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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Sep 272015
 

Candles for Clemency from emmanuel fineus on Vimeo.

More than 150 Candles for Clemency Lit Up Mt. Kisco on Sept 26th

In a departure from his previous policy, Governor Andrew Cuomo is establishing a system to review requests to shorten prison sentences of rehabilitated prisoners.

Four days before a planned demonstration near his Westchester County home that had the backing of a wide array of elected officials, the governor called longtime gay activist Allen Roskoff, saying, “I get it. I get it. It will be done.” Cuomo pledged to review requests for clemency from state prisoners.

The September 26 demonstration in the parking lot of the Presbyterian Church of Mount Kisco was the second annual “Candles for Clemency” gathering demanding that “Governor Cuomo get a heart; issue clemencies now.”  Nathan Riley, Gay City News, Sept. 27

Cuomo chief counsel, Alphonso David, addressed the demonstrators and described the new review plan: “Particular attention will be paid to prisoners who received sentences for crimes committed at a young age, elderly prisoners who pose little risk to society, and prisoners who have served long sentences but have demonstrated that their release would not harm others.” The latter may prove controversial.   David specifically offered the assistance of his office to help attorneys and advocacy groups through the clemency process.

You can also see video news coverage of the Candles for Clemency vigil by Diana Campbell on Fios News

Endorsements for the vigil included:  City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Letitia James, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, seven local members of Congress, and 17 members of the City Council, including Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

The event was organized by Tony Hoffmann of VID and Allen Roskoff of The Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club.

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Sep 032015
 

On August 13th the VID Membership Meeting Covered a Broad List of Topics…

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 Among them young voter outreach encouraged by new VID member Eric Coler.  First stop, Union Square on August 29th; second stop Washington Square Park, Saturday, Sept. 12th.

All the other scheduled events mentioned on August 13th – election of Judicial Delegates on the Sept. 10th Primary; the next VID General Meeting, Sept 17th; Congressman Nadler’s Soiree, Sept. 21st; the Judicial Convention, Sept 24th; the Candles for Clemency Vigil, Sept 26th and the County Committee Meeting, Sept 29th are all detailed in the AUGUST CALENDAR to the right.

Other items discussed and voted at the VID Membership Meeting in August included;

  1. A resolution calling on Senators Schumer and Gillibrand to oppose any bill that prohibits the labeling of GMO foods.
  2. A unanimous vote to send letters to Corey Johnson and Rosie Mendez thanking them for signing on to Res. 353. (non-therapeutic antibiotics bills)
  3. Letters of support for City Council Res. No. 694, calling on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission not to re-license Indian Point 2 and 3 with thank you’s to Councilmembers Johnson and Mendez for their support.
  4. Resolution in Support of the International Agreement to Prevent Iran from Obtaining a Nuclear Weapon
  5. Letters to Gillebrand and Schumer re Agreement to Prevent Iran from Obtaining a Nuclear Weapon
  6. Stonewall National Park site of Christopher Park.  A the resolution in favor was passed unanimously.

All of the above letters and resolutions will be posted and linked in the copy above as soon as they are made available.

And here are the full Minutes-2015-8-12

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Jun 052015
 

Stop the Loss of Affordable Housing STOP THE LOSS OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING, JOIN THE FIGHT.

WE ONLY HAVE UNTIL JUNE 15 TO CHANGE THE RENT LAWS.

Get on a FREE bus to Albany to demonstrate for changes in the rent law that will stop the loss of affordable housing.   Advocates and tenants will rally in Albany on Tues., June 9. Buses will leave at 7 a.m. at 135th St. and Fifth Ave. in front of P.S. 197 and will return to New York City at 6 p.m. Transportation is free, and breakfast and lunch are included. To reserve a seat on one of the buses, call Darren at Tenants & Neighbors at 212-608-4320 x316 or contact mia.r.mcdonald@gmail.com

You can also call Gov. Cuomo in Albany at 518-474-8390 or at his NYC office at 212-681-4580

TELL HIM:

  1. DO AWAY WITH VACANCY DECONTROL WHICH LETS RENT STABILIZED APARTMENTS GO TO
    MARKET RATE WHEN THE  RENT REACHES A CERTAIN LEVEL AND CAUSES THE LOSS OF AFFORDABLE
    HOUSING.
  2. HIS PROPOSAL TO RAISE THE RENT LEVEL WHEN THAT CAN HAPPEN BY $200. IS UNACCEPTABLE.

See coverage in The Villager

With the city’s rent laws set to expire this month, tenant advocates are planning to head in force to Albany on Tues., June 9, to lobby for their extension. June 15 is the deadline for the expiration of current rent regulations.

Advocates are seeking an end to vacancy deregulation and a change to the practice of rewarding landlords a 20 percent rent increase for vacated apartments — or even more, if the tenant has resided there for more than eight years.

Currently, vacant apartments can become decontrolled if the rent is as little as $2,100; the 20 percent rent increase pushes the rent to $2,500, which is the threshold for vacancy decontrol.

Use our sample letter and send IMMEDIATELY

The deadline to stop the loss of affordable housing
is June 15, ACT NOW

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