The July 12 Membership Meeting Was All About Petitions, Canvassing, Immigration and Resolutions
The first item on the agenda was a vote to combine the August Membership Meeting with the Executive Committee Meeting on August 27, 2018. Erik Coler announced the passing of VID member Barbara Austin with a funeral to be held on the 17th.
Nadine Hoffmann and Kathy Slawinski reported on a meeting they had attended at City Hall where Corey Johnson and the City Council, along with certain agencies and administration executives, made a presentation on the current state of the immigration crisis and family reunification. It was brought out that the Council had passed a resolution urging Congress to pass, and the President to sign, S.B. 3036, the Keep Families Together Act. This bill was sponsored by Diane Feinstein and supported by all the Dems in the Senate, without the support of any Republicans. Most, though not all, Council members present also called for the abolishment of ICE. And the fact that fully 25% of all those seeking sanctuary at the border are fleeing from domestic violence means these will be denied entry due the President’s new directive disallowing domestic violence as a cause for immigration.
Tony Hoffmann made a motion for the club to donate $250 in gift cards to the appropriate agencies. This passed unanimously. Jen Hoppe volunteered that an agency had raised $250,000 in contributions, and had reunited seven women with their children.
Deborah Glick thanked VID for its petitioning efforts. She also conveyed Kathy Hochul’s gratitude for VID’s help. Deborah said it was very impressive and she was very grateful.
Ed Yutkowitz now discussed his resolution against the administrtion’s “zero tolerance” policy and urging family reunification and new policies, and urging the electeds to team up with religious leaders in order to maintain the moral high ground. This spurred a discussion about religion’s place, and Kathy maintained that you can be an atheist and be a moral person. Cameron Krause reminded us there was another resolution to come out of the Immigration and Family Reunification Committee. Frieda Bradlow stated there was an Immigration Detention Center at 201 Varick Street with detainees held over two years in cruel and inhumane conditions, and said detention conditions should be added to the new resolution. Ed’s resolution passed unanimously.
Brad Hoylman expressed his disappointment in the last legislative session, in which nothing significant was passed. The speed camera legislation expires 7/25 and will not be in place for summer school. The Republicans are afraid of choice for women, so the Reproductive Health Act did not pass. The failure of the political bosses was breathtaking. But there was legislation to create a state hymn with Christian lyrics! He warned about the legislature drawing the lines for Congressional seats while under the control of the R’s, and mentioned the IDC coming back to the Democratic fold. ERPO did not pass, but Brad is working with Brian Kavanaugh to pass it in the fall. He spoke about the failure of voting reforms, and said Cindy Nixon was not wrong to call it voter suppression.
He advocated fixing the statute of limitations on the sex abuse of children, and transgender protections. He declined to endorse anyone in the IDC races, saying endorsements don’t help candidates–more important is an organic voter response. He listed the most important pickup races–James Skoufis, Elaine Phillips, and Marty Golden.
Tony Hoffmann gave the Campaign Committee Report, congratulating the petitioners, who numbered 47 to 50. There were over 1600 signatures for Brad and Deborah, and no opponents to the judicial delegate slate. He discussed Arthur Schwartz’s campaign, and Penny Mintz running against Rachel Lavine for State Committeewoman. Ben Yee, State Committeeman, has no opponent. July 19 will be the first campaign meeting, and Erik Bottcher and Laurie Hardjowirogo proposed the club take the lead to go to the CD’s to campaign.
Kate Linker was next, paying tribute to Yayoi. She said we must take back the House, at least 24 seats, with 30 highly winnable. There will be canvassing upstate for Antonio Delgado. There was a discussion about busing for this. Tony recounted that in the past all other clubs involved were asked for $500 each, with some paying what they can, and sales for cookies and buttons. He proposed VID take the lead, and this passed unanimously.
Alec Pruchnicki said he will write an article for Westview News about CD11, Staten Island.
And Laurie’s email was read about John Liu’s last minute campaign against Tony Avella.
Under New Business:
Tom Connor outlined the situation at Greenwich House Senior Center, where the Executive Director wants to throw the seniors out and have them sent to Our Lady of Pompei, a problematic site. They are saying they can’t raise enough money to pay the staff, and the seniors are terrified. Erik Bottcher is on top of the situation, and said he hoped to make progress in the next few days. Erik Coler asked Tom to write a resolution and come to the Executive Meeting. [See coverage in The Villager regarding the saved center]
Alec spoke of an article by David Cay Johnston about investigating Trump , urging the NY Attorney General to force him to release his tax returns. He brought a letter to Governor Cuomo urging this. Erik Coler said he will send the letter to other clubs, and it will be brought up at the Executive Meeting.
Frieda said Annette Zaner sends her regards from Village Care. She will be discharged in August, and will go to an assisted living complex in Chicago.
The meeting was adjourned.