Mar 302016
 

VID’s March Meeting featured reports on the gun violence forum, the Congressional primary, an early voting bill in the NYS legislature and the Algonquin Pipeline.  It ended with Club endorsements for Jerry Nadler, Carolyn Maloney, Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton.

See the full meeting minutes here.  [Revised ]

VID's march meeting_Gun-violence-panel

Forum on Gun Violence Panel: Richard Aborn, Leah Gunn Barrett, Joel Vatsky (CRDC), Nadine Hoffmann (VID),Scott Stringer (not pictured) and Assemblyman Keith Wright

President Nadine Hoffmann opened VID’s March meeting by welcoming Congressman Jerry Nadler, who is up for reelection.  He soon left, as he could not speak at the meeting. She then reported on the March 1 Women’s Issues forum at the Red Room, participated in by VID, DID, CODA, Manhattan Young Dems, and Councilwoman Rosie Mendez.  There had also been a forum on gun violence the day before, sponsored by the VID and VRDC, and featuring Keith Wright, Richard Aborn, Leah Gunn Barrett, and Scott Stringer, among others.  And she reminded the members about the upcoming Candidates Night on April 7.  See April Announcement

District Leader Keen Berger discussed campaigns in other states and candidates she was supporting like Donna Edwards, Catherine Cortez Masto, Russ Feingold and Maggie Hassan. [A previous version of this post incorrectly stated that Keen Berger was supporting Chris Van Hollen who is Donna Edwards opponent.  Keen is strongly supporting Donna Edwards.]

Nadine commended Erik Coler for meeting with Assemblyman Brian Kavanaugh on the topic of early voting–the Assemblyman thinks Republicans are in agreement on this issue and it may pass in the Assembly and State Senate.  Jonathan Geballe explained what’s involved in getting this legislation passed.

VID's March Meeting_Petitioning

Jonathan Geballe, Congressman Nadler, Nadine Hoffmann, Erik Coler, Congresswoman Maloney, NYS Senator Brad Hoylman join the petition-launching breakfast at the VID Clubhouse.

Tony Hoffmann spoke about the upcoming Congressional primary on June 28 and the necessity for petitioning.  A Campaign Breakfast, paid for by Congressman Nadler, would take place at the clubhouse on Saturday.

Nat Johnson updated everyone on the environment–on February 29, Governor Cuomo sent a letter to FERC about the Algonquin Pipeline, requesting this dangerous project be suspended until a full environmental study is completed.  Nat described a circular firing squad involving FERC, NRC, DEC, and the EPA diffusing the blame by saying the others had approved the project.  There was a discussion about Int. 446, a bill introduced to prevent fracking and its byproducts from traveling through the city–26 City Council members were needed to sponsor the bill. ( Pipelines leak methane at much higher rates than previously understood, and methane is much more dangerous to the environment than carbon dioxide.)

FERC had not responded to the Governor’ s letter, so Keen proposed sending a statement to the Villager and Cuomo’s office, which was unanimously approved.  It was also proposed to send letters to Councilmembers Corey Johnson and Rosie Mendez (copied to the Villager) thanking them for supporting the initiative to suppress fracking.  This too was unanimously passed.

Tom Connor, a rent-controlled tenant who is a chair on the advisory board of Greenwich House, a senior center, read a letter to Governor Cuomo regarding the unfairness of the rent raises to rent-controlled tenants, the majority of whom are senior women.  Rachel Lavine, a State Committee Representative, asked about SCRIEE having a role.  It was proposed that Nadine, Rachel and Tom meet to collaborate on the letter, and this was unanimously passed.

Next Jen Hoppe updated us on the Gala, set to take place on Thursday, April 28 at the newly renovated Tio Pepe.  The Committee is soliciting sponsors, and invites are to go out next week.  Honorees will be Ben Yee, former leader of the Manhattan Young Dems and current VP of the National Young Dems, someone (as yet undecided) from the Cooper Square Committee (addressing homelessness), and Soffiyah Elijah, Executive Director of the Correctional Association of NY (regarding prisoner’s rights).  Nadine said the committee had wanted to honor Susan Lerner of Common Cause, but she was unavailable.

Nadine reviewed the VID rules for endorsement of political candidates; after much discussion regarding the candidates–

  • Jerry Nadler was unanimously endorsed by acclamation.
  • Carolyn Maloney was endorsed by 23 in favor, with 3 no endorsement votes and one invalid ballot.
  • Chuck Schumer was endorsed by 19 in favor and 7 no endorsements.
  • Hillary Clinton received 19 votes, Bernie Sanders received 9 votes and one no endorsement.

And now, the pictures:

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Oct 232015
 

The September Meeting Covered Many Topics…

Minutes-2015-9-17

September Meeting_Judges

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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