Oct 262017
 

At the Oct. 12th Meeting VID voted upon November 7 Ballot  Endorsements

VID voted to oppose proposal #1 and approved proposals # 2 and #3.  For City Council District 1 there was no endorsement.

On the first of the November 7 ballot endorsements asking for a majority vote for a Constitutional Convention, VID unanimously rejected the proposal and thus agreed with the opinion of the New York Civil Liberties Union at the September meeting.  Question #2, “Allowing the Complete or Partial Forfeiture of a Public Officer’s Pension if He or She is Convicted of a Certain Type of Felony,” and question #3 “Authorizing the Use of Forest Preserve Land for Specified Purposes” received unanimous approval at the October meeting.

 You can see the full text of all three proposed ammendments here.

Because VID’s primary endorsed candidate, Christopher Marte, was defeated by incumbent Councilperson Margaret Chin, the membership then took up the question of whether to make a second endorsement for the General Election.  Mr. Marte, as a result of several write-ins on the Independence Party line, moved to take up the option to running as an Independence Party candidate.  After a lengthy debate, that considered whether a Democratic Club should endorse an Independence Party candidate at all,  the membership voted to make no endorsement with 19 votes.  Marte received 11 votes and Chin 5.

November 7 ballot endorsements were not the only topics of the October 12th meeting, however.  

November-7-ballot-endorsements_YeeAfter reports from District Leaders Keen Berger and Arthur Schwartz (who announced that he was leaving the Village Reform Democratic Club), County Committeeman and County Committee Secretary, Ben Yee reported on the status of several rules changes that had been introduced at the County Committee meeting in September.  Though anticipated to be reviewed by the Rules sub-committee, they have not.  The Executive Board, which had met before, decided to table the resolutions. The County Committee will reconvene in three months to review certain resolutions–in particular, one asking Keith Wright to step down from one of his positions, and also one asking the IDC to rejoin the Democrats or not get support from the party.  Ben applauded Rachel Lavine’s work with the Progressive Caucus as very important.   You can read more about the NYS Progressive Caucus here.

And get updates from Ben Yee here.

Laurie Hardjowirogo briefly of her campaign in CD 19 against John Faso. Both Laurie and Jen Hoppe announced coordination with the Keep VA Blue initiative, Nov 4th with a bus leaving NYC for an overnight in a tight district in Pennsylvania to get out the vote.  Tony Hoffmann and Laurie discussed VID palm cards to be distributed at every polling place in the district letting voters know ofour opposition to the Constitutional Convention.  The Supreme Court nominees must be endorsed, but because of time limits, he asked for permission for the Executive Committee to make the endorsement.  This passed unanimously.

The last item on the agenda was a visit from Marc Fliedner, running against Cy Vance for NYC District Attorney.  He offered a summary of his background and qualifications–30 years of criminal justice experience, mostly prosecuting hate crimes, and sex crimes.  He has since found a Manhattan residence, so he will qualify for the ballot.  Erik Bottcher spoke up for his work in the LGBTQ community.

You can read the full minutes of the October 12th Meeting here.

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Oct 062017
 

On October 12th VID will vote for the clubs City Council District 1 endorsement….

At the October 12th General Meeting there will be a vote for the City Council District 1 candidate endorsement, updates from the Campaign Committee, Voter Reform Committee, Environmental Committee and the Affodable Housing Committee, as well as a Club vote to amend the By-Laws.

Thursday, October 12th, 6:30 pm
St. John’s Lutheran Church, 83 Christopher St.

Here’s the agenda:

1.  President’s Report – Erik Coler

2.  District Leader Report – Keen Berger

3.  6:45pm – Vote on Constitutional Amendment regarding Executive members/Officers running on opposing slates
Please see below for the proposed Amendment

4. Vote on Endorsement for General Election City Council District 1
  General Endorsement Rules apply

5.  Committee Reports

  •   Voter Reform Committee – Laurie Hardjowirogo
  •   Environmental Committee – Nat Johnson
  •   Campaign Committee – Tony Hoffmann & Laurie Hardjowirogo
  •   Affordable Housing – Erik Coler

6.  8:15pm – Vote on official position of two referendum propositions on November ballot
See below for propositions

7.  New Business
8.  Adjournment
______________________

A.  Proposed VID Constitutional Amendment 

Any officer of VID or member of the Executive Committee who runs against a VID slate or a VID endorsed candidate shall forfeit his/her office/seat on the Executive Committee for the remainder of his/her term. The office/seat shall be considered vacant. At the next annual election for Executive Committee or officers the person may run for VID office again. Any ex officio member of the Executive Committee (District Leaders, past president) who runs against a VID slate or endorsed candidate will forfeit his/her seat on the Executive Committee until the next annual vote for Executive Committee members. At that point they will regain their seat.

B. Two Referendum Propositions on the November Ballots

Proposal 2 would allow judges to reduce or revoke the state pension of a public officer convicted of a felony related to his or her duties.  
Proposal 3 would create a 250-acre land bank, which would allow local governments to request forest preserve land for projects in exchange for the state acquiring 250 acres for the forest preserves.
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Jul 102017
 

Tim Wu ReturnsTim Wu returns as guest speaker at General Membership Meeting on Thursday, July 13th, 6:30 pm
St. John’s Lutheran Church, 83 Christopher St.

