Nov 232018
 

High Spirits Dominated the November 2018 Meeting with NYS Senate Democratic Majority and Congressional Victories Throughout the State and Nation.

Erik Coler opened the November 2018 Meeting with congratulations to a long list of VID members whose unceasing volunteerism made a tangible difference, with a special shout out to Erik Bottcher, Laurie Hardjowirogo, and Tony Hoffmann.

There was a discussion about the Public Advocate’s Forum to be held on November 12, and whether the club should co-sponsor.  The club voted to co-sponsor with the caveat that all who ask to appear will be included, possibly at future VID meetings.

Erik also announced that the elections for club President and three Vice Presidents will be held in December, and he explained the rules.

November 2018 Meeting_Keen Berger

Keen Berger moves on to the proposed Bleecker St. School after victory at 75 Morton.

Keen Berger’s District Leader report also included congratulations for the club’s role in electing Antonio Delgado, Max Rose, and Ron Kim, and the NYS Senate victories.  She spoke of her role in public schools and a possible future fight for the Bleecker Street school.  

november-2018-meeting_brad-hoylman

State Sen. Brad Hoylman discusses priorities of the newly Democrat majority senate.

Brad Hoylman, three term State Senator, gave a speech about recent victories in local races, and gave an agenda of things for the new Senate majority to implement.  Among these are voting reform, ethics reform, womens reproductive health, anti-fracking waste laws, rent laws, the NY Health Act, the child victims act, LLC loopholes, and fixing the MTA.

Rachel Lavine, State Committeewoman,congratulated Brad on his performance in the Senate, and then thanked VID for its support.  She congratulated the NYS Senate on doubling the number of women members.  She spoke of the Jeff Sessions firing and how people must urge Sen. Schumer to protest it.  She spoke of the lawsuit her wife Robbie was bringing against Trump, and how it was being combined with the NY Southern District suit against Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville.

 

November 2018 Meeting_Rachel Lavine

Rachel Lavine (right) who now sits on the NYS DC Executive Committee

Next up at the November 2018 meeting was Ben Yee, State Committeeman, who congratulated Rachel on her new position on the Executive Committee of the State Committee.  There will be County Committee elections in 2019 and he urged everyone to run.  All meetings will be live-streamed on Facebook.  There was also a resolution introduced condemning the anti-Semitic mailer sent out  at the last minute against Cynthia Nixon.

 

Committee Reports

Nat Johnson, Chair of the Environmental Committee, reported the environmentally correct bags were selling well; that on Thursday mornings there will be composting on the corner of Sixth Avenue and Waverly.  Since the holidays are coming, he urged people not to use bows, to use recyclable packaging (tissue paper is not recyclable), and pushed recyclable straws.  He also advised us about upcoming events on solar power, coastal resilience, and managing solid waste.  He urged us to call Governor Cuomo to express opposition to the Williams Pipeline.  BTW Nat circulated a link to the new improved recycline pamphlets.

Deb Sherman, of the Gun Reform Committee, passed out anti-gun postcards to be signed and advised of upcoming Gays Against Guns (GAG) meetings.

Tony Hoffmann and Laurie Hardjowirogo of the Campaign Committee talked of the campaigning they did in NY, Long Island, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.  They also thanked Kate Linker and Yayoi for their help.  They spoke of the buses sent, the volunteers, canvassing and the money raised, and thanked a long list of members for their time.

FULL MEETING MINUTES

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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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Jun 272018
 

June 14, 2018 Membership Meeting Votes on Endorsement for NYS Attorney General

June 14, 2018 Membership Meeting Minutes

June 14, 2018 Membership Meeting_Tish James

Tish James wins VID’s endorsement for NYS Attorney General

The June 14, 2018 Membership Meeting began with presentations from three candidates for the NYS Attorney General position:  Leecia Eve, Tish James, and Christine Gonzalez, speaking for Zephyr Teachout.  After this, and a general discussion of the candidates, James won the endorsement with 23 votes, with Teachout second with 13, Maloney (?) 1, Eve 1, and one no endorsement.

