President David Siffert opened the May General Meeting by thanking everyone for their efforts to help in the Gala, especially congratulating Melissa Carty and Sara Kimbell.
At the May General Meeting on Thursday, May 9th four resolutions passed; six committees gave progress reports and guest speaker, Emily Arsenault, from Kirsten Gillibrand’s office spoke on gun control.
Party Leader Reports
District Leader Keen Berger’s three conclusions:
- Support elected officials who are doing good work, mentioning especially Jerry Nadler and Brad Hoylman.
- The importance of the little organizations that are working on good goals like electing good people and correcting gerrymandering.
- She agreed that the 14th Street situation is a mess and she’s glad that Elissa Stein wrote her great resolution in response.
This sparked a discussion regarding support for the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, working on the “double jeopardy” law, pushing to get Trump’s tax returns, and support for Planned Parenthood in the light of the anti-abortion campaign.
Rachel Lavine, State Committeewoman, urged support for the upcoming delegate selection in the State Committee and the need to approve a resolution addressing NY election laws, especially regarding the time frame in which you can register or change your party affiliation.
She also spoke on local transportation issues and the lack of inclusiveness with the community. Rachel also said it was imperative that the House impeaches Trump, and that we should have a conversation and inform Nadler.
Ben Yee, State Committeeman spoke of the upcoming vote on the delegates for candidates. He’s having an event to gain donations to cover the expenses of his Public Advocate campaign.
Arthur Schwartz, the male District Leader offered details on his ongoing case regarding the 14th Street changes, and how changes in the bus routes will affect the elderly and disabled. He will be bringing another case regarding the vehicular traffic rerouting. The Beth Israel project is at a standstill. Then Arthur discussed the Board of Elections knocking people off the ballot.
Emily Arsenault, of Kirsten Gillibrand’s office, gave a Gun Control update. She expressed frustration at seeing zero progress on this issue, but said it has become a young people’s movement. She discussed a bill, S730, regarding prior gun trafficking, which Gillibrand re-introduced in March as she does every year. Emily discussed S42 to expand background checks, co-sponsored with Senator Murphy, and S506, the Extreme Risk Prevention Order Act, which allows family members to petition the court to prevent people with mental illness from acquiring guns. She also emphasized Ed Markey’s bill to study the effects of gun violence.
The Resolution Urging Trader Joe’s to Resume Deliveries, by Marlene Nadle with one amendment came to a vote. Marlene thanked everyone for their help, especially Jumaane Williams, Corey Johnson, and Erik Bottcher, and urged people to call and write and express their opinions. The reso passed, with 18 in favor and one abstention.
Rick Braun’s Resolution for a Law Prohibiting the Use of Campaign Contributions for Personal Expenses. This led to a discussion about what donations can be used for, and a friendly amendment was made and accepted to change some language. The resolution passed unanimously, 22 to zero.
Rick Braun introduced another resolution calling for the creation of adequate space in Housing Court for clients and attorneys to have private communications, a problem at least since the 80’s. This passed unanimously, with 16 in favor.
Elissa Stein introduced a Resolution on Proposed Changes to 14th Street . After discussion, this passed unanimously, with 15 in favor.
Mar Fitzgerald, chair of the Education Committee now spoke on the first City Council hearing on school segregation, in which Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza spoke for hours. There was a discussion about the SHSAT and the protocols for admissions for Gifted and Talented students, and the disparities with race and equity. She said there was a right-leaning faction in danger of taking over the Community Education Council, with anti-inclusive candidates and has a list of the candidates for District 2. Mar also said she’s the Education Editor for Westview News.
Elissa Stein gave a report on the Gala Committee, saying it was a great success, netting approximately $20,000. She gave credit to Sara as the workhorse.
David Siffert delivered the report on the Out of District Elections Committee, as Laurie Hardjowirogo was not present. He said they were in the process of selecting candidates to back. There will be an upcoming Dustin Reidy fundraiser. And he mentioned Erik Bottcher’s birthday party on Saturday.
Deb Sherman and Allison Stowell of the Gun Control Committee spoke of their coming postcard campaign to advise Governor Cuomo on what legislation he should back.
Tony Hoffmann of the Campaign Committee was not present, but David commended him on his great work.
David and Deb reported on the Animal Advocacy Committee’s work –they’re working on a letter regarding spaying and neutering of pets which will be sent out in the next few days after approval. The legislation status regarding puppy mills is unclear. Corey is involved with banning fur and Carlina Rivera is trying to ban foie gras.
Katharine Wolpe distributed fliers for the rent control lobby in Albany on the 14th. She also mentioned that on Memorial Day weekend Theater for the New City will be hosting the LES Festival of the Arts. She advocating putting a small ad in the literature, which David will bring to the Executive Committee for a vote.
Alec Pruchnicki brought up the fact that the fourth Monday of the month would fall on Memorial Day, and proposed possibly rescheduling. He also said the renovation status of the White Horse Tavern was unclear.
David reminded everyone about the upcoming Nadler Forum to be held at the Little Red Schoolhouse with himself and Richard Corman of DID to appear with Jerry.