 The meeting will open with reports from VID President, Erik Coler, Elected Officials and District Leader Keen Berger

At 7:00 pm,  Special Guest Speaker, Tim Wu returns to VID to discuss the future prospects for keeping the internet free from control.

Tim Wu is Professor of Law at Columbia, Former New York Lt. Governor candidate.   He is also a leading expert on the future of the internet and net neutrality, having authored three acclaimed books: Master Switch, The: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires , Network Neutrality, The Next Digital Decade.

Thursay’s discussion will center on protecting the Internet.

Following will be Committee Reports

  •   Voter Reform Committee – Laurie Hardjowirogo
  •   Environmental Committee – Nat Johnson
  •   Campaign Committee – Tony Hoffmann & Laurie Hardjowirogo
  •   Affordable Housing – Erik Coler

Tim Wu_Carlina RiveraAt 8:15pm – Carlina Rivera will provide an Update on the Mt. Sinai Beth Israel Hospital
The future of Healthcare in Lower Manhattan and what is happening and what we will do to protect the village.

FULL MEETING MINUTES

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Jul 102017
 
gerrymandering_David Daley

David Daley talks Gerrymandering

Redistricting on Steroids is the gerrymandering model David Daley revealed in his June 8th appearance at VID

Erik introduced Dave Daley, author of “Ratf**ked;  the True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy”.  He delivered a riveting talk on how the Republicans took over in 2010 by using computer modeling to gerrymander and steal elections.  Gerrymandering, which can be traced back to at least 1788, has resulted in 69 of 99 state legislatures and both houses in 35 states to be controlled by Republicans in a country in which both parties are pretty evenly represented, with Democrats slightly ahead.  Dave called the new computer techniques, dreamt up by Karl Rove, “gerrymandering on steroids”.  He warned that the hard work is yet to be done to undo this catastrophe, the structural problems are deep and difficult to undo, and the usual electoral solutions may not be enough.

Dave recommended Dems should push voting rights, labor rights, and women’s rights.  He warned that the Supreme Court has ruled against racial gerrymandering but has never ruled on partisan gerrymandering.  Changes to the electoral college lose whenever they are brought before SCOTUS, because there is no precedent.  He also cautioned that there is no happy ending–winning elections will not redraw the lines.  He advocated concentrating on governorships to start the hard work.  This instigated a robust discussion.

You can read or  listen to an NPR interview with Mr. Daley here

Regular Business – State Politics, Petitioning, Housing and the Environment

President Erik Coler opened the meeting with a discussion of the 311 issues from the last meeting.  He proposed putting together “complaining blocs” –adding other complainants who live nearby and getting them to call 311 also.  May’s Trivia Night was a big success; Trivia Night will resume in July.  VID plans to sponsor a street festival June 17, with the opportunity to hand out literature and secure signatures on petitions.  There will be a Community Service Day in early July–Lois Rakoff will contact Washington Square Park to work out details.  

The Petitioning Kickoff Breakfast is scheduled for June 10th at the clubhouse, with appearances by Corey Johnson, Carlina Rivera, Scott Stringer, and Chris Marte.  And Keith Wright will be sent a letter regarding his new lobbying job.

gerrymandering_Keen Berger

Keen Berger at Trump Tower Protest in May. Photo: Nadine Hoffmann

Keen Berger opened her report with an anecdote about a homeless panhandler she encountered on the F train while she was with her grandson.  She makes it a policy not to give, but it made her think about Comey and a need to change the system.  She called for retaking Congress and working for impeachment.

Next, Rachel Lavine, State Committee Member in the 66th AD, gave a report.  She outlined the two functions of the Democratic State Committee–electing candidates for statewide office in case of a vacancy, and putting forward resolutions to shape the party platform.  She asked for the VID to support their resolution to remove Jeff Klein from leadership of the IDC.  He will be asked to find another party and another line to run on.  All members of the IDC will have their clubs approached to request that they either run as Dems or on another party line.  

gerrymandering_IDC Protest

VID members participated in May protest at Trump Tower. Photo: Nadine Hoffmann

There is also a plan to request that Governor Cuomo share money with state Dem candidates–at least $1M should be redistributed to local races.  In addition, the Committee wants to amend rules so they have 25 days instead of 10 for petitioning–and to encourage more progressive members.   The NYS Progressive Caucus wants to make the State Committee more democratic and more progressive.  They will urge a vote to support these resolutions at the next meeting at the end of July.  Jim Yates proposed no party funds should go to the IDC, and Ben Yee is also very supportive.

On Saturday (6/10), Brad Hoylman will be at the clubhouse to deliver a talk on the IDC.  

Laurie Hardjowirogo has been working in NY’s 19th CD.  She’s been door knocking and getting out the vote.  On Saturday, Brad Hoylman will be at the clubhouse to deliver a talk on the IDC.  

Nat Johnson and his team have been working on shutting down Indian Point and composting.  Frieda had a screening of a film on Indian Point at her house, which was very successful.

Tony Hoffmann gave a report on petitioning–He said he has never seen such enthusiasm, and he asked for volunteers.

Erik gave a report on Affordable Housing.  He’s going after bad landlords–those getting J-51 tax breaks and illegally destabilizing tenants.  He said there has never been a club which has created affordable housing, and promised a class action lawsuit by the end of the month.

You can read the full Meeting Minutes of June 8th here.

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