May 082015
 

VID General Membership Meeting

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St. John’s Lutheran Church Annex
83 Christopher St.
Thursday May 14, 2015
6:30 PM

UPDATE:  MINUTES

Our May 14th General Membership Meeting has a pretty full agenda.  In addition to Club business we will be hosting an important discussion on Fracking and Gas Pipeline Infrastructure, as well as presentations from and endorsements of Civil Court and District Leader candidates.  Following is the agenda:
I.  President’s Report

II.  District Leader’s Report–Keen Berger

III. Special Forum:
Fracking and Gas Pipeline Infrastructure
Nat Johnson–Organizer
Panelists:  Clare Donohue, Sane Energy Project
Eric Weltman,  Food & Water Watch in New York
Ling Tsou, United for Action
Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal, Status of the Port Ambrose LNG

IV.  Update on Saving Small Business Petitioning–Sharon Woolums

 
V.  Update on Gala–Jen Hoppe

VI.  Presention by Civil Court Judge Candidates  (See election protocol for all candidates below)

VII.  Endorsement of Civil Court Judge Candidates

VIII.    Presentation by District Leader Candidates

IX.     Endorsement of District Leader Candidates.

X.     Election of VID’s Judicial Delegates and Alternates

   XI.      New Business

Election Protocol
Village Independent Democrats

Eligibility to vote and/or be a candidate:

     a- Must be a VID member for 90 days
b- Dues must be up to date
c- If your dues have expired, you can pay back dues in order to vote.  However, per VID constitution you can only pay back dues for one year and one month.  Therefore, anybody who’s dues expired before April 14, 2014 is not eligible to vote.Election Protocol:

  • Civil Court
  1. Each candidate can speak for up to 5 minutes
  2. Each candidate will take questions from VID members for up to 5 minutes
  3. VID members are allocated up to 5 minutes speak on behalf of a candidate.  No member can speak for more than one minute unless nobody else wishes to speak.
  4. A candidate must get a majority of the votes cast in order to get the VID endorsement.  In case no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast on the first ballot and there are only two candidates on the ballot then no endorsement is the position of the club. If there are more than two candidates then there is one more ballot with the two top vote getters staying on the ballot.  If no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast on the second ballot then the position of the club is no endorsement.
  • District Leader

Same rules as for Civil Court candidates with the exception that the candidates only receive three minutes each to speak.

  • Judicial Delegates and Alternate Judicial Delegates
  1. Each candidate receives 1 minute to speak
  2. VID members have five minutes to as candidates questions
  3. The candidates who receive the most votes are elected to represent VID on the ballot as judicial delegates.  The candidates who receive the next highest number of votes become the alternate judicial delegates.
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May 032015
 

Village Independent Democrats will hold a forum on halting the advance of gas pipeline infrastructure which threatens health, environment and economic life of New York State.  

The forum will take place on May 14, 2015 at 7:00 PM, at St. John’s Lutheran Church Annex, 83 Christopher St. (just west of Seventh Avenue).  The public is invited.  Admission is free.

Gas Pipe Infrastructure_Map

Sane Energy Project – Online Interactive Map: You Are Here. Click to go to the map.

“The gas industry wants to expand the natural gas infrastructure in New York State to maximize its ability to export natural gas to more profitable overseas markets,” says Nat Johnson, organizer of the forum.  “We have to develop stronger regulatory protocols to protect domestic energy markets and further the development of renewable energy, resource conservation and energy efficiency.”

Participants In this panel discussion Include:

  • Sane Energy Project – Even though high-volume horizontal fracturing has been banned in New York State, the invasion of fracking infrastructure is going full tilt. To date, Sane Energy Project has identified more than 137 pipelines, compressor stations, frack waste or storage facilities that are proposed, under construction or in operation. Program Director, Clare Donohue, a recipient of the Village Independent Democrats Annual Gala Award in 2013, presents a visual presentation of the website and its significance.
  • Gas Pipeline Infrastructure_Equipment

    Syphon Set-Up

    Eric Weltman, Senior Organizer for Food & Water Watch in New York, reports on the status of Fracking in the region and its effects in the more than 7,500 accidents related to fracking since  2013, leaks and spills including oil trains and negatively impacting water quality in rivers, streams and shallow aquifers. This includes projects like the Constitution, Algonquin and Spectra Pipelines and particularly the Port Ambrose Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal (LNG).

