Dec 182017
VID Officers for 2018_Erik Coler President

Senator Brad Hoylman speaking on the IDC at the December Meeting

Erik Coler topped the list of VID Officers for 2018 as he was re-elected President

Also elected at the December 14 meeting, as VID officers for 2018 were Vice Presidents, Jennifer Hoppe and two new Vice Presidents, Erik Bottcher and Laurie Hardjowirigo.  All three have been ardent campaigners for local candidates as well as frequent volunteers in Up-State New York, Pennsylvnia, Virginia and Georgia.  We are now, officially, infused with exceptional energy and Democratic commitment for another momentous year.

At the January General Membership Meeting candidates for Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Treasurer, and the Executive Committee will be elected.

Other Topics

Other initiatives discussed from the Dec. 14th agenda included Brad Hoylman speaking about the negotiations in the NYS Senate regarding the IDC; Laurie Hardjowirigo gave the Voter Reform Committee Report; Nat Johnson gave the Environmental Committee Report by stressing what was learned at the December 4 Future of Renewable Energy Forum; Erik Coler of Affordable Housing recapped the year’s achievements by saying this year 42 units had been re-stabilized and he was hoping next year to add 90 more.  

Carlina Rivera, our new City Council member, gave a short speech in which she thanked the VID for its incredible support in her campaign.  She won the Primary with 60% of the vote, the General with 80%. 

Tony Hoffmann explained the new revised constitutional amendment and the process involved.  After reading the amendment, it passed overwhelmingly with one opposed.

Erik Coler introduced the Final Mt. Sinai/Beth Israel Resolution.  Tony thanked Zella Jones, Marlene Nadle, Judy Wessler, Susan Gottesman, Alec Pruchnicki, Barbara Ruether, Jim Yates, and Jonathan Geballe.  After some discussion, in which some errors were discovered, a proposal was made to send the resolution back to committee.  This was passed unanimously.

You can read the full meeting minutes here.


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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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Dec 132016


With a nod to our past but looking to the future, Village Independent Democrats, the oldest progressive club in New York City, elected 25-year-old Erik Coler as our youngest president ever.

His election took place at VID’s December general meeting.  At the same meeting, Laurie Hardjowirogo, Jennifer Hoppe, and Barbara Reuther were elected as vice presidents for the coming year.

“The Village Independent Democrats has a storied history,” says Coler.  “For nearly 60 years, this club has fought for human rights and dignity, for the integrity of our city’s political process, and for the quality of life in our community and our city.  It’s a privilege to carry its agenda forward in these challenging times.”

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Erik’s agenda for the upcoming year will focus working with like-minded organizations to fight Donald Trump’s threats to the social safety net, the environment, and basic civil liberties, including voting rights and marriage equality. “VID will have to work harder than ever to defeat the president-elect’s radical and destructive agenda,” he said.  “We have our work cut out for us, but we’re on the right side of this fight.”

Born and raised in the Village, Erik is Deputy COO of Mercer Partners, a tenants-rights advocate and co-founder of the New York State Education Initiative, a foundation that develops afterschool programs to enrich students’ lives.  In its premiere program this year, the Initiative helped teach more than 250 South Bronx middle schoolers the basics of financial literacy.  Erik has served as Vice President of the Village Independent Democrats, and currently serves as an executive on Community Board 2. 

Barbara Reuther has lived in Greenwich Village since 1956, worked in various positions at St. Vincent’s Hospital for more than five decades, and helped organize the opposition to its closing.  A fellow member of VID has described her as the “conscience” of the organization for her commitment to her community and her fellow citizens.

Jen Hoppe has been a Villager for two decades, and an activist even longer.  She has served VID as a judicial delegate and gala chair, and played a key role in canvassing Democratic voters in Pennsylvania in 2017.  Her activism began in high school, and continued in college, where she majored in journalism.  For many years, she’s been a leader of Big Brothers Big Sisters Young Professionals in New York City. 

A New Yorker since 1974, Laurie Hardjowirogo is a mother of two.  Her day job is graphic designer at Penguin Random House, but in her she’s a full-time activist.  For the last 15 years she’s worked in fundraising and development for a public school on 15th Street.  She also helped start a school in the Bronx, worked in the office of New York Councilman Corey Johnson, and has been active in both national and local political campaigns.

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Sep 042016

The September 2016 Meeting and Action Agenda

Thursday, September 8, 2016
St. John’s Lutheran Church Annex
83 Christopher Street
6: 30 PM

  1. President’s Report–Nadine Hoffmann
  2. District Leader’s Report–Keen Berger
  3. Campaign Committee Report–Tony Hoffmann/Ed Yudkowitz/Erik Coler
    Buses to Pennsylvania
    Assembly race campaign by VID–Erik Coler
  4.  Special PresentationForum:  The Future of Healthcare in Downtown Manhattan
        Moderator–Alison Greenberg
    Panelists- Judy Wessler–Fmr. Director, Commission on the Public’s Health System
    Rep. from Beth Israel
  5. Update on Candles for Clemency–Tony Hoffmann
  6. New Business

Primary Day

Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Polls Open 6:00 AM – 9:00 PM

If you’re interested in being a paid poll worker
contact District Leader Keen Berger at 

VID’s Endorsed Slate

New York State Senate
Brad Hoylman

New York State Assembly
Deborah Glick

New York State Committeeman
Ben Yee

Judicial Delegates (Vote for all six)
Maureen Remacle
Jeanne Kazel Wilcke
Jennifer Hoppe
Norma Ramirez
David J. Karlin
Cormac Flynn 

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