Feb 092016

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


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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Dec 072015

At the December Membership Meeting There Will Be Officer Elections and Presidential Candidate Endorsement

On Thursday, December 10th at 6:30 pm, St. Lukes Lutheran Church Annex, 83 Christopher St. members will elect a President and Vice President for the Club in 2016.  There will also be a vote called for the endorsement of a Democratic Presidential Candidate (Petitioning begins January 5th, 2016).

Currently the candidates seeking VID office at the December membership meeting include:

december-membership-meeting_Nadine Hoffmann

Nadine Hoffmann, speaking for her first election in Dec. 2014

Having been VID’s President for 2015, Nadine Hoffmann is running for re-election.

Among her credits is her work with VID members on important issues:

  • Sharon Woolums on all the small business issues
  • Anne and Nat against fracking and pipelines and Indian Point and Port Ambrose, a tremendous win!
  • Keen with judicial candidates and delegate issues
  • Tony and many members on Candles For Clemency
  • Barbara Reuther and Mrs. Green’s
  • Support of the Iran Nuclear Deal
  • Erik Coler and his involvement with young voter outreach
  • Marlene Nadle and Tom Connor fighting for tenants rights and protections
  • Jonathan Geballe to expand the Tenants Clinic
  • The Gala Committee for another tremendous (and money-making) and also loads of fun dinner
  • Frieda on everything!

You can read her full statement here.


Ronnie Eldridge with Erik Coler at the Presidential Forum in November

  Leading a very successful effort to recruit new young members to the Club, Erik Coler is running for Vice President.

He was born and raised in the village, attended P.S. 41, and has lived in New York City his entire life, except for four years at college (SUNY Fredonia) in Western New York. While in college he work on a few political campaigns, including a congressional race; served as a Democratic Voting Delegate for President Obama at the DNC in 2012 and advocated actively on behalf of student issues in Albany.

You can read his full statement here.


A current VID Vice President, Linda Jacobson is seeking re-election for 2016

Jacobson_Bottcher_0060Linda has been a member for over 20 years and for the past year served as a Vice President.  Prior to this office she was  treasurer for the two years and stepped in as interim treasurer this year when our current treasurer, Frieda Bradlow was unable to due to health issues.  Adding to her commitment to the Club, Linda has also served as Campaign Committee Treasurer for Jonathan Geballe, and for VID when these committees were active.

You can read her full statement here


Barbara Reuther for Vice President

Barbara has volunteered her name for nomination for the office of Vice President of the Village Independent Democrats.  She believes that the Village Independent Democrats is one of the most effective and esteemed organizations in our community and City.  She looks forward to better serving progressive goals, in particular:

  • election of Democratic Majority in New York State
  • housing fairness
  • senior citizen needs
  • campaign finance reform
  • strengthening community communications

You can read her full statement here 

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Feb 102015

UPDATE:  VID’s Feb. 12th meeting spotlighted a report from Councilmember Corey Johnson and a Forum on Rent Regulations

Councilmember Corey Johnson reported on his past year in the Council and what he looks forward to in 2015.

Forum on Rent Regulation

Marlene Nadle, Chair of VID Housing Committee

Marlene Nadle, Chair of VID’s Housing Committee added timely discussion, via a special guest speaker from Met Council on Housing, on this year’s legislative debates in a Forum on Rent Regulation.

New York State’s rent protection laws expire in less than five months, on June 15.

They almost certainly will be renewed. The question is how they might be amended by the state legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo. Tenants throughout New York City and the suburban counties of Nassau, Westchester, and Rockland have a huge amount of work ahead to win changes that will stem the hemorrhage of affordable housing—such as by repealing the 1997 vacancy-deregulation amendments—and prevent the addition of any more pro-landlord loopholes.   Michael McKee, Met Council on Housing.

Here are the minutes of the full meeting.

You can also read some extensive coverage on rent regulation from City & State

Closing the meeting was the introduction of a resolution on the death of Eric Garner, introduced by Nat Johnson and approval for two letters, to Congressman Nadler and to Senator Schumer, introduced by Ed Yutkowitz, addressing Prime Minister Netanyahu’s scheduled appearance before the US Congress pertaining tougher sanctions on Iran.

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Mar 012014

Forum Speakers Offer Specifics to Increase Affordable Housing in NYC

By Marlene Nadle, VID Housing Committee Chair 

Affordable Housing Forum

Marlene Nadle, VID Housing Committee Chair

“The conventional wisdom that the city can’t do anything about affordable housing is destructive, demoralizing, and legally wrong,” said tenant attorney Seth Miller. He was one of the speakers at a February affordable housing panel and film cosponsored by the Village Independent Democrats and Judson Memorial Church . The program was organized by VID Housing Chair, Marlene Nadle. Miller proposed a number of actions addressing affordable housing that could be carried out by the City Council and didn’t need Albany’s approval. They include:

  • Pass an ordinance penalizing the warehousing of apartments.
  • Pass an ordinance prohibiting the reduction of apartment units in a building and the demolition of units in a building, or only allow it if the units are replaced by affordable apartments that are offered to the displaced tenants.
  • Devote any property taken in tax foreclosure to affordable housing and stop selling tax liens.
  • Pass an ordinance tightening the enforcement of the J-51 tax abatement given to developers.
  • Change the formula for setting first rents in 421-a and other city-subsidized apartments.

Tom Angotti, a professor of urban planning at Hunter College, also added things to do to get more affordable housing that didn’t depend on the state. His suggestions, like all of the panelists suggestions, began to correct the former housing policies described in the screened film, The Vanishing City, produced by Fiore DeRosa and Jen Senko.

Affordable Housing panelists

Seth Miller, Moses Gates and Tom Angotti

Angotti’s proposals:

  •  All housing subsidized with public funds should be made permanently affordable by using land trusts and regulatory agreements.
  • Demand the city change the way it defines affordable by basing it on neighborhood median income instead of the median income for the entire metropolitan region.
  • The city should increase taxes on habitable housing left vacant for more than a year and expropriate housing vacant for more than two years.
  • Demand changes to the City Charter to give community Boards the power and resources to make major decisions on land use and infrastructure.
  • Demand an end to the public give aways to developers by doing away with J-51 and 421-a.

Moses Gates, a policy planner at the Association of Neighborhood and Community Development, supported most of these proposals. He suggested another way to get around the state was to go to the Federal level and push to have the Housing Trust funded and to get the HUD office to initiate public/private development of affordable housing. Gates also stressed the need to form alliances on housing issues with people like Public Advocate, Tish James,  City Council Speaker, Melissa Mark Viverito, and the Chair of the Council’s Housing Committee, Jumaane Williams. There was a shared feeling that DeBlasio’s plan to build 200,000 new units was not sufficient. “Bloomberg built 165,000 units of affordable housing, but lost more affordable units than that,” Angotti said.

The same thing is likely to happen with the DeBlasio plan if 200,000 units are built without incorporating any of the other changes the panelists suggested.


Related Reference: RoofLines, the Shelterforce Blog, Feb. 7, 2014, Home Rule and Rent Stabilization


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