Nov 032015
 

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VID Sponsors Democratic Presidential Forum NYC

On Nov. 1st, 2015, VID and 23 other Clubs sponsor the Democratic Presidential Forum NYC at the SVA Theater, 333 West 23rd St., NYC to a 300 plus audience of dedicated Democratic activists.  The program lasted for two hours.

The Planning Committee included:  Samuel Albert (GSID), Erik Coller (VID) Jill Eisner (Lenox Hill), Jen Hoppe (VID) Tony Hoffmann (VID) , Maki Isayama (GNYCEC), Trudy Mason (Lex Club), Paul Newell (DID), Judy Richheimer (CRDC), Allan Roskoff (Jim Owles), Bessie Schacter (Lex Club), Michael Schweinsburg (504), Marti Speranza (VID), Mark Thompson (Tilden), Tiffany Townsend (ERDC), and Ed Yutkowits (VID) master-minded on-line outreach, program participants, SVA coordination and a host of other details that precipitated a lively dialogue with the major candidates in the running for the Presidency in 2016.

The moderator was the Honorable Ronnie Eldridge, noted feminist, past City Council member representing Manhattan’s west side.

Speaking for the candidates were:  Keith L.T. Wright for Hillary Clinton; Adam Stolz for Martin O’Malley; Dean Patrick Murphy, for Bernie Sanders.

Sponsors included: Barack Obama Democratic Club of Upper Manhattan;Chelsea Reform Democratic Club; Coalition for a District Alternative (CoDA), Democracy for New York; Downtown Independent Democrats; East Side Democratic Club; Eleanor Roosevelt Democratic Club; Frederick E. Samuel Community Democratic Club; Gramercy Stuyvesant Democratics;  Greater NYC for Change; Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club; Lenox Hill Democratic Club; The Lexington Democratic Club; Lower East Side Democratic Club; Manhattan Young Democrats; Muslim Democratic Club of New York; Northern Manhattan Democrats for Change; Pride Democrats; The Samuel J. Tilden Democratic Club; Stonewall Democratic Club; Upper East Side for Change; Village Independent Democrats; The Village Reform Democratic Club and 504 Democratic Club.

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Sep 092015
 
Candles-for Clemency

RALLY FOR PRISON JUSTICE  AT HOME OF GOVERNOR CUOMO

 


To protest Governor Andrew Cuomo’s cruel and unjust prison policies, elected officials, celebrities, religious leaders, and other people of conscience will gather for a candlelight vigil to respectfully insist that New York State demonstrate wisdom, mercy, and righteousness.

The rally and vigil will take place at the intersection of Crow Hill Rd. and Millwood Rd.,
in Mount Kisco, on Saturday, September 26 at 7 p.m.

Buses will leave New York City from 10th Avenue, (btw 16th and 17th Sts.) at 5 p.m.
Mount Kisco is also accessible by car and Metro North railroad.

New York State prison policies are in desperate need of reform. Many people are unjustly incarcerated, given unreasonably long sentences and have been placed in solitary confinement.

Prisons hold many elderly, ill and disabled people who have served excessive time, pose no threat to society, and can live productive lives and make a positive contribution to the world. They must be released. Why should people die in prison separated from their loved ones and families?

Why won’t the governor give incarcerated people a second chance? The support for clemency transcends national party lines. But in close to five years, the Cuomo administration has not issued a single clemency to anyone in prison.

In April, the Governor’s counsel, Alphonso David, promised that the governor would begin a process of identifying viable candidates for clemency and to begin issuing clemency to those deemed worthy. But he has reneged on his promise. The Candles for Clemency Rally will help ensure that Governor Cuomo hears and heeds the public demand to reform New York’s prison system, stop playing politics with people’s lives, and show mercy and compassion by issuing clemency to those who deserve it.

Principal sponsors of the rally and vigil are the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club and the Village Independent Democrats. The event‘s supporters include some of New York’s most respected political, religious, and civic leaders and organizations, prison reformers, and leading figures in arts and entertainment.

