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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Jan 182017
 

VID Officer Elections completed on Jan. 12th

In a well-attended meeting which also featured a thorough presentation on how to protect rent-stabilized tenants, VID members voted for the remaining slate of Officers and the 2017 Executive Committee.  Now, VID Officer Elections are complete.

President 
Erik Coler

Vice Presidents
Jen Hoppe
Laurie Hardjowirogo
Barbara Ruether

Treasurer
Tony Hoffmann

Recording Secretary
Kathy Slawinski

Corresponding Secretaries
Jonathan Geballe
Ed Yutkowitz

Fmr. President
Nadine Hoffmann

Executive Committee Members
Alec Pruchniki
Erik Bottcher
Nat Johnson
Linda Jacobson
Chaim Leggiere
Nancy Shamban
Frieda Bradlow
Franny Leggiere
Susan Gottesman
Eli Hausknecht
Katharine Wolpe
Tom Connor
Marlene Nadle
Lois Rakoff
Frank Savits

Don’t forget to check out our new Facebook Page or you can join the discussion on our FaceBook Group

 

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Mar 092016
 

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
February-meeting_BergerOur 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

February Meeting_PanelThe 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
6:00-9:30 PM

 New Business

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.

 

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Feb 092016
 

The January Meeting Elected More VID Officers and Highlighted the WE NYC Initiative

January-Meeting_Marti-Spiranza

Marti Spiranza addressing VID after Officer elections

On January 14th VID elected (re-elected) the remaining roster of officers and then heard from VID favorite Marti Spiranza about the Women Entrepreneur initiative to expand female entrepreneurship in New York City, with a special focus on under-served women and communities.  You can see the Minutes of the entire meeting here.

First, the elections:

There was only one nominee for Treasurer–Frieda Bradlow
Kathy Slawinski was the one nominee for Recording Secretary
For Corresponding Secretary, the two nominees were Ed Yutkowitz and Jonathan Geballe. As there were two positions, the two were unanimously elected through acclamation.
The Executive Committee nominees were:  Tony Hoffmann, Tom Connor, Alec Pruchnicki, Frank Savits, Eli Hausknecht, Mary Petretti, Lois Rakoff, Annette Zaner, Nat Johnson, Katharine Wolpe, Jen Hoppe, Allison Greenberg, Marlene Nadle, Nancy Shanbam, and Joe Gallagher. As there were fifteen positions open, all the nominees were unanimously elected through acclamation.

Also at the January meeting, Marti Spiranza discussed the impetus around the formation of the Women Entrepreneurs NYC launched last March by First Lady Chirlane McCray, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen and Citi.  Among the data collected in forming this program:

  • Women Entrepreneurs employ more than 190,000 New Yorkers and generate approximately $50 Billion in sales.
  • BUT, women lag significantly behind men who who head 1.5x the number of business; employ 3.5x more people; and have 4.5x more sales.
  • 85% of women found funding to be a core issue in establishing their business; more than 70% of women felt they lacked the necessary skills; 75% cited the need and value of mentors.

WENYC has reached 1,500 women to date and forecasts reaching 5,000 over the next three years with a program that will provide access to capital, mentorship and networks, business skill building and networks for NYC’s growing number of women entrepreneurs.

 

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