The June 14, 2018 Membership Meeting continued with Rachel Lavine, State Committeewoman, who opened her remarks by telling us she seconded Zephyr Teachout for AG at the NYS Democratic Committee Convention.  She and others founded the NY Progressive Caucus a couple of years ago, and it is now the largest caucus.  They have accomplished a lot of things, among them, that the State Committee can no longer funnel donations, and won’t support any candidate who caucused with the IDC.  Catalina Lopez is the Vice Chair.

june 14, 2018 membership meeting_Rachel-Lavine

NYS Commmittee Woman, Rachel Lavine

She spoke about the Jeff Klein investigation into his alleged sexual harassment, and said it was a whitewash where the victim was not interviewed.  JCOPE will do an independent investigation.  The goal is to make the state standard congruent with the city standard.

She next tackled the question of why she voted for Cuomo at the Convention. She has had differences with the Governor, but could not support Nixon because she’s a celebrity candidate–like Trump.  Cuomo needs to be pushed to the left, but there needs to be a qualified candidate in every small area.  She closed with good words for Ben Yee.

june-14,-2018-membership-meeting_Deb Sherman

Allison Stowell speaks of the Youth over Guns March on June 2, in which 1,500 people articipated.

Deb Sherman and Allison Stowell made their report for the Gun Reform Committee.  They spoke of the Youth over Guns march on June 2, in which 1,500 people participated.  They got 365 anti-gun postcards signed, with 19 volunteers. The Extreme Risk Protection Act (ERPO) law passed in Massachusetts.  The same law is in the legislation here.  Senators Kavanaugh and Hoylman are working on it, and Kavanaugh is hopeful it will pass.

Nat Johnson spoke for the Environmental Committee, and their current project, VID reusable bags, which Deb was also working on.  They should be ready soon.  He spoke of the next meeting’s agenda:  the plastic bag bill, a ban on styrofoam, a field trip in the fall to the Recycling Center, and a January Town Hall on recycling.

Tony Hoffmann gave the report for the Voter Reform Committee, as Laurie Hardjowirogo was upstate in CD19.  He said they would adopt one or two anti-IDC handcards.  There was a discussion about the cards.  Petitions should be in by June 30.

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Apr 072018
 

The March meeting introduced many resolutions and a very thorough presentation on NYC Organics Collection Program

MARCH MINUTES.  Among the first orders of business were various activities surrounding the March Against Guns, scheduled for March 24th and a Gun Control Forum featuring State Senator Brian Kavanaugh on March 18.  Deb Sherman and Allison Greenberg, of the ad hoc Gun Control Committee, announced a high school walkout at the Clinton School on March 14 in honor of a student who was killed in the recent shootout.  Poster making, logistics and two resolutions highlighted the discussion.  See the more on these resolutions.   

March Minutes_Rachel-Lavine

Rachel Lavine, State Committee Woman

The March Minutes also reported on the election for the two State Committee positions.  Ben Yee, current State Committeeman, running unopposed and Rachel Lavine, current State Committeewoman also running unopposed.  Ben won his endorsement with 29 in support and one no endorsement; Rachel was reelected unanimously, with 30 in support.

 

March Minutes_OrganicsNat Johnson, chair of the Environmental Committee, introduced Tal Zakan, Senior Coordinator of Recycling and Sustainability, who gave a comprehensive slide show and presentation on the state of composting in the Village, with advice on how to organize your building and what should and can be composted.  This was followed by an animated discussion.

A resolution calling for the MTA and the DOT to Suspend the Radical 14th Street Transportation Plan Imposed by the Shutdown of the L Train Tunnel, ran into some strong opposition.  A friendly amendment was offered re the City and Country School on West 13th Street, which was accepted, but ultimately the resolution was sent back to the ad hoc committee, composed of Jonathan, Ed, David Siffert, and Janet Liff.  Here is the final Resolution on the L Train.

Another resolution on the Tech Alley Impact on the Community was read, calling for zoning changes to be implemented to preserve affordability in the area.  This passed unanimously. 

Jen Hoppe reported on the Governor’s Report on the Status of NY Women and Girls 2018, created by Kathy Hochul, Lieutenant Governor, and Melissa DeRosa, first female Secretary to the Governor.  She presented a slideshow on five major areas:  Health, Safety, Workplace, Girls, and Family.  This was a comprehensive look at what has been done and still needs to be done in NYS regarding the status of women.

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