May 162016
 

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The May 12th Membership Meeting carried a full agenda AND a Civil Court Candidate Forum

Meeting Minutes_May-2016

President Nadine Hoffmann opened the May 12th Membership Meeting by noting how nicely the VID Gala was written up in The Villager by Lincoln Anderson.  There were also some nice pics from this event.  The March for a Clean Energy Revolution, which we endorsed, will take place on July 24 before the Democratic Convention.  Members agreed to spread the word regarding this event.

45 Rivington Letter to DeBlasio (see more details in our previous post), was unanimously passed for distribution.

District Leader Keen Berger said she had two good things to report.  Several CB2 members held a well-attended meeting with Jerrold Nadler regarding the dedication of Christopher Street Park to LGBT rights.  The second item was about some school district “carve out” blocks on 12 Street North–residents of these blocks were unhappy about being zoned out of PS 41.   CB2 is pushing for their re-inclusion.

Next came the election of the judicial delegates.  VID, DID and VRDC were each to contribute two delegates and two alternates.  This arrangement passed overwhelmingly, with one nay vote.  VID nominees were Nadine Hoffmann, Jen Hoppe, Cormac Flynn, Zella Jones, Erik Coler, and David Saperstein; the finally elected delegates were Jen and Cormac, with Zella and Nadine as alternates.

Tony Hoffmann, Campaign Committee Chair, now opened the Special Candidates Forum for Civil Court, co-sponsored by VRDC, DID, and the Jim Owles Club.

The Civil Court Candidates included:

Margaret Chan
Shahabuddeen Ally
Josh Hanshaft
Emily Morales Minerva
Nicholas Moyne
Phaedra Perry
Robert Rosenthal

Each candidate gave a four minute presentation followed by up to six minutes of questions from the audience.  All the candidates were impressive and the discussion was spirited.

The meeting was adjourned, with the reminder that the endorsement meeting will take place on May 23 at 8pm at Greenwich house.

 

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Mar 302016
 

VID’s March Meeting featured reports on the gun violence forum, the Congressional primary, an early voting bill in the NYS legislature and the Algonquin Pipeline.  It ended with Club endorsements for Jerry Nadler, Carolyn Maloney, Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton.

See the full meeting minutes here.  [Revised ]

VID's march meeting_Gun-violence-panel

Forum on Gun Violence Panel: Richard Aborn, Leah Gunn Barrett, Joel Vatsky (CRDC), Nadine Hoffmann (VID),Scott Stringer (not pictured) and Assemblyman Keith Wright

President Nadine Hoffmann opened VID’s March meeting by welcoming Congressman Jerry Nadler, who is up for reelection.  He soon left, as he could not speak at the meeting. She then reported on the March 1 Women’s Issues forum at the Red Room, participated in by VID, DID, CODA, Manhattan Young Dems, and Councilwoman Rosie Mendez.  There had also been a forum on gun violence the day before, sponsored by the VID and VRDC, and featuring Keith Wright, Richard Aborn, Leah Gunn Barrett, and Scott Stringer, among others.  And she reminded the members about the upcoming Candidates Night on April 7.  See April Announcement

District Leader Keen Berger discussed campaigns in other states and candidates she was supporting like Donna Edwards, Catherine Cortez Masto, Russ Feingold and Maggie Hassan. [A previous version of this post incorrectly stated that Keen Berger was supporting Chris Van Hollen who is Donna Edwards opponent.  Keen is strongly supporting Donna Edwards.]

Nadine commended Erik Coler for meeting with Assemblyman Brian Kavanaugh on the topic of early voting–the Assemblyman thinks Republicans are in agreement on this issue and it may pass in the Assembly and State Senate.  Jonathan Geballe explained what’s involved in getting this legislation passed.

VID's March Meeting_Petitioning

Jonathan Geballe, Congressman Nadler, Nadine Hoffmann, Erik Coler, Congresswoman Maloney, NYS Senator Brad Hoylman join the petition-launching breakfast at the VID Clubhouse.

Tony Hoffmann spoke about the upcoming Congressional primary on June 28 and the necessity for petitioning.  A Campaign Breakfast, paid for by Congressman Nadler, would take place at the clubhouse on Saturday.

Nat Johnson updated everyone on the environment–on February 29, Governor Cuomo sent a letter to FERC about the Algonquin Pipeline, requesting this dangerous project be suspended until a full environmental study is completed.  Nat described a circular firing squad involving FERC, NRC, DEC, and the EPA diffusing the blame by saying the others had approved the project.  There was a discussion about Int. 446, a bill introduced to prevent fracking and its byproducts from traveling through the city–26 City Council members were needed to sponsor the bill. ( Pipelines leak methane at much higher rates than previously understood, and methane is much more dangerous to the environment than carbon dioxide.)

FERC had not responded to the Governor’ s letter, so Keen proposed sending a statement to the Villager and Cuomo’s office, which was unanimously approved.  It was also proposed to send letters to Councilmembers Corey Johnson and Rosie Mendez (copied to the Villager) thanking them for supporting the initiative to suppress fracking.  This too was unanimously passed.

Tom Connor, a rent-controlled tenant who is a chair on the advisory board of Greenwich House, a senior center, read a letter to Governor Cuomo regarding the unfairness of the rent raises to rent-controlled tenants, the majority of whom are senior women.  Rachel Lavine, a State Committee Representative, asked about SCRIEE having a role.  It was proposed that Nadine, Rachel and Tom meet to collaborate on the letter, and this was unanimously passed.

