Four letters and a resolution were approved at the February 12th General Meeting.
The membership approved letters, submitted by VID President Nadine Hoffmann and introduced by Ed Yutkowitz, to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and Representatives Nadler and Maloney in opposition to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s impending address to Congress. The opening reads:
We are disheartened that House Speaker John Boehner has breached protocol by inviting Mr. Netanyahu to address Congress just before Israel’s elections and without consultation with the White House. Further, having the leader of a foreign government attempt to influence a Congressional vote is offensive and dangerous.
You can read a recent rundown on the March 3rd visit at Talking Points Memo and read a letter from 23 Congressional Democrats to Speaker John Boehner.
A resolution, proposed by Tony Hoffmann and introduced by Nat Johnson regarding further actions on the death of Eric Garner was passed after considerable semantic debate. Here are the final conclusions:
- Therefore, Be It Resolved, that the Village Independent Democrats calls for the appointment of a state or federal prosecutor to investigate the death of Eric Garner, and
- Be It Further Resolved, that VID calls for the New York State Attorney General to create a procedure to handle all investigations of police officers who kill or seriously injure unarmed civilians, and
- Be It Further Resolved, that VID calls on the Mayor and the New York City Council to strengthen the Civilian Complaint Review Board by giving it greater resources and more investigative power, and
- Be It Further Resolved, that the VID calls on the NYC Police Department to develop policing strategies and tactics that protect and serve so that instances which alienate and humiliate poor and minority communities do not occur, and
- Be It Further Resolved, that the VID calls on the NYC Police Department to retrain the entire police force on tactics for dealing with minor crimes so that the chances of these incidents escalating into major confrontations are greatly reduced, and
- Be It Further Resolved, that VID calls on the NYPD to monitor, retrain, or remove from service police officers with a history of unprofessional, abusive, or violent behavior, and
- Be It Further Resolved, that the NYPD, the NYFD, and the Mayor of New York review the entire incident to determine whether police officers and Emergency Medical Technicians at the scene followed all necessary and proper procedures, and, if warranted, take appropriate disciplinary action,
- Be It Further Resolved, that VID calls upon the Mayor of New York and our local public officials to hold town hall meetings and other public forums to allow communities throughout New York City to express their feelings and to offer suggestions on how to improve relations between the police and the public they are sworn to protect.
The resolution has been distributed to Mayor de Blasio, Commissioner Bratton and additional relevant City officials.