Nov 232018
 

High Spirits Dominated the November 2018 Meeting with NYS Senate Democratic Majority and Congressional Victories Throughout the State and Nation.

Erik Coler opened the November 2018 Meeting with congratulations to a long list of VID members whose unceasing volunteerism made a tangible difference, with a special shout out to Erik Bottcher, Laurie Hardjowirogo, and Tony Hoffmann.

There was a discussion about the Public Advocate’s Forum to be held on November 12, and whether the club should co-sponsor.  The club voted to co-sponsor with the caveat that all who ask to appear will be included, possibly at future VID meetings.

Erik also announced that the elections for club President and three Vice Presidents will be held in December, and he explained the rules.

November 2018 Meeting_Keen Berger

Keen Berger moves on to the proposed Bleecker St. School after victory at 75 Morton.

Keen Berger’s District Leader report also included congratulations for the club’s role in electing Antonio Delgado, Max Rose, and Ron Kim, and the NYS Senate victories.  She spoke of her role in public schools and a possible future fight for the Bleecker Street school.  

november-2018-meeting_brad-hoylman

State Sen. Brad Hoylman discusses priorities of the newly Democrat majority senate.

Brad Hoylman, three term State Senator, gave a speech about recent victories in local races, and gave an agenda of things for the new Senate majority to implement.  Among these are voting reform, ethics reform, womens reproductive health, anti-fracking waste laws, rent laws, the NY Health Act, the child victims act, LLC loopholes, and fixing the MTA.

Rachel Lavine, State Committeewoman,congratulated Brad on his performance in the Senate, and then thanked VID for its support.  She congratulated the NYS Senate on doubling the number of women members.  She spoke of the Jeff Sessions firing and how people must urge Sen. Schumer to protest it.  She spoke of the lawsuit her wife Robbie was bringing against Trump, and how it was being combined with the NY Southern District suit against Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville.

 

November 2018 Meeting_Rachel Lavine

Rachel Lavine (right) who now sits on the NYS DC Executive Committee

Next up at the November 2018 meeting was Ben Yee, State Committeeman, who congratulated Rachel on her new position on the Executive Committee of the State Committee.  There will be County Committee elections in 2019 and he urged everyone to run.  All meetings will be live-streamed on Facebook.  There was also a resolution introduced condemning the anti-Semitic mailer sent out  at the last minute against Cynthia Nixon.

 

Committee Reports

Nat Johnson, Chair of the Environmental Committee, reported the environmentally correct bags were selling well; that on Thursday mornings there will be composting on the corner of Sixth Avenue and Waverly.  Since the holidays are coming, he urged people not to use bows, to use recyclable packaging (tissue paper is not recyclable), and pushed recyclable straws.  He also advised us about upcoming events on solar power, coastal resilience, and managing solid waste.  He urged us to call Governor Cuomo to express opposition to the Williams Pipeline.  BTW Nat circulated a link to the new improved recycline pamphlets.

Deb Sherman, of the Gun Reform Committee, passed out anti-gun postcards to be signed and advised of upcoming Gays Against Guns (GAG) meetings.

Tony Hoffmann and Laurie Hardjowirogo of the Campaign Committee talked of the campaigning they did in NY, Long Island, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.  They also thanked Kate Linker and Yayoi for their help.  They spoke of the buses sent, the volunteers, canvassing and the money raised, and thanked a long list of members for their time.

FULL MEETING MINUTES

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Jul 232018
 

The July 12 Membership Meeting Was All About Petitions, Canvassing, Immigration and Resolutions

Full Meeting Minutes Here

The first item on the agenda was a vote to combine the August Membership Meeting with the Executive Committee Meeting on August 27, 2018. Erik Coler announced the passing of VID member Barbara Austin with a funeral to be held on the 17th. 

Nadine Hoffmann and Kathy Slawinski reported on a meeting they had attended at City Hall where Corey Johnson and the City Council, along with certain agencies and administration executives, made a presentation on the current state of the immigration crisis and family reunification.  It was brought out that the Council had passed a resolution urging Congress to pass, and the President to sign, S.B. 3036, the Keep Families Together Act.  This bill was sponsored by Diane Feinstein and supported by all the Dems in the Senate, without the support of any Republicans.  Most, though not all, Council members present also called for the abolishment of ICE.  And the fact that fully 25% of all those seeking sanctuary at the border are fleeing from domestic violence means these will be denied entry due the President’s new directive disallowing domestic violence as a cause for immigration. 