Next Jen Hoppe updated us on the Gala, set to take place on Thursday, April 28 at the newly renovated Tio Pepe.  The Committee is soliciting sponsors, and invites are to go out next week.  Honorees will be Ben Yee, former leader of the Manhattan Young Dems and current VP of the National Young Dems, someone (as yet undecided) from the Cooper Square Committee (addressing homelessness), and Soffiyah Elijah, Executive Director of the Correctional Association of NY (regarding prisoner’s rights).  Nadine said the committee had wanted to honor Susan Lerner of Common Cause, but she was unavailable.

Nadine reviewed the VID rules for endorsement of political candidates; after much discussion regarding the candidates–

  • Jerry Nadler was unanimously endorsed by acclamation.
  • Carolyn Maloney was endorsed by 23 in favor, with 3 no endorsement votes and one invalid ballot.
  • Chuck Schumer was endorsed by 19 in favor and 7 no endorsements.
  • Hillary Clinton received 19 votes, Bernie Sanders received 9 votes and one no endorsement.

And now, the pictures:

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Mar 092016
 

VID held a lively February Meeting…

which included approval of a letter to Landmark Julius Bar, a resolution for the DNC to schedule more debates, approval of the VID endorsement calendar and a debate over affordable housing vs. local gardens.

February 2, 2016 Meeting Minutes
February-meeting_BergerOur new Vice President, Erik Coler, stood in for President Nadine Hoffmann, and opened by introducing two judges, the Honorable James E. d’Auguste and Honorable Alexander M. Tisch.   He then presented Nadine’s letter in support of landmarking Julius’ Bar.  The members unanimously approved.  Also approved at the February meeting was Kathy Slawinski’s resolution urging the DNC to schedule more official debates for the Democratic Presidential candidates.  And finally, following a lively discussion led by District Leader Keen Berger, the VID endorsement calendar was approved as well.

District Leader Arthur Schwartz addressed the club to announce that ‘s he has been retained by the Bernie Sanders campaign. He also mentioned Zephyr Teachout’s announcement that she will be running in the 19th CD.   He also announced that he will be running against Deborah Glick in the 66th Assembly District.

At Jim Fouratt’s urging Mr. Schwartz explained the New York super delegate situation.

  • There are 250 total delegates in New York:
  • 175 elected by CDs,
  • 55 at-large delegates
  • Super delegates are the rest and are comprised of Democratic Congresspeople and Senators and members of the DNC.

Each state usually gives delegate status to the top electeds, and their votes are not bound by voters in the state.

Update on the Voter Empowerment Act 

Erik Coler met with Brian Kavanaugh, one of the co-sponsors, to discuss building a coalition to pass it.  Brian suggested passing it piecemeal, starting with an early voting provision, which would also solve the problem of excess voters expected in the upcoming election.

The Special Presentation on the Elizabeth Street Garden Site

February Meeting_PanelThe issue: whether senior affordable housing should be constructed on the City-owned site at Elizabeth St between Spring and Prince St.   Tobi Bergman, chair of CB 2, and Janine Kiely discussed alternate sites and spoke of the need for the garden to become an official park site.  K Webster, CB 2 resident and President of the Sara D. Roosevelt Park Coalition spoke in favor of the housing.  Alison Greenberg moderated.

K. Webster spoke about the burgeoning population of seniors who need housing, and the wealth of community gardens in the area.  She said the site had been picked by HPD because the land is city-owned.  She felt HPD would do it, despite any opposition by the mayor, and that there would be plenty of space there open to the community.

Janine Kiely brought up the history of the proposal, citing a side deal to the SPURA rezoning agreement with no public notice or involvement.  She felt Little Italy, Soho, Noho, and the East Village were under-served by open spaces, and there was an alternative site, 2 Howard, which is currently a parking garage.  Jerry Nadler, Deborah Glick, Daniel Squadron, Gale Brewer, CB 2 and New Yorkers for Parks were all in support.

Tobi Bergman spoke of his past history with the park, and the fact that CB 2 had no input whatsoever, though he expected it would come to the CB eventually.  He spoke of the DEP site at Hudson Street between Howard and Clarkson, and said this space is bigger than the Elizabeth Street site both vertically and horizontally.

Lisa Kaplan, former Chief of Staff for Rosie Mendez and former CB 3 member, differed with this version.  She said in 2008 CB 3 entered into negotiations with the city to develop affordable and market rate housing.  There was a last minute push for a better deal, and all Margaret Chin could find was the Elizabeth Street site, so everybody jumped on it.

John Bredin thanked everyone and commended the club for putting democracy first.  He acknowledged that parks and housing are needed.

Preparing for This Year’s Gala 

Jen Hoppe addressed members at the February meeting regarding the upcoming Gala, to take place Thursday, April 24.  She solicited volunteers to find venue sites and Cormac Flynn volunteered to find some.  UPDATE:  The location has been secured.

VID 59th Annual Awards Celebration
Thursday, April 28, 2016
Tio Pepe Restaurant
168 West 4th Street
6:00-9:30 PM

 New Business

Ben Yee, of Manhattan Young Dems, announced an organizing event on March 1, Super Tuesday, to be held at the Red Room on East 4th Street.  Reps from Bernie and Hillary will be there to expound on their stands on women’s issues especially.

Mary Petretti, of the Cornelia Street Coalition, brought forward the planned IFC expansion onto Cornelia Street, involving changing residential zoning to commercial zoning in a very residential area.  She distributed literature asking people to contact the CB and protest.  She also took names and phone numbers of anyone willing to volunteer.

Cormac Flynn said he wanted the Exec Committee to work up language to evaluate the Presidential candidates on key issues and push those issues in a progressive direction.

Jim reminded the members to educate themselves about the super delegates.

 

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