VID’s October Meeting Welcomed Senator Brad Hoylman, Borough President Gale Brewer and Andrew Berman, Exec Director GVSHP
The October Meeting also featured reports from Tony Hoffmann of the Campaign Committee, Nat Johnson of the Environmental Committee, District Leader Keen Berger, Deb and Allison Stowell of the Gun Reform Committee and Alison Greenberg reporting on the SBJSA bill. Topping this off were endorsements for Judicial candidates and the ballot Propositions.
Discussions began with the Campaign Committee with Tony Hoffmann speaking of buses scheduled for swing districts, with VID the leading sponsor among many downtown clubs. Jerry Nadler is a major participant, and Scott Stringer wants to be part of the effort. Tony also asked for volunteers at Abingdon Square for fund raising for the buses.
District Leader Keen Berger expressed optimism and exhorted people to get on buses and campaign. She also mentioned the upcoming County Committee meeting, which she said was unprecedented, and said we could make a difference as half the club was on the Committee. Benjamin Yee has since written about the October 29th meeting in his latest report.
Andrew Berman, Executive Director of GVSHP, addressed the October meeting about the Tech Hub and clarified his position in opposition to City Council’s Carlina Rivera. He spoke of Carlina’s past support for landmarking protections and Rosie Mendez’s enthusiastic support for them in order to control gentrification of the neighborhood. He faced three members of CB3, among them Susan Stetser, and Pedro Carillo of Carlina’s office, with questions. There was a general discussion.
Gale Brewer, Borough President, spoke on the Tech Hub and the three Charter Proposals, urging a “no” vote on Proposals 2 and 3. She claimed that even though the Tech Hub had been okayed with zoning and landmarking protections, there was still leverage to negotiate them.
State Senator Brad Hoylman spoke for Andrew Cuomo, emphasizing that it was time to unite. He spoke of the State Senate having an operational Democratic majority and Andrea Stewart Cousins poised to be the first African-American leader. He spoke of upcoming legislation and the need for environmental laws, subway funding, congestion pricing, and closing corporate loopholes.
Nat Johnson, of the Environmental Committee, reported on the September 20 visit to the Sims Recycling Center. The Sanitation Department has suspended its organics collection program because of plan inefficiencies. Deb Sherman touted the reusable VID bags, $3 for members and $5 for non-members.
Deb and Allison Stowell made the report for the Gun Reform Committee. They said that after meeting with Brad Hoylman’s chief of staff, they were assured that ERPO would pass as part of the budget process. In addition, issues like 3D guns, ghost guns, raise the age and bump stocks would possibly be addressed by legislation. A letter to Joseph Popcun, of Governor Cuomo’s office, was passed around for signatures. Allison and Deb also met with New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, who were going to college campuses to ask students to sign pledges to vote.
People spoke for the three Supreme Court nominees, Lynn Kotler, Alex Tisch, and Mary Rosado and they were all endorsed unanimously.
Jim Yates spoke against Charter Proposals #2 and #3, calling them a transparent attempt by City Hall to take power from the Community Boards and the City Council. Proposition #1 was endorsed 17-6. Proposition #2 was not endorsed, 0-19. Proposition #3 was not endorsed, 1-18 with 2 no endorsements.
There was a discussion for and against endorsing Governor Cuomo. He was endorsed 19 to 4 no endorse ballots.