Jul 102017
 
gerrymandering_David Daley

David Daley talks Gerrymandering

Redistricting on Steroids is the gerrymandering model David Daley revealed in his June 8th appearance at VID

Erik introduced Dave Daley, author of “Ratf**ked;  the True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy”.  He delivered a riveting talk on how the Republicans took over in 2010 by using computer modeling to gerrymander and steal elections.  Gerrymandering, which can be traced back to at least 1788, has resulted in 69 of 99 state legislatures and both houses in 35 states to be controlled by Republicans in a country in which both parties are pretty evenly represented, with Democrats slightly ahead.  Dave called the new computer techniques, dreamt up by Karl Rove, “gerrymandering on steroids”.  He warned that the hard work is yet to be done to undo this catastrophe, the structural problems are deep and difficult to undo, and the usual electoral solutions may not be enough.

Dave recommended Dems should push voting rights, labor rights, and women’s rights.  He warned that the Supreme Court has ruled against racial gerrymandering but has never ruled on partisan gerrymandering.  Changes to the electoral college lose whenever they are brought before SCOTUS, because there is no precedent.  He also cautioned that there is no happy ending–winning elections will not redraw the lines.  He advocated concentrating on governorships to start the hard work.  This instigated a robust discussion.

You can read or  listen to an NPR interview with Mr. Daley here

Regular Business – State Politics, Petitioning, Housing and the Environment

President Erik Coler opened the meeting with a discussion of the 311 issues from the last meeting.  He proposed putting together “complaining blocs” –adding other complainants who live nearby and getting them to call 311 also.  May’s Trivia Night was a big success; Trivia Night will resume in July.  VID plans to sponsor a street festival June 17, with the opportunity to hand out literature and secure signatures on petitions.  There will be a Community Service Day in early July–Lois Rakoff will contact Washington Square Park to work out details.  

The Petitioning Kickoff Breakfast is scheduled for June 10th at the clubhouse, with appearances by Corey Johnson, Carlina Rivera, Scott Stringer, and Chris Marte.  And Keith Wright will be sent a letter regarding his new lobbying job.

gerrymandering_Keen Berger

Keen Berger at Trump Tower Protest in May. Photo: Nadine Hoffmann

Keen Berger opened her report with an anecdote about a homeless panhandler she encountered on the F train while she was with her grandson.  She makes it a policy not to give, but it made her think about Comey and a need to change the system.  She called for retaking Congress and working for impeachment.

Next, Rachel Lavine, State Committee Member in the 66th AD, gave a report.  She outlined the two functions of the Democratic State Committee–electing candidates for statewide office in case of a vacancy, and putting forward resolutions to shape the party platform.  She asked for the VID to support their resolution to remove Jeff Klein from leadership of the IDC.  He will be asked to find another party and another line to run on.  All members of the IDC will have their clubs approached to request that they either run as Dems or on another party line.  

gerrymandering_IDC Protest

VID members participated in May protest at Trump Tower. Photo: Nadine Hoffmann

There is also a plan to request that Governor Cuomo share money with state Dem candidates–at least $1M should be redistributed to local races.  In addition, the Committee wants to amend rules so they have 25 days instead of 10 for petitioning–and to encourage more progressive members.   The NYS Progressive Caucus wants to make the State Committee more democratic and more progressive.  They will urge a vote to support these resolutions at the next meeting at the end of July.  Jim Yates proposed no party funds should go to the IDC, and Ben Yee is also very supportive.

On Saturday (6/10), Brad Hoylman will be at the clubhouse to deliver a talk on the IDC.  

Laurie Hardjowirogo has been working in NY’s 19th CD.  She’s been door knocking and getting out the vote.  On Saturday, Brad Hoylman will be at the clubhouse to deliver a talk on the IDC.  

Nat Johnson and his team have been working on shutting down Indian Point and composting.  Frieda had a screening of a film on Indian Point at her house, which was very successful.

Tony Hoffmann gave a report on petitioning–He said he has never seen such enthusiasm, and he asked for volunteers.

Erik gave a report on Affordable Housing.  He’s going after bad landlords–those getting J-51 tax breaks and illegally destabilizing tenants.  He said there has never been a club which has created affordable housing, and promised a class action lawsuit by the end of the month.

You can read the full Meeting Minutes of June 8th here.

