VID held a lively February Meeting…
which included approval of a letter to Landmark Julius Bar, a resolution for the DNC to schedule more debates, approval of the VID endorsement calendar and a debate over affordable housing vs. local gardens.
February 2, 2016 Meeting Minutes
Our new Vice President, Erik Coler, stood in for President Nadine Hoffmann, and opened by introducing two judges, the Honorable James E. d’Auguste and Honorable Alexander M. Tisch. He then presented Nadine’s letter in support of landmarking Julius’ Bar. The members unanimously approved. Also approved at the February meeting was Kathy Slawinski’s resolution urging the DNC to schedule more official debates for the Democratic Presidential candidates. And finally, following a lively discussion led by District Leader Keen Berger, the VID endorsement calendar was approved as well.
District Leader Arthur Schwartz addressed the club to announce that ‘s he has been retained by the Bernie Sanders campaign. He also mentioned Zephyr Teachout’s announcement that she will be running in the 19th CD. He also announced that he will be running against Deborah Glick in the 66th Assembly District.
At Jim Fouratt’s urging Mr. Schwartz explained the New York super delegate situation.
- There are 250 total delegates in New York:
- 175 elected by CDs,
- 55 at-large delegates
- Super delegates are the rest and are comprised of Democratic Congresspeople and Senators and members of the DNC.
Each state usually gives delegate status to the top electeds, and their votes are not bound by voters in the state.
Update on the Voter Empowerment Act
Erik Coler met with Brian Kavanaugh, one of the co-sponsors, to discuss building a coalition to pass it. Brian suggested passing it piecemeal, starting with an early voting provision, which would also solve the problem of excess voters expected in the upcoming election.
The Special Presentation on the Elizabeth Street Garden Site
The issue: whether senior affordable housing should be constructed on the City-owned site at Elizabeth St between Spring and Prince St. Tobi Bergman, chair of CB 2, and Janine Kiely discussed alternate sites and spoke of the need for the garden to become an official park site. K Webster, CB 2 resident and President of the Sara D. Roosevelt Park Coalition spoke in favor of the housing. Alison Greenberg moderated.
K. Webster spoke about the burgeoning population of seniors who need housing, and the wealth of community gardens in the area. She said the site had been picked by HPD because the land is city-owned. She felt HPD would do it, despite any opposition by the mayor, and that there would be plenty of space there open to the community.
Janine Kiely brought up the history of the proposal, citing a side deal to the SPURA rezoning agreement with no public notice or involvement. She felt Little Italy, Soho, Noho, and the East Village were under-served by open spaces, and there was an alternative site, 2 Howard, which is currently a parking garage. Jerry Nadler, Deborah Glick, Daniel Squadron, Gale Brewer, CB 2 and New Yorkers for Parks were all in support.
Tobi Bergman spoke of his past history with the park, and the fact that CB 2 had no input whatsoever, though he expected it would come to the CB eventually. He spoke of the DEP site at Hudson Street between Howard and Clarkson, and said this space is bigger than the Elizabeth Street site both vertically and horizontally.
Lisa Kaplan, former Chief of Staff for Rosie Mendez and former CB 3 member, differed with this version. She said in 2008 CB 3 entered into negotiations with the city to develop affordable and market rate housing. There was a last minute push for a better deal, and all Margaret Chin could find was the Elizabeth Street site, so everybody jumped on it.
John Bredin thanked everyone and commended the club for putting democracy first. He acknowledged that parks and housing are needed.
Preparing for This Year’s Gala
Jen Hoppe addressed members at the February meeting regarding the upcoming Gala, to take place Thursday, April 24. She solicited volunteers to find venue sites and Cormac Flynn volunteered to find some. UPDATE: The location has been secured.
VID 59th Annual Awards Celebration
Thursday, April 28, 2016
Tio Pepe Restaurant
168 West 4th Street
Ben Yee, of Manhattan Young Dems, announced an organizing event on March 1, Super Tuesday, to be held at the Red Room on East 4th Street. Reps from Bernie and Hillary will be there to expound on their stands on women’s issues especially.
Mary Petretti, of the Cornelia Street Coalition, brought forward the planned IFC expansion onto Cornelia Street, involving changing residential zoning to commercial zoning in a very residential area. She distributed literature asking people to contact the CB and protest. She also took names and phone numbers of anyone willing to volunteer.
Cormac Flynn said he wanted the Exec Committee to work up language to evaluate the Presidential candidates on key issues and push those issues in a progressive direction.
Jim reminded the members to educate themselves about the super delegates.