Jul 232018
 

The July 12 Membership Meeting Was All About Petitions, Canvassing, Immigration and Resolutions

Full Meeting Minutes Here

The first item on the agenda was a vote to combine the August Membership Meeting with the Executive Committee Meeting on August 27, 2018. Erik Coler announced the passing of VID member Barbara Austin with a funeral to be held on the 17th. 

Nadine Hoffmann and Kathy Slawinski reported on a meeting they had attended at City Hall where Corey Johnson and the City Council, along with certain agencies and administration executives, made a presentation on the current state of the immigration crisis and family reunification.  It was brought out that the Council had passed a resolution urging Congress to pass, and the President to sign, S.B. 3036, the Keep Families Together Act.  This bill was sponsored by Diane Feinstein and supported by all the Dems in the Senate, without the support of any Republicans.  Most, though not all, Council members present also called for the abolishment of ICE.  And the fact that fully 25% of all those seeking sanctuary at the border are fleeing from domestic violence means these will be denied entry due the President’s new directive disallowing domestic violence as a cause for immigration. 

Tony Hoffmann made a motion for the club to donate $250 in gift cards to the appropriate agencies.  This passed unanimously.  Jen Hoppe volunteered that an agency had raised $250,000 in contributions, and had reunited seven women with their children.

Deborah Glick thanked VID for its petitioning efforts.  She also conveyed Kathy Hochul’s gratitude for VID’s help.  Deborah said it was very impressive and she was very grateful.

Ed Yutkowitz now discussed his resolution against the administrtion’s “zero tolerance” policy and urging family reunification and new policies, and urging the electeds to team up with religious leaders in order to maintain the moral high ground.  This spurred a discussion about religion’s place, and Kathy maintained that you can be an atheist and be a moral person.  Cameron Krause reminded us  there was another resolution to come out of the Immigration and Family Reunification Committee.  Frieda Bradlow stated there was an Immigration Detention Center at 201 Varick Street with detainees held over two years in cruel and inhumane conditions, and said detention conditions should be added to the new resolution.  Ed’s resolution passed unanimously.

Brad Hoylman expressed his disappointment in the last legislative session, in which nothing significant was passed.  The speed camera legislation expires 7/25 and will not be in place for summer school.  The Republicans are afraid of choice for women, so the Reproductive Health Act did not pass.  The failure of the political bosses was breathtaking.  But there was legislation to create a state hymn with Christian lyrics!  He warned about the legislature drawing the lines for Congressional seats while under the control of the R’s, and mentioned the IDC coming back to the Democratic fold.  ERPO did not pass, but Brad is working with Brian Kavanaugh to pass it in the fall.  He spoke about the failure of voting reforms, and said Cindy Nixon was not wrong to call it voter suppression. 

He advocated fixing the statute of limitations on the sex abuse of children, and transgender protections.  He declined to endorse anyone in the IDC races, saying endorsements don’t help candidates–more important is an organic voter response.  He listed the most important pickup races–James Skoufis, Elaine Phillips, and Marty Golden.

Tony Hoffmann gave the Campaign Committee Report, congratulating the petitioners, who numbered 47 to 50.  There were over 1600 signatures for Brad and Deborah, and no opponents to the judicial delegate slate.  He discussed Arthur Schwartz’s campaign, and Penny Mintz running against Rachel Lavine for State Committeewoman.  Ben Yee, State Committeeman, has no opponent.  July 19 will be the first campaign meeting, and Erik Bottcher and Laurie Hardjowirogo proposed the club take the lead to go to the CD’s to campaign.

Kate Linker was next, paying tribute to Yayoi.  She said we must take back the House, at least 24 seats, with 30 highly winnable.  There will be canvassing upstate for Antonio Delgado.  There was a discussion about busing for this.  Tony recounted that in the past all other clubs involved were asked for $500 each, with some paying what they can, and sales for cookies and buttons.  He proposed VID take the lead, and this passed unanimously.