Tony Hoffmann made a motion for the club to donate $250 in gift cards to the appropriate agencies.  This passed unanimously.  Jen Hoppe volunteered that an agency had raised $250,000 in contributions, and had reunited seven women with their children.

Deborah Glick thanked VID for its petitioning efforts.  She also conveyed Kathy Hochul’s gratitude for VID’s help.  Deborah said it was very impressive and she was very grateful.

Ed Yutkowitz now discussed his resolution against the administrtion’s “zero tolerance” policy and urging family reunification and new policies, and urging the electeds to team up with religious leaders in order to maintain the moral high ground.  This spurred a discussion about religion’s place, and Kathy maintained that you can be an atheist and be a moral person.  Cameron Krause reminded us  there was another resolution to come out of the Immigration and Family Reunification Committee.  Frieda Bradlow stated there was an Immigration Detention Center at 201 Varick Street with detainees held over two years in cruel and inhumane conditions, and said detention conditions should be added to the new resolution.  Ed’s resolution passed unanimously.

Brad Hoylman expressed his disappointment in the last legislative session, in which nothing significant was passed.  The speed camera legislation expires 7/25 and will not be in place for summer school.  The Republicans are afraid of choice for women, so the Reproductive Health Act did not pass.  The failure of the political bosses was breathtaking.  But there was legislation to create a state hymn with Christian lyrics!  He warned about the legislature drawing the lines for Congressional seats while under the control of the R’s, and mentioned the IDC coming back to the Democratic fold.  ERPO did not pass, but Brad is working with Brian Kavanaugh to pass it in the fall.  He spoke about the failure of voting reforms, and said Cindy Nixon was not wrong to call it voter suppression. 

He advocated fixing the statute of limitations on the sex abuse of children, and transgender protections.  He declined to endorse anyone in the IDC races, saying endorsements don’t help candidates–more important is an organic voter response.  He listed the most important pickup races–James Skoufis, Elaine Phillips, and Marty Golden.

Tony Hoffmann gave the Campaign Committee Report, congratulating the petitioners, who numbered 47 to 50.  There were over 1600 signatures for Brad and Deborah, and no opponents to the judicial delegate slate.  He discussed Arthur Schwartz’s campaign, and Penny Mintz running against Rachel Lavine for State Committeewoman.  Ben Yee, State Committeeman, has no opponent.  July 19 will be the first campaign meeting, and Erik Bottcher and Laurie Hardjowirogo proposed the club take the lead to go to the CD’s to campaign.

Kate Linker was next, paying tribute to Yayoi.  She said we must take back the House, at least 24 seats, with 30 highly winnable.  There will be canvassing upstate for Antonio Delgado.  There was a discussion about busing for this.  Tony recounted that in the past all other clubs involved were asked for $500 each, with some paying what they can, and sales for cookies and buttons.  He proposed VID take the lead, and this passed unanimously.

Alec Pruchnicki said he will write an article for Westview News about CD11, Staten Island.

And Laurie’s email was read about John Liu’s last minute campaign against Tony Avella.

Under New Business:

Tom Connor outlined the situation at Greenwich House Senior Center, where the Executive Director wants to throw the seniors out and have them sent to Our Lady of Pompei, a problematic site.  They are saying they can’t raise enough money to pay the staff, and the seniors are terrified.  Erik Bottcher is on top of the situation, and said he hoped to make progress in the next few days.  Erik Coler asked Tom to write a resolution and come to the Executive Meeting. [See coverage in The Villager regarding the saved center]

Alec spoke of an article by David Cay Johnston about investigating Trump , urging the NY Attorney General to force him to release his tax returns.  He brought a letter to Governor Cuomo urging this.  Erik Coler said he will send the letter to other clubs, and it will be brought up at the Executive Meeting.

Frieda said Annette Zaner sends her regards from Village Care.  She will be discharged in August, and will go to an assisted living complex in Chicago.

The meeting was adjourned.

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Oct 232015
 

The September Meeting Covered Many Topics…

Minutes-2015-9-17

September Meeting_Judges

The audience at the Judicial Forum held at Judson Church, Sept 20

September was a busy month:  leafleting, poll watching, campaigning, judicial candidate selections, forums, vigils, the Judicial Delegates Convention and more.  Following is a brief summary of the General Membership Meeting with a link to the full minutes.

