Dec 132016
 

New Leaders elected at VID for 2017NEW LEADERS FOR NEW ERA AT VENERABLE VILLAGE POLITICAL CLUB

With a nod to our past but looking to the future, Village Independent Democrats, the oldest progressive club in New York City, elected 25-year-old Erik Coler as our youngest president ever.

His election took place at VID’s December general meeting.  At the same meeting, Laurie Hardjowirogo, Jennifer Hoppe, and Barbara Reuther were elected as vice presidents for the coming year.

“The Village Independent Democrats has a storied history,” says Coler.  “For nearly 60 years, this club has fought for human rights and dignity, for the integrity of our city’s political process, and for the quality of life in our community and our city.  It’s a privilege to carry its agenda forward in these challenging times.”

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Erik’s agenda for the upcoming year will focus working with like-minded organizations to fight Donald Trump’s threats to the social safety net, the environment, and basic civil liberties, including voting rights and marriage equality. “VID will have to work harder than ever to defeat the president-elect’s radical and destructive agenda,” he said.  “We have our work cut out for us, but we’re on the right side of this fight.”

Born and raised in the Village, Erik is Deputy COO of Mercer Partners, a tenants-rights advocate and co-founder of the New York State Education Initiative, a foundation that develops afterschool programs to enrich students’ lives.  In its premiere program this year, the Initiative helped teach more than 250 South Bronx middle schoolers the basics of financial literacy.  Erik has served as Vice President of the Village Independent Democrats, and currently serves as an executive on Community Board 2. 

Barbara Reuther has lived in Greenwich Village since 1956, worked in various positions at St. Vincent’s Hospital for more than five decades, and helped organize the opposition to its closing.  A fellow member of VID has described her as the “conscience” of the organization for her commitment to her community and her fellow citizens.

Jen Hoppe has been a Villager for two decades, and an activist even longer.  She has served VID as a judicial delegate and gala chair, and played a key role in canvassing Democratic voters in Pennsylvania in 2017.  Her activism began in high school, and continued in college, where she majored in journalism.  For many years, she’s been a leader of Big Brothers Big Sisters Young Professionals in New York City. 

A New Yorker since 1974, Laurie Hardjowirogo is a mother of two.  Her day job is graphic designer at Penguin Random House, but in her she’s a full-time activist.  For the last 15 years she’s worked in fundraising and development for a public school on 15th Street.  She also helped start a school in the Bronx, worked in the office of New York Councilman Corey Johnson, and has been active in both national and local political campaigns.

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Jan 062016
 

VID's 2016 Officers_Vote-TalliesOn December 10, VID 2016 Officers were elected and after considerable discussion the Club voted No Endorsement for the Democratic Presidential Primary.

With 32 members present, elections took place for VID 2016 officers – a President and three Vice Presidents for 2016:  Nadine Hoffmann, President; Linda Jacobson, Vice President; Erik Coler, Vice President, and Barbara Ruether, Vice President.  A Treasurer, Recording Secretary, two Corresponding Secretaries and the Executive Committee will be elected at the January 14 meeting.  Here are the election rules.

The next major portion of the meeting was the endorsement of a National Presidential candidate.  Present were Adam Stolz, representing Martin O’Malley, and Sean Patrick Murphy, representing Bernie Sanders. Hillary Clinton was not represented.

After lengthy discussion by members for each candidate, as well as discussion of the pros and cons of “no endorsement,” the first ballots were distributed and tallied:  Hillary 12, Bernie 12, and no endorsement 7. Since no position had a clear majority, another ballot was necessary.  The second ballot gave Hillary 10, Bernie 12 and no endorsement 10. Since again there was no clear majority, the club position is “no endorsement.

State Assemblymember Deborah Glick came by to cast her votes and to update the Club on the work she had been doing with Transportation Alternatives to redesign Fifth and Sixth Avenues, providing bike lanes and improvements to benefit pedestrians and slow traffic.

You can read the full minutes here.  And catch a few scenes below.

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Oct 232015
 

The September Meeting Covered Many Topics…

Minutes-2015-9-17

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The audience at the Judicial Forum held at Judson Church, Sept 20

September was a busy month:  leafleting, poll watching, campaigning, judicial candidate selections, forums, vigils, the Judicial Delegates Convention and more.  Following is a brief summary of the General Membership Meeting with a link to the full minutes.

  • Tim Wu will be working for the NYS Attorney General, specializing in technology.
  • The Executive Committee had voted to donate $225 to the Cooper Square Committee for an ad in their journal, it was approved by the Membership.
  • Terri Cude and Dennis Gault won by a large margin, and
  • All six of our judicial delegates won.
  • VID will be working with Food and Water Watch regarding regarding the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in raising livestock and its role in causing antibiotic-resistant bacteria.  VID has already passed a resolution on the topic.
  • Keen Berger began the District Leader Report by speaking on the battle over the Elizabeth Street Garden. She also brought up two races, those of Donna Edwards and Sheldon Whitehouse, whom she thought were worthy candidates.

There was a presentation on the Lenox Hill Emergency Center, made by Alex Hellinger, Executive Director and Wayne Kawadler, Director of Community Relations.  They brought out many points like the number of patients treated (24, 996), the speed and quality of care involving the very latest high tech equipment, and the impact on the community.  It is important to note that they are not an urgent care center and should only be used in critical cases except for traumatic heart problems or blocked airways.

  • After the presentation Tony Hoffmann discussed the Candles for Clemency vigil to be held Saturday the 26th.  The emphasis will be on clemencies for longtime, elderly prisoners who are rehabilitated and need to go home before death.  See coverage here.
  • Eric Coler reported on his Young Voter Outreach project, held in Union Square and Washington Square Parks.  He has some more strategies for reaching prospective voters, reaching out to political groups in colleges and supermarkets.  He plans his next event for the VID Street Fair on October 3.
  • Nadine introduced a resolution in support of A617, requiring the labeling of GMO foods in New York, to be addressed to Senators Schumer and Gillebrand.  This was unanimously approved.
  • Marti Speranza was recognized for her work in organizing ten local clubs to participate in a Presidential Forum, to feature representatives from each campaign and to be held November 1 at the School of Visual Arts Theater.
  • Nadine will be working with Kate Linker on a resolution in support of Letitia James initiative to divest from Walmart, Dick’s and other large gun sellers.
  • Sharon Woolums announced another Small Business Forum to be held September 30 in the Bronx.
  • Bruce Farrands and two other representatives from UFCW Local 1500 made a presentation on Mrs. Green’s new store in the Village.  He had participated in a previous battle at a Mrs. Green’s upstate, where when employees tried to organize they were fired.  There was general agreement that local electeds should be notified and involved.  Barbara Ruether volunteered to write a letter to this effect.See the Full Meeting Minutes Here
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