Nov 012018
 

VID’s October Meeting Welcomed Senator Brad Hoylman, Borough President Gale Brewer and Andrew Berman, Exec Director GVSHP

FULL OCTOBER MEETING MINUTES

The October Meeting also featured reports from Tony Hoffmann of the Campaign Committee, Nat Johnson of the Environmental Committee, District Leader Keen Berger, Deb and Allison Stowell of the Gun Reform Committee and Alison Greenberg reporting on the SBJSA bill.  Topping this off were endorsements for Judicial candidates and the ballot Propositions.

October Meeting sets up buses for out of district candidatesDiscussions began with the Campaign Committee with Tony Hoffmann speaking of buses scheduled for swing districts, with VID the leading sponsor among many downtown clubs.  Jerry Nadler is a major participant, and Scott Stringer wants to be part of the effort.  Tony also asked for volunteers at Abingdon Square for fund raising for the buses.

District Leader Keen Berger expressed optimism and exhorted people to get on buses and campaign.  She also mentioned the upcoming County Committee meeting, which she said was unprecedented, and said we could make a difference as half the club was on the Committee.  Benjamin Yee has since written about the October 29th meeting in his latest report.

Andrew Berman, Executive Director of GVSHP, addressed the October meeting about the Tech Hub and clarified his position in opposition to City Council’s Carlina Rivera.  He spoke of Carlina’s past support for landmarking protections and Rosie Mendez’s enthusiastic support for them in order to control gentrification of the neighborhood.  He faced three members of CB3, among them Susan Stetser, and Pedro Carillo of Carlina’s office, with questions.  There was a general discussion.

Gale Brewer, Borough President, spoke on the Tech Hub and the three Charter Proposals, urging a “no” vote on Proposals 2 and 3.  She claimed that even though the Tech Hub had been okayed with zoning and landmarking protections, there was still leverage to negotiate them.

State Senator Brad Hoylman spoke for Andrew Cuomo, emphasizing that it was time to unite.  He spoke of the State Senate having an operational Democratic majority and Andrea Stewart Cousins poised to be the first African-American leader.  He spoke of upcoming legislation and the need for environmental laws, subway funding, congestion pricing, and closing corporate loopholes.

Nat Johnson, of the Environmental Committee, reported on the September 20 visit to the Sims Recycling Center.  The Sanitation Department has suspended its organics collection program because of plan inefficiencies.  Deb Sherman touted the reusable VID bags, $3 for members and $5 for non-members.

Deb and Allison Stowell made the report for the Gun Reform Committee.  They said that after meeting with Brad Hoylman’s chief of staff, they were assured that ERPO would pass as part of the budget process.  In addition, issues like 3D guns, ghost guns, raise the age and bump stocks would possibly be addressed by legislation.  A letter to Joseph Popcun, of Governor Cuomo’s office, was passed around for signatures.  Allison and Deb also met with New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, who were going to college campuses to ask students to sign pledges to vote.

People spoke for the three Supreme Court nominees, Lynn Kotler, Alex Tisch, and Mary Rosado and they were all endorsed unanimously.

Jim Yates spoke against Charter Proposals #2 and #3, calling them a transparent attempt by City Hall to take power from the Community Boards and the City Council.  Proposition #1 was endorsed 17-6.  Proposition #2 was not endorsed, 0-19.  Proposition #3 was not endorsed, 1-18 with 2 no endorsements.

There was a discussion for and against endorsing Governor Cuomo.  He was endorsed 19 to 4 no endorse ballots.

 

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Feb 162018
 

On February 13th New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) hosted two public webinars to provide an overview of the New York State Offshore Wind Master Plan

New York State Offshore Wind Energy Plan….and the next steps that New York State will take to advance offshore wind energy development.  To spur the development of renewable resources, Governor Cuomo announced in his 2018 State of the State address that the state will issue solicitations in 2018 and in 2019 for a combined total of at least 800 megawatts of offshore wind power.  You can read and download the 53-page comprehensive Offshore Wind Master Plan here.

Introduction to the New York State Offshore Wind Master Plan

In light of the Clean Energy Standard mandate, and recognizing the enormous potential renewable energy resource that exists off of its Atlantic coast, New York has set its sights squarely on offshore wind energy as a key component of the State’s clean energy strategy. Governor Cuomo directed the State to engage community members, environmental advocates, and government partners at all levels to create the New York Offshore Wind Master Plan.2 Then, as part of his 2017 State of the State Address, Governor Cuomo set a nation-leading offshore wind energy development goal of 2,400 MW by 2030, enough to power up to 1.2 million New York households.