  • United for Action is a group of volunteers who shape public policy decisions by organizing and mobilizing groups of like-minded citizens. Ling Tsou co-founder of the group discusses advocacy for the implementation of renewable energy, conservation and energy efficiency policies particularly the Port Ambrose liquefied natural gas (LNG) port project and the proposed offshore wind farm.
  • Gas Pipeline Infrastructure_Port AmbrosePort Ambrose LNG terminal has been proposed by Liberty Natural Gas off Long Beach, Long Island for the New York/New Jersey area. Linda B. Rosenthal represents District 67 in the New York State Assembly; she along with State Senator Brad Hoylman sent a letter to Governor Cuomo urging him to veto this project. Assemblymember Rosenthal discusses the status of the opposition to the Project – which would damage our marine ecosystem, put us at risk from terrorist attacks, exacerbates climate change and put pressure to frack for more gas across the Northeast region.

Press Contact:   VID President Nadine Hoffmann at 212-741-3265, or email her here.

 

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Mar 072015
 
Saving small business_Panel

Panelists (left to right): Jenny Dubnau, Alfred Placeres, Steven Null, Steven Barrison ,Esq, Lincoln Anderson, Robert Perl and Mark Crispin Miller

 

UPDATE:  On March 5th there was  a small business forum co-sponsored by The Villager and VID, at Judson Memorial Church

On Thursday, March 5th at 7 pm neighbors, local business people, and a panel of experts convened for a Small Business Forum to discuss means to save and protect small businesses.  It was held  at Judson Church, 55 Washington Square South. The forum was organized by Sharon Woolums, long-time VID member and the panel moderated by Lincoln Anderson, Editor-in-Chief at The Villager.

The Issues

Currently landlords determine the destiny of small business owners, their workers, and, ultimately, the character and culture of an entire community.  But two pending legislations, looking at the issue from opposite directions claim to be the solution to save our small businesses.

  1. A new resolution introduced January 22 at City Hall calls upon Albany to pass legislation establishing a property tax credit for commercial landlords who ”voluntarily” limit rent increases upon renewal as incentives to not rent gouge.
  2. In City Council committee: the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, (S.B.J.S.A.) regulates lease renewal process giving rights to business owners to arbitrate fair lease terms and 10 year leases.
  3. OR…is there a better solution?

Panelists:

Steven Null
Owner of three start up small businesses in Manhattan in mid 1970’s. Founder of Coalition for Fair Business Rents in mid 1986, the first citywide advocacy group to stop the high rent increases. Researched and wrote the original Arbitration Bill introduced by former Councilmember Ruth Messinger in 1986.  Appointed to first Mayoral Small Business Advisory Task Force by Mayor Dinkins. Founder of Coalition to Save Small Businesses in 2008 Co Founder of Small Business Congress in 1991.  Help rewrite the Arbitration Bill for Council Member Robert Jackson which became the Small Business Jobs Survival Act. 

Alfred Placeres
Founder NYS Federation Hispanic Chambers of Commerce and former member of USA Hispanic Chamber of Commerce chair of eastern US district; member of both City and State advisory committees on small business over the past 25 years.

Jenny Dubnau
Spokesperson for The Artist Studio Affordability Project – coalition of arts groups fighting to preserve our city’s arts and cultural organizations.

Steven Barrison , Esq.
Member of the Board of Directors of the New York Main Street Alliance since 1992.  President and founder of Bay Improvement Group, a local main street coalition based in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn; Co-Chair Coalition To Save NYC Small Businesses; Attorney for 25 years representing both landlords and tenants in commercial lease negotiations, citywide.

Mark Crispin Miller
NYU professor of Media, Culture, and Communication. Known for his writing and activism on behalf of democratic media reform; a strong voice and organizer for the Village community’s fight against the proposed NYU expansion; an outspoken critic of overdevelopment and the social consequences of rapid gentrification of a community which follows aggressive unchecked speculation. 

Robert Perl
President of Tower Brokerage, and a real estate specialist in the East Village. Mr. Perl’s company has rented thousands of apartments and stores and have sold scores of buildings and development sites.  He has been active in civic matter affecting the community and appeared on several panels dealing with neighborhood development and has given an accurate assessment of the role real estate plays in changes to a community.

The Options Discussed

1. Small Business Jobs Survival Act
2. Tax incentives to landlords to not raise commercial rents 
3. The use of Zoning reform to stabilize a business strip
4. Create a Small Business Retail Retention Task Force  
 
 
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