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Sep 042016
 

At the July 2016 General Membership Meeting –  Campaigning, Election Updates, NYS Clemency and Election Reform 

VID General Meeting Minutes_July-2016

July 2016 general membership meeting

Guest, Erik Coler and Assemblymember Deborah Glick at VID’s 2016 Awards Event

President Nadine Hoffmann opened the July 2016 General Membership Meeting by thanking everyone for the great job they did in petitioning.  Alison Greenberg is putting together an interesting Health Forum, rescheduled for the September meeting.  The VID put together their first official filing under the new tax rules.  Thanks to member David Saperstein, we’re up to date.  Frieda Bradlow will be home from Village Care Wednesday.

Highlights

  • Greater NYC for Change will be honoring State Senator Brad Hoylman at a free July 18 meet and greet at PS 450.
  • Campaign buses to Pennsylvania for Hillary will begin on Saturday, September 17, and every Saturday until the election, leaving from Union Square at 8 am and returning at 9 pm.  There will be a $15 charge per person with some other fundraising involving Keen, Ed Yutkowitz and Erik Coler.
  • Campaign chair RJ Jordan did a fabulous job on the Glick campaign, with great help from Erik, acquiring 1500 signatures–500 was the minimum required, so Deborah will be on the ballot.
  • Nadler won his campaign with 88-90% of the vote in some districts.  Tony gave many thanks to Erik and Ed.
  • Doug Kellner, Co-Chair, NYS Board of Elections spoke about fixing the NYC Board of Elections, improving voting nationwide, and campaign finance reform–public financing.
  • Assemblyman Deborah Glick  thanked everyone, especially Tony, Nadine, Erik and Katharine Wolpe, and said she was very appreciative of Annette Zaner’s letter to the Villager promoting her.  She agreed with Doug Kellner that internet voting would be a horrible mistake.
  • Tony updated everyone on the Candles for Clemency campaign.   A new vigil is scheduled for September 10.
  • Nat Johnson gave the club some good news–the Port Ambrose LNG Project was cancelled by the Governor in favor of a wind farm.  VID had been very helpful in accomplishing this.  The Bureau of Oceanic Energy Management is having meetings and taking comments for the wind farm–the process is beginning.
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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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May 082016
 

VID’s April Membership Meeting covered petitioning results, Candles for Clemency, the AIM Pipeline, 45 Rivington St. AND endorsements for NYS candidates.

MINUTES

The meeting opened with a reminder from President Nadine Hoffmann about the Hillary fundraiser on May 12 cosponsored by Renee Feinberg at 303 Mercer.  A vote was taken to support the Washington Square Park Music Festival fundraiser on May 8 at the Greenwich Village Music School.  Nadine further reported that former member and supporter Marilyn Appelson remembered VID in her will.

Tony Hoffmann of the Campaign Committee thanked everyone who participated in the petitioning effort reporting that VID had secured 700 signatures for Jerrold Nadler, more, he thought, than any other club. A hundred signatures were secured for Carolyn Maloney.  On other business, Tony shared that The Candles for Clemency campaign was thinking about sending a few people to the Governor’s house in Mt. Kisco to picket on a weekly basis because it would be more effective.

Nat Johnson had postcards protesting the AIM pipeline, to be sent to the Governor.

Then, the endorsements:

State Senator Brad Hoylman, running unopposed in the 27 SD, had several people speak in his favor and was eventually unanimously endorsed by acclamation.

In the Assembly, where the incumbent, Deborah Glick, was running against challenger Arthur Schwartz, required a ballot, which Glick won, 30 in favor and one abstention.

State Committeewoman/66 AD Rachel Lavine was unopposed, and after discussion was unanimously endorsed by acclamation.

The State Committeeman/66 AD was sought by four candidates;  Deley Gazinelli, Dodge Landesman, John Scott, and Benjamin Yee.  There was much discussion and many testimonials for each candidate, but Ben Yee ultimately won.  The vote was:  Deley 3, Dodge 4, John 4, and Ben 24, with one no endorsement.

Following the candidate endorsements was a call for the club endorsement of the March for a Clean Energy Revolution, to be held in Philadelphia on July 24, the day before the Democratic Convention.  After discussion, the motion passed by a vote of 21 in favor, 4 against and two abstentions.

Last on the agenda for the April Membership Meeting was a resolution regarding the City’s sale of 45 Rivington Street with a restrictive covenant for nonprofit use to a private developer planing to build condos on the property. The resolution had previously been passed by the Downtown Independent Democrats.  There was much discussion about what exactly should be done, with a final agreement to sign on to the resolution, with letters to be sent to Councilmembers Rosie Mendez, Corey Johnson, Margaret Chin, Allure (the firm to which the City sold the rights) and possibly others.  This was passed by the members unanimously.

The meeting was adjourned, in time for everyone to watch the Democratic Presidential Debate.

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