Demand justice and compassion. Join us.

For more information, go to https://www.facebook.com/CandlesforClemency or http://jimowles.org/events/2015-candles-for-clemency. Follow us on twitter at CandlesForClemency@candlesfor.

Contacts:
Allen Roskoff
Founder, and Co-Coordinator, Candles for Clemency
President, Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club
aroskoff@mac.com 917-553-7180

Tony Hoffmann
Co-Coordinator, Candles for Clemency
Former President, Village Independent Democrats, at
tonyhoffmann26@gmail.com 212-741-3265

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Mar 252015
 

Candles-for ClemencyApril 18 Vigil Postponed, Clemencies on the Threshold 

We have good news to report.  After over four years without granting a single clemency to anybody in prison, the Cuomo administration has promised to begin a process of identifying viable candidates for clemency and to begin issuing clemency to those deemed worthy.  This change of heart can, in large part, be attributed to the dedicated work of the people and organizations that joined Candles For Clemency.   We held a rally and a candle light vigil in front of Governor Cuomo’s home last September.  We planned on having a similar, but much larger, vigil in front of his home on April 18.

But the Governor’s office heard of our vigil and asked us to meet with his representatives in hopes that we would postpone the Vigil for at least six weeks so that they could start a clemency process. After a very frank meeting, we have decided, in good faith, to honor that request.

We are eager to see whether clemencies start rolling in come mid-May. We will be monitoring very closely and, if not, we will hold our vigil on Saturday, June 13. So please hold the date, just in case!

We want to take this opportunity to thank everybody who is part of Candles For Clemency for your dedication to the cause.  It shows that people can have their voices heard if they organize and are willing to stick their necks out.

Candles for ClemencyWe especially want to acknowledge the six members of Congress, and our celebrity hosts, who stepped forward to support the incarcerated deserving of clemency.  Many of those listed on the attached list have long been lobbying the Governor’s Office, yet consented to also be part of the effort of Candles for Clemency. And thanks to the organizations and representatives who have been attending our planning meetings. They have made this all possible.

We will keep you informed of progress towards the issuance of clemencies. If you have any recommendations for people deserving of clemency, please let us know. Also, the administration has a created an internal workgroup and an external website to encourage applicants to apply: http://www.ny.gov/services/apply-clemency 

If you know of other organizations and individuals who want to join our list of supporters, again, please let us know. Here is the current list of supporters.

We hope that this effort results in many people behind bars being given a second chance. We hope those worthy of clemency are returned to their loved ones and offered the chance to be respected and productive members of society. 

Thank you for your support,

Allen Roskoff
Founder, and Co-Coordinator, Candles for Clemency
President, Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club

aroskoff@mac.com
Tony Hoffmann
Candles for Clemency Co-Coordinator
Former President, Village Independent Democrats
tonyhoffmann26@gmail.com
 
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Sep 082014
 

VID was well represented at the Clemency Vigil which took place by candle light on the evening of September 6th in Mt. Kisco, NY

outside the home of Governor Andrew Cuomo.  Over 150 people participated.

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Its purpose was to try to convince the governor to start issuing clemencies to those inmates in the NYS correctional system who deserve them.  Many inmates have been incarcerated for long periods of time either for non-violent crimes or for serious crimes, but have unquestionably been rehabilitated.  As of today the governor hasn’t issued a single clemency.   The rally was organized by the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club with the support of the VID.

Among the wide variety of speakers asking the governor to do the humane thing and start issuing clemencies were Allen Roskoff, President of the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, Robert Dennison, retired Chairman, New York State Board of ParolePhilanthropist Bill Samuels, Zenaida Mendez, President of NYS NOW, and celebrities Kathryn Erbe, star of Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Cathrine Curtin from Orange is the New Black.

The following VID’ers attended the Candle Light Vigil: Jonathan Geballe, Mary Dugan, Betsy Mickel, Tom Connor, Kathy Slawinski,  Alexander Meadows,  Kate Linker, Kitty Loving and Tony Hoffmann.

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