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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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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May 042014
 

NYS Candidates ForumOn May 1st VID and eight other Clubs sponsored a NYS candidates forum for Democrats seeking inclusion on the 2014 Primary Ballot.

Here are the Minutes of the Forum

Ed Yutkowitz, VID  Corresponding Secretary organized the event which included:

Keith Wright, Chairman of the New York County Democrats, Assembly Member, and a Co-Chair of the New York State Democratic Party, who will speak on behalf of Governor Andrew Cuomo. 

Randy Credico, Candidate for NYS Governor
First Deputy Comptroller of the State of New York, Pete Grannis, representing Comptroller Tom DiNapoli
Brad Hoylman, New York State Senator for the 27th District.
Deborah Glick, Assembly Member for the 66th district, who will also represent Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Dan Squadron, New York State Senator for the 26th District.
Rachel Lavine, 66th AD; Alan Shulkin, 66th AD and John Quinn, 65th AD Candidates for New York State Democratic Committee.

Co-sponsors of the event included Downtown Independent Democrats, Downtown Progressive Democrats, Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, Lower Manhattan Democrats, Village Reform Democratic Club, Greater NYC for Change, Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats, and 

Among the prominent topics raised by the Forum attendees were campaign finance reform, the recent legislation regarding development rights through the Hudson River Park Trust , Fracking and the NYS Senate’s Independent Democrat Conference (IDC).

Rachel Lavine, State Democratic Committee member and founder of the NYS Progressive Caucus introduced a resolution by that body detailing the failures of  Independent Democratic Conference of the New York State Senate (IDC) in advancing important Democratic legislation and calling upon the  IDC  to rejoin the Democratic Conference led by Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.  The topic  was immediately picked up by the NY Daily News and by Capital NY

All the candidates agreed that Campaign Finance Reform was a priority with Senator Hoylman speaking out vehemently for its need.  Assemblymember Glick offered a detailed chronology of the imperfect Hudson River Park legislation and  hopefully mitigating provision for full local  ULURP review for future development that remained in the final package.

Senator Dan Squadron added a plea for support of his pending legislation for collaborative funding for NYC Parks between the City and the various Park Conservancies to advance their more equitable care.

Minutes will be posted soon.  Here are the pictures,

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Aug 012011
 

UPCOMING VID EVENTS:

Thursday, August 18 7:30 p.m.
Executive Committee Meeting, 26 Perry Street

Saturday-Sunday, August 20-21
We have been asked to provide volunteers for an event to help the NYC environment: a white roof painting of buildings in the East Village which have been identified by the organization FAB (Fourth Arts Block). The painting will take place on August 20th and 21st between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm on both days. The event is being organized by Manhattan Young Democrats, so many of their members would be present at the event. Please advise if you are interested and can give a few hours. Please email: president@villagedemocrats.org.

Tuesday, Sept 13–Primary Election Day

Thursday, September 15, 7:00 p.m.
VID General Membership Meeting–program to be announced and location to be determined

Tuesday, November 8–General Election
District Leader Keen Berger is looking for poll workers who will be able to take the training and work at the polls on election day. Please contact VID if you are able to be a poll worker.

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