Alec Pruchnicki said he will write an article for Westview News about CD11, Staten Island.

And Laurie’s email was read about John Liu’s last minute campaign against Tony Avella.

Under New Business:

Tom Connor outlined the situation at Greenwich House Senior Center, where the Executive Director wants to throw the seniors out and have them sent to Our Lady of Pompei, a problematic site.  They are saying they can’t raise enough money to pay the staff, and the seniors are terrified.  Erik Bottcher is on top of the situation, and said he hoped to make progress in the next few days.  Erik Coler asked Tom to write a resolution and come to the Executive Meeting. [See coverage in The Villager regarding the saved center]

Alec spoke of an article by David Cay Johnston about investigating Trump , urging the NY Attorney General to force him to release his tax returns.  He brought a letter to Governor Cuomo urging this.  Erik Coler said he will send the letter to other clubs, and it will be brought up at the Executive Meeting.

Frieda said Annette Zaner sends her regards from Village Care.  She will be discharged in August, and will go to an assisted living complex in Chicago.

The meeting was adjourned.

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Jul 222018
 

VID Canvassing for New York Dems…Everywhere !

Whether it is to take back seats in Congress, insuring that the IDC doesn’t return to NYS or supporting a progresssive agenda, VID is canvassing for New York Dems throughout the summer.

Laurie Hardjowirigo, Tony Hoffmann, VID Pres. Erik Coler and Erik Bottcher have made this a summer priority and need your help canvassing for New York Dems. So here’s the current line-up.  Check the VID Calendar regularly for new updates listed under CAMPAIGNING (click on the yellow block).

Canvassing for New York Dems

CD 19 Canvassing Headquarters

Antonio Delgado – US Congress District 19 (John Faso, Republican Incumbent)

Saturday 7/28 there will be a canvass in Hyde Park. You can sign up here and have your fellow club members sign up as well. Hyde Park Office, 960 Violet Ave, Hyde Park, NY 12538
District Map

Shifts:  10A-12N; 12N–3PM; 3PM-6PM; 6PM-9PM

 
Alessandra Biaggi – NYS 34 (Jeff Klein, IDC )
Needs volunteers for July 28-29 for the eastern part of her district.
 
John Liu – NYS 11 (Tony Avella, IDC)
Now, a summer of campaigning begins! Join the #LiuCrew to knock on doors and talk to voters. We launched the canvassing on July 21st at the new campaign office at 184-02 Hillside Ave, near the 179th St stop on the E and F trains. 
For more info contact Laurie Hardjowirogo

Preparing for the canvas:

  1. Please bring your smartphone, and have the MiniVAN app downloaded for iPhone https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/minivan-touch/id352087547 or Android https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.voteractivationnetwork.minivan&hl=en.
  2. Please download an Action ID account from https://accounts.ngpvan.com/Account/RegisterPrivate.
  3. Please RSVP here https://www.facebook.com/events/1823174924467480/ 

Ongoing

Zellnor Myrie – NYS 20 (Jesse Hamilton’s district)
Canvassing: 
Saturdays from 11-2
Sundays from 4-8
Phone banking at his HQ–please get in touch with Madeline Grimes for exact location
For more info contact madeline.grimes@gmail.com
 
FlipLI
Perry Gershon – CD 1 (Lee Zeldin, Republican )
Contact Wendy Diller  wldiller@yahoo.com 

From Wendy: Gershon campaign wants to know if any of us will be coming to Setauket Saturday so they can arrange transport.  If interested let Laurie Hardjowirogo know ASAP

If you don’t feel comfortable knocking doors, they also need drivers to ferry people between neighborhoods
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Jun 012018
 

The May 2018 Membership Meeting Focused on NYS and Judicial Endorsements

May 2018 Membership Meeting Minutes

May 2018 Membership Meeting_Cynthia Nixon Endorsement

Cynthia Nixon Presenting at the May 7, 2018 Candidates Forum

Erik Coler congratulated everyone for the great job done on the Candidates Forum on Monday.