  • Tim Wu will be working for the NYS Attorney General, specializing in technology.
  • The Executive Committee had voted to donate $225 to the Cooper Square Committee for an ad in their journal, it was approved by the Membership.
  • Terri Cude and Dennis Gault won by a large margin, and
  • All six of our judicial delegates won.
  • VID will be working with Food and Water Watch regarding regarding the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in raising livestock and its role in causing antibiotic-resistant bacteria.  VID has already passed a resolution on the topic.
  • Keen Berger began the District Leader Report by speaking on the battle over the Elizabeth Street Garden. She also brought up two races, those of Donna Edwards and Sheldon Whitehouse, whom she thought were worthy candidates.

There was a presentation on the Lenox Hill Emergency Center, made by Alex Hellinger, Executive Director and Wayne Kawadler, Director of Community Relations.  They brought out many points like the number of patients treated (24, 996), the speed and quality of care involving the very latest high tech equipment, and the impact on the community.  It is important to note that they are not an urgent care center and should only be used in critical cases except for traumatic heart problems or blocked airways.

  • After the presentation Tony Hoffmann discussed the Candles for Clemency vigil to be held Saturday the 26th.  The emphasis will be on clemencies for longtime, elderly prisoners who are rehabilitated and need to go home before death.  See coverage here.
  • Eric Coler reported on his Young Voter Outreach project, held in Union Square and Washington Square Parks.  He has some more strategies for reaching prospective voters, reaching out to political groups in colleges and supermarkets.  He plans his next event for the VID Street Fair on October 3.
  • Nadine introduced a resolution in support of A617, requiring the labeling of GMO foods in New York, to be addressed to Senators Schumer and Gillebrand.  This was unanimously approved.
  • Marti Speranza was recognized for her work in organizing ten local clubs to participate in a Presidential Forum, to feature representatives from each campaign and to be held November 1 at the School of Visual Arts Theater.
  • Nadine will be working with Kate Linker on a resolution in support of Letitia James initiative to divest from Walmart, Dick’s and other large gun sellers.
  • Sharon Woolums announced another Small Business Forum to be held September 30 in the Bronx.
  • Bruce Farrands and two other representatives from UFCW Local 1500 made a presentation on Mrs. Green’s new store in the Village.  He had participated in a previous battle at a Mrs. Green’s upstate, where when employees tried to organize they were fired.  There was general agreement that local electeds should be notified and involved.  Barbara Ruether volunteered to write a letter to this effect.See the Full Meeting Minutes Here
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Apr 032015
 
Awards Gala_Hoppe&LeBouf

Jenn Hoppe and Josh Duboff again spearhead Gala preparations this year.

VID Celebrates its 58th year with an Awards Gala

A highlight in the spring season of NYC politics, VID’s 58th Annual fĂȘte  promises no less in 2015.  The Spring Forward Awards Gala will take place on Thursday, April 30th from 6:00 to 9:00 PM at Tio Pepe Restaurant, at 168 West 4th St.

Honors will go to Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu for bringing progressive values to the ballot and challenging the Democratic status quo.  Receiving honors for the fight for a living wage for all workers will be Shantel Walker, on behalf of Fast Food Forward.

Among those sponsoring the event are NYS Committee Member Rachel Lavine & Roberta Kaplan, Esq.; Hon. Keen Berger; Hon Tony Hoffmann & Hon Nadine Hoffman; Alec Pruchniki, M.D.; NYS Senator Brad Hoylman & David Sigal; NYS Assembly Member Deborah Glick; Hon Katharine Wolpe; Sam Jacob & Marcus Andrews; Irene Kaufman & Daniel Neiden; Kate Linker & Bernard Tschumi; Lois Rakoff and Marti Speranza.  NYS Assembly Member Richard Gottfried; NYS Assemblymember Keith L.T. Wright; Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer; City Council Member Margaret Chin; City Council Member Corey Johnson; City Council Member Rosie Mendez; Hon. Arthur Schwartz; Frieda Bradlow; Jim Fraser & Katherine Hanson;   Hal Friedman; Jonathan Geballe, Esq. & Karin Coonrod; Eli HausKnecht; Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club; Ann Kjellberg; Al Lewis, M.D. & Ellen Petersen-Lewis; Burt Rosenberg and Annette Zaner.    The list is still in formation. 

If you’ve got any interest in progressive politics at all, you better grab your tickets quickly.
Click on the invite to purchase online Awards Gala-Invite

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