Taking the first step to reach this goal, Governor Cuomo, in his 2018 State of the State Address, called for the procurement of at least 800 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind power between two solicitations to be issued in 2018 and 2019.  In addition, Governor Cuomo directed NYSERDA to invest $15 million in clean energy workforce development and infrastructure advancement to train workers for jobs in this good-paying industry, including offshore wind construction, installation, operation, maintenance, design, and associated infrastructure.  After two years of in-depth research, analysis, and outreach, New York State presents its Offshore Wind Master Plan (Master Plan)—the most comprehensive offshore wind planning process to be undertaken by any state, which charts a course toward achievement of the State’s bold offshore wind energy objectives.

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Dec 122017
 

VID had a very busy November.  Polling, poll watching, GOTV – here and elsewhere, and phone-banking consumed most Club members.

 

Busy November_Virginia Election

Polls in Virginia and in New York drenched but victorious.

Our busy November began with a bus trip to Virginia, coordinated by Jen Hoppe with the usual cookie sustainance from Keen Berger.  Tony Hoffmann congratulated the Election Committee and VID Members  on their incredible performance. November 7th, even though in the world of excitement, this year’s election was not near the top (in NYC).  The weather in the morning was cold and in the evening, it rained.  Laurie Hardjowirogo, Ed Yutkowitz, Elissa Stein, Irene Kaufman, Jen Hoppe, and Erik Coler led the pack.

The Voter Reform committee’s Laurie Hardjowirogo was very happy to announce that the three candidates she campaigned for upstate all won.  Where Indivisible groups were active, results were good; where they weren’t, results were not so good.  The second phone bank for upstate second home owners got many people to re-register, and a few went to the True Blue Summit, in late October  There was still a lack of transparency with the DNC, and she was concerned that millennials, who will outnumber baby boomers in 2020, are mainly registering as Independents.

A rally on November 13 at Cuomo’s office on Fifth Avenue urged him to stop the Williams Pipeline and commit to transitioning NYS to renewable energy.  

Paul Newell reported on the County Committee where certain reforms were pushed at the September meeting, with seven resolutions proposed.  Five were straightforward rules changes, but the seventh one, regarding Keith Wright, was quite controversial.  It called for Keith to resign one of his positions, County Leader or lobbyist.  A Rules Committee has been convened and will meet in three months, which has never been done before–most meetings are held every six months.  He urged anyone interested in proposing rules changes to let Keen know–he said we can convene a new meeting, and he feels we will win.  The Democratic party must be set up to be open to outside groups and other activists.

Assemblyman Deborah Glick spoke, advising everyone of her seminar on climate change held November 28 at the New School.  She also spoke of her proposal of an enhanced TAP for private colleges.

The November meeting featured a discussion of Mt Sinai/BethIsreal Hospital;  Judy Wessler and Anthony Feliciano represented the community–Mt. Sinai/Beth Israel declined to attend, saying they had already spoken enough on the issue.  Jonathan Geballe had put together a resolution re Beth Israel.  There was a discussion, and Tony Hoffmann recommended putting together a committee comprised of Susan Gottesman, Zella Jones, Alec Pruchnicki, Marlene Nadle, and Judy Wessler and Anthony Feliciano.  They will meet before the next membership meeting.  This passed unanimously. SEE THE FINAL RESOLUTION.

Again, a substitute amendment re Executive Committee members running for Judicial Candidate positions at a different club, saying the amendment that passed was meaningless.  Susan proposed tabling this to the Executive Committee meeting.  This passed with 25 for and one abstention.  It will be re-introduced at the December meeting.

There was an election for two new Executive Committee members to fill two vacancies.  The candidates (and election results) were Deb Sherman (22 votes), Irene Kaufman (19 votes), Yvonne Sherwell (9 votes), and Cam Krause (2 votes).  So, the new members are Deb Sherman and Irene Kaufman.

Rounding out the busy November schedule, Laurie announced a November 16 phone bank against the IDC.

Here are the FULL MINUTES of the Nov. 9th, 2017 General Meeting.

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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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