After reviewing the endorsement rules, Erik Coler, President, asked for a motion to allow the Executive Committee to endorse for the AG position in the fall. It was asked and approved.  The May 2018 Membership Meeting then went on to the business at hand.

Frank Nervo, former VID member and President, made his presentation for the 1st Judicial District. He was endorsed, 38 votes to 2 no endorses.

Comptroller Tom Dinapoli was endorsed 35 to 2 no endorses. He had spoken previously at the Forum, and was not present.

Liz Krueger, candidate for the 28th District State Senate seat, was not present but was endorsed 36 to 3 no endorses.

For the 2nd Judicial District, three candidates were present, Wendy Li, Rob Rosenthal, and Grace Park*, but Grace withdrew to run in the County-wide race, deferring to Rosenthal. Rosenthal eventually won, with 25 for, 14 no endorses and one recusal.

The field for County-wide Civil Court was large, with seven candidates. The winners were Grace Park, with 26 votes and Shah Ally, with 28 votes. Elissa Kates and Nicholas Moynes took themselves out of the running. The rest were: Eric Gray, with 11 votes, Elsa Hampton, with 5 votes, and Ariel Chessler with 7 votes.

Now it was time for the Governor and Lieutenant Governor positions. The candidates (except for Cuomo) had appeared at the Forum, so they did not present again. Cynthia Nixon got the Governor endorsement, with 20 for and 15 no endorsements. Cuomo got 3 votes. For LG, Kathy Hochul got it with 20 for and 4 no endorses. Jumaane Williams got 4 votes.

May 2018 Membership Meeting_Nadine Hoffmann

Nadine Hoffmann Awarded in April for her Lifetime Activism. Seen here with Tony and son, Jason.

This meeting also covered results from the April fund raiser:  Lois Rakoff and Nadine Hoffmann spoke for the Gala Committee. The Gala was a huge success, with Nadine’s speech for Ravi Ragbir the highlight. Nadine thanked everyone and said she was still playing it back in her head! Tony said the Gala made $26,000 and everyone was paid up 100%, which was unusual.

Erik next read Laurie Hardjowirogo’s Voter Reform Committee Report. (Laurie wasn’t present.) Five thousand GOTV postcards were mailed and phone banks were activated to help the IDC challengers. Their next meeting is Saturday.

Deb Sherman and Allison Stowell now spoke about the Gun Reform Committee, citing the Youth Over Guns march on June 2. Their top priority is passing the Extreme Risk Protection Order, with the help of Brian Kavanaugh. In order to put more pressure on the Governor, they would like to distribute 3,000 postcards in defense of the bill, to pass out at the march. Ed Yutkowitz will be writing a Times editorial on the bill and gun safety.

For the Campaign Committee, Tony Hoffmann announced there would be a joint meeting of this committee and the Voter Reform Committee at the clubhouse on Saturday. Petitioning starts June 5, and he welcomed people to the Petitioning Breakfast, with free bagels and cream cheese.

At a Special May 29th Meeting there were revised Judicial endorsements as well as a required endorsement for Keen Berger for Female District Leader for the 66th Assembly District.

Due to a glitch, the position of Female District Leader for District 66 Part A was left vacant, so Keen Berger was nominated and seconded. She delivered a short speech in which she mentioned her three points of interest: education, immigration, and elections. After this, she was elected by the Secretary casting one unanimous ballot, after a vote.

After this, Tony Hoffmann nominated David Siffert as Judicial Delegate because one of the elected delegates could not serve. After discussion, he was seconded and elected when the Secretary cast one unanimous ballot

Because Grace Park* had dropped out of the running for the judgeship, Ariel Chesler was proposed instead, and after discussion was elected by the Secretary casting one unanimous ballot.

President Erik Coler proposed an amendment to the agenda to include Alison Greenberg’s “Xenophobia Resolution“. This passed unanimously. Alison Greenberg read her revised Resolution, which passed unanimously. It will be sent to local clubs and editorial columns.

