Apr 202017
 
VID Moves Progressive Agendas

Day of Action at Washington Square Park

VID Moves Progressive Agendas with a host of initiatives

At the April 13th meeting, President Erik Coler, Voter Outreach Chairs Tony Hoffmann and Laurie Hardjowirago and Environment Committee Chair confirmed that VID moves progressive agendas.

Nat Johnson, of the Environmental Committee, reported on their three major projects:

One is the VID Resolution passed by the Executive Committee promoting curbside compost pickup.  He read this to the membership and it was passed unanimously.

Second is a thank-you letter to the Governor for forming the plastic bag recycle task force.  He said Cuomo had proposed an energy initiative to build renewable energy sources for New York State, and he wants to invite Richard Kaufman, NY’s “energy czar” to explain.

Thirdly is preparation for the Earth Day celebration, April 22 at Foley Square [see calendar].  The next meeting of the Environmental Committee will be on the 19th.  Erik Bottcher mentioned that buses would be leaving New York on the April 29th for the Climate March in DC. [see calendar].

Tony Hoffmann, who is on the Campaign Committee, reported on the success of the candidate’s forum, where candidates for the City Council Districts 1, 2, and 3 spoke, along with the two District Leaders, running unopposed.  This was co-sponsored by the Jim Owles Club and VRDC, with a standing room only crowd of 125 people.  The next forum, for Mayor, Controller, Public Advocate, and District Attorney, will be held May 2 at the LGBT Center.  This will be co-sponsored by VID, VRDC, CRD, DID, CoDA, and the Jim Owles Club.  He also announced the upcoming Jane Street Block Association Street Fair, to be held June 3.

Tony also spoke about the importance of County Committee candidates, the grassroots level of the Democratic Party, and urged people to run for this committee.  There followed a lengthy discussion about how to qualify and run. 

Erik Coler, VID President, continues the committment for VID moves progressive agendas in discussing the Day of Action and how successful it was, giving credit to Laurie Hardjowirogo.  He wants to build it into something bigger, and proposed a Trivia Night.  He will follow up on this idea.

On the Affordable Housing front, Erik commended Marlene Nadle on her letter opposing the renewal of the 421-a tax abatement.  (Unfortunately, it was passed.) He stated the J-51 tax credit should be for 100% affordable housing, but this is not enforced.  The Committee has located four buildings where tenants have been illegally destabilized, and said so far thirteen tenants have signed on for a retainer to fight the situation.  Erik stated the law has been reactive rather than proactive and must change.

Erik also read the resolution from the Voter Reform Committee endorsing Eric Schneiderman’s New York Votes Act, proposing early voting, same day registration, same day primaries, and other reforms.  This resolution was passed by the membership, unanimously.

Nadine Hoffmann reported on plans for the Gala, to be held April 27 at Tio Pepe.  Honorees are to be Shino Tanakawa, an education advocate, pro public education, who was also very active for years in the creation of the 75 Morton Street school, staff from the National Parks Conservancy for their role in establishing the Stonewall National Monument, and three pro-immigrant organizations, the NY Immigrant Coalition, the International Refugee Assistance Project, and Make the Road, all active against the travel ban.  Also to be honored will be member Tony Hoffmann for his valuable contributions to the club.

You can read the full minutes of the April 13th meeting HERE

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Mar 192017
 

We need your help this Monday, March 20th. 

Defeat New 421a Legislation_formCall your representatives to defeat new 421a legislation.

You will find their numbers below;  tell them that you are against the proposed renewal of 421a.

  1. The 421-a tax break benefits developers of luxury housing and provides little affordable housing. 
  2. We object to 421-a causing the loss of government funds that could be better used on housing programs that provide more affordable housing and better maintenance for public housing.
  3. We oppose the proposal to extend these 421-a tax breaks to 35 years when previously they were 10 to 25 years.

A thorough analysis can be found at ANHD

Let your representative know that we are asking them to defeat new 421a legislation! 

Gov. Cuomo
518-474-8390

Mayor de Blasio
212-788-6960

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito
212-788-7210 or 212-788-6960

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie
518-455-3791

Senate Majority Leader John Flanigan
518-455-2071 

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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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Apr 112016
 

rent-control-reformRent Control Reform Is Past Due

At a time when rent-stabilized tenants in New York City are enjoying a freeze in their rents, another group of regulated tenants — the dwindling minority in rent-controlled apartments — is facing an increase of up to 9.6 percent over the next two years. New York Times, 

Since December 2015  there has been a concerted effort for rent control reform to correct this inequity, which by the very nature of the rent-controlled legislation affects seniors who have lived in their apartments since the legislation began in 1970.  The 2014 Housing and Vacancy Survey found that the median rent for a rent-controlled unit was $1,020 per month on an average income of $29,000 per year…or 42% of their fixed income. (By comparison, rent-stabilized tenants pay a median rent of just $1,300 per month with average annual salaries of nearly $41,000…or 38% of annual income).

In the NYS Assembly, Linda Rosenthal, (Assembly District 67-Manhattan) introduced AOO398, co-sponsored by Assemblymembers Felix Ortiz (District 51-Brooklyn), Walter Mosley (District 57-Brooklyn), Richard Gottfried (District 75 – West Side Manhattan) , Maritza Davila (District 53 – Northern Brooklyn), Victor Pichardo (District 86 -Bronx) , Rodneyse Bichotte (District 42-Brooklyn), William Colton (District 47-Brooklyn), Latoya Joyner (District 77-Bronx), Guillermo Linares (District 72 – Northern Manhattan), Latrice Walker (District 55-Brooklyn).

On the NYS Senate, Adriano Espaillat (Senate District 31-Upper West Side Manhattan) has introduced SO5040, the same legislation as the Assembly bill, co-sponsored by Senators Brad Hoylman (Senate District 27 – Mid Manhattan) and Bill Perkins (Senate District 30-Harlem).

The Village Independent Democrats have taken up the cause of rent control reform with a letter to Governor Cuomo from VID President Nadine Hoffmann and Executive Committee Member Tom Connor, urging his attention.

“At this point, the MBR system is well beyond the point of repair. It is antiquated and clearly is not reflective of the economic realities faced by tenants and landlords alike. In order to save rent control, and in the process, the lives of just about 30,000 seniors who have built their communities and this city, we must end the MBR and instead pass into law my bill, A.398. Any increase is an unwarranted one,” says Assemblymember Rosenthal.

 

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