders, running unopposed.  This was co-sponsored by the Jim Owles Club and VRDC, with a standing room only crowd of 125 people.  The next forum, for Mayor, Controller, Public Advocate, and District Attorney, will be held May 2 at the LGBT Center.  This will be co-sponsored by VID, VRDC, CRD, DID, CoDA, and the Jim Owles Club.  He also announced the upcoming Jane Street Block Association Street Fair, to be held June 3.

Tony also spoke about the importance of County Committee candidates, the grassroots level of the Democratic Party, and urged people to run for this committee.  There followed a lengthy discussion about how to qualify and run. 

Erik Coler, VID President, continues the committment for VID moves progressive agendas in discussing the Day of Action and how successful it was, giving credit to Laurie Hardjowirogo.  He wants to build it into something bigger, and proposed a Trivia Night.  He will follow up on this idea.

On the Affordable Housing front, Erik commended Marlene Nadle on her letter opposing the renewal of the 421-a tax abatement.  (Unfortunately, it was passed.) He stated the J-51 tax credit should be for 100% affordable housing, but this is not enforced.  The Committee has located four buildings where tenants have been illegally destabilized, and said so far thirteen tenants have signed on for a retainer to fight the situation.  Erik stated the law has been reactive rather than proactive and must change.

Erik also read the resolution from the Voter Reform Committee endorsing Eric Schneiderman’s New York Votes Act, proposing early voting, same day registration, same day primaries, and other reforms.  This resolution was passed by the membership, unanimously.

Nadine Hoffmann reported on plans for the Gala, to be held April 27 at Tio Pepe.  Honorees are to be Shino Tanakawa, an education advocate, pro public education, who was also very active for years in the creation of the 75 Morton Street school, staff from the National Parks Conservancy for their role in establishing the Stonewall National Monument, and three pro-immigrant organizations, the NY Immigrant Coalition, the International Refugee Assistance Project, and Make the Road, all active against the travel ban.  Also to be honored will be member Tony Hoffmann for his valuable contributions to the club.

You can read the full minutes of the April 13th meeting HERE

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Mar 312017
 

Endorsement Meeting_MembersGeneral Membership & Endorsement Meeting

Thursday, April 13th, 6:30 pm
St. John’s Lutheran Church
83 Christopher St.

1.  President’s Report
2.  Elected Officials
3.  District Leaders
4.  Committee Reports

  •    Voter Reform Committee – Laurie Hardjowirogo
  •    Environmental Committee – Nat Johnson
  •    Gala Committee – Nadine Hoffmann / Nancy Shamban
  •    Campaign Committee – Tony Hoffmann & Laurie Hardjowirogo
  •    Affordable Housing – Erik Coler

5. Endorsement of City Council & District Leaders
    City Council District 1
    City Council District 2
    City Council District 3
    __________________
    District Leaders – 66th AD, Part A

6.  New Business
7.  Adjournment

—–

RULES FOR ENDORSEMENTS OF CANDIDATES

Each City Council Race will be provided with 15 mins of total discussion.
– One minute per person to speak in favor of voting in favor of a candidate, against a candidate, or no endorsement for the race as a whole.

Each District Leader Race will be provided with 10 mins of total discussion.
– One minute per person to speak in favor of voting in favor of a candidate, against a candidate, or no endorsement for the race as a whole.

*Simple majority of all votes cast is the winner.  If no winner top two have a runoff. On second vote If nobody has a majority, or if no endorsement has a majority, then no endorsement is the position of the club.

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Mar 252017
 

There are Three Simple Steps to Find Out If You Live in a Rent Stabilized Apartment

Here’s how to find out if you are rent stabilized.

1.  Request your Rent History

 You can get your rental history from the New York Department of Homes and Community Renewal (DHCR) you can do so by…

  • Going to the website www.AmIRentStabilized.com and requesting your history
  • Calling the DHCR and requesting a rental history (212) 480 – 6700

2.  Receive your Rent History

The DHCR will send you your apartment’s Rental History. Your landlord will never be notified of the request for your history

3.  Bring to our Community Meeting

Bring your Rental History to the Community Meeting on April 11th, Tuesday, April 11th @ 6:30pm, at Tony Dapolito Recreation Center – 1 Clarkson St. (Top floor – Community Room)  MAP

OR contact us directly and we will walk you through the process – President@VillageDemocrats.Org

Rent Stabilized_ProPublica

Source: Evictions data from the New York City Public Advocate’s Office. Rent stabilization data derived from the New York City Department of Finance and taxbills.nyc. Building footprints from NYC OpenData. Additional property data provided by Rentlogic.

More Background for Rent Stabilized Status

Meet the NYC Tax Break That Could Save You From Eviction Or A Big Rent Hike
by Cezary Podkul , ProPublica, July 6, 2016

A property tax benefit known as J-51 can mean the difference between a rent freeze and a sharp increase. Here is how to find out if your building qualifies.

Thousands of landlords in New York City are being told to give tenants new, rent-regulated leases because of a tax break they received. That means their apartments will be subject to city-set rent limits, and some tenants might be able to recover past overcharges. Rent limits would apply even to apartments that lease for more than $2,700 a month – the usual cutoff for the regulation known as “rent stabilization.”

Due to an error by state officials, rent limits on tens of thousands of New York City apartments were improperly removed. Now, 20 years later, the state is relying on landlords to fix that problem. 

Read the article and link directly to other authoritative sources.

 

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