Full Special Meeting Minutes HERE

 

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Apr 302018
 

The April 12, 2018 General Meeting endorsed two candidates, passed two resolutions and heard a report on the Democratic County Committee

Full April 12, 2018 General Meeting Minutes

April 12, 2018 General Meeting_Annete Zaner

Annette Zaner and VID President Erik Coler at the 61st Annual Awards night.

President Erik Coler opened the April 12, 2018 General Meeting by announcing three new committees:  Gun Reform, chaired by Deb Sherman and Allison Stowell, Communications, chaired by Sara Kimbell, and the County Democrats Reform Committee, with Elissa Stein and Irene Kaufman.  He also announced that The Executive Committee had agreed to make Annette Zaner VID member for life–and the membership unanimously agreed.

Jeanne Wilcke reported on the Democratic County Committee Rules Committee and how the process for reform was very laborious and detailed, with the minutes for the March meeting running to 17 pages!  There was plenty of fighting on the grassroots level, with many complaints not acknowledged by the County Committee, no unified email list for notifications, etc.  The Ethics Committee was divided on not allowing the County Leader to be a lobbyist–the vote was no, 9-3, based on language problems. Everyone agreed that the screening panel for judges should be comprised of Democrats registered in NYC.  This triggered a small discussion about who was previously on the panel, and how do incumbent judges who are challenged get a fair hearing. 

Deborah Glick rose to speak–and was unanimously endorsed.  She spoke of her efforts to take abortion protections out of the penal code and put into health care federal law, which failed.  She announced a shredding event at Sirovich Senior Center on May 1.  Money for students economically and educationally disadvantaged was restored in the budget, along with support for child care centers.  There was a $5 M matching grant for no-kill animal shelters.  There was no support in the Senate for early voting.  There is hope for a ban on fracking and money for reproductive health care in November, but we need a Democratic Senate.

Brad Hoylman was unanimously endorsed, but was not present.  Liz Kreuger will be addressed next meeting.

The Resolution on the L Train was read, and changes were discussed.  Elissa Stein discussed the 14th Street Coalition and the Arthur Schwartz lawsuit, amendments were made, and the resolution passed, with one no vote and four abstentions.

Alison Greenberg read her Resolution regarding the proposed rule changes at the LPC and calling for resignation of the chair and input from the public and preservation experts on any rule changes.  After discussion, the resolution passed overwhelmingly with one no vote and one abstention. 

Nat Johnson reported on the Environmental Committee’s focus on composting, mentioning Tal Zaken’s previous presentation on organic composting.  He toured the Simms Recycling Center in Brooklyn and will show a power point presentation.  Other concerns were the plastic bag task force, styrofoam and plastic straws.  Nat set up a future meeting with the Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board. 

Laurie Hardjowirogo reported on the Voter Reform Committee’s efforts to defeat John Faso in D19.  Sara Kimbell sent 150 post cards for Conor Lamb.  There will be a phone bank for the WFP on April 15, and Corey Johnson will host a Day of Action to get Shelley Mayer elected on April 22. 

Tony Hoffmann and Laurie reported next on the Campaign Committee.  They have collected about 1,000 signatures–660 for Nadler, and 330 for Maloney.  They discussed the number of signatures needed –at least 1,250.  And they noted that petitioning for local races starts June 5th. 

At the end of the meeting’s agenda was election of Judicial Delegates.  There was a discussion about whether to change the slate, sharing with VRDC and DID.  It was agreed not to at this time, but change was possible next year.  The candidates were Jen Hoppe (19), Allison Stowell (28), Deb Sherman (16), and Grace Price (3).  The top vote getters were Delegates, and the others were Alternates.

Katharine Wolpe announced the passing of Stanley Geller on April 6 at the age of 98.  He was an early President of VID as the Club grew to prominence in their opposition to Carmine DeSapio.

 

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