Sep 252012

Here’s a picture of the volunteers and collaborating organizers in front of the OFA office in Bethlehem at the end of the day before getting back on the bus to NYC, Courtesy of the Manhattan Young Democrats

Over the past two Saturdays canvassers from the VID buses in Bethlehem and Nazareth, Pennsylvania, knocked on 6,514 doors, had 1,787 conversations with voters, registered over 200 people and secured 722 signed commit to vote cards from Obama supporters. That’s the way you win elections.

VID president, Jonathan Geballe, and VID co-campaign chair, and bus captain for life, Peter Crosta have made both Saturday trips, joined last Saturday by VID co-campaign chair Tony Hoffmann. The energy and bonding with fellow NYC Democrats on board the bus is contagious and the welcome from our PA neighbors is warm and generous. We were met by Obama volunteers who opened their homes to all of us New Yorkers (from VID and all the clubs we organized) and served breakfast and lunch. The voters were (mostly) super friendly. President Obama has lots of support in the Lehigh Valley (he received 73% of the Bethlehem vote in 2008). Our job is to make sure the Democrats get out and vote, and secure this crucial battleground state. We ask staunch Obama supporters to sign a voter commitment card which is mailed back to the voter before the election — the most effective way to mobilize voters.

Much credit goes to those who are organizing and facilitating this operation. It has been a team effort. Primary kudos go to Yayoi Tsuchitani who organized the entire effort-from securing commitments and money from various local organizations, to recruiting volunteers, to renting buses at super low rates to raising money to subsidize the buses-Yayoi has done it all. Working with Yayoi are Nadine Hoffman, the person who keeps track of all bus registrants and tabler extraordinaire; Celia Wu, Georgina Christ, and Yayoi-the other tabler extraordinaires (they’ve raised over $500 in just two weeks); Yayoi and District Leader Keen Berger the master chefs who have baked a zillion cookies and cakes that are selling like hot cakes; bus captain Peter Crosta and future bus captain Marti Speranza; and finally Tony and Nadine Hoffmann whose September fundraiser pulled in over $2000 for the canvassing effort. VID can be proud of what we’ve accomplished.

Jonathan, Peter and I would love to have other VID’ers accompany us on the bus. We leave every Saturday at 8:30 AM (arrive by 8:00 to check in) from in front of Babies R’ Us which is located between 15th & 16th Streets on the east side of Union Square Park. The buses return by about 7:00 p.m. To register you can email Nadine Hoffman at or call VID at 212-741-2994 and leave a message. Please join us and be part of the Obama campaign. Looking forward to seeing you.

Tony Hoffmann

Co-Campaign Chair
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Aug 292012

Tony and Nadine Hoffmann

VID is the lead organizer for a collection of our sister downtown clubs for Saturday bus trips to Pennsylvania to assist the Obama campaign in taking this crucial battleground state. The campaign trips will be taking place each Saturday beginning September 15.

To lower the cost of the individual rider contributions per trip from $25 to $10, VID will be doing some extra fundraising. (Other clubs will be helping out, too.)
Tony and Nadine Hoffmann are opening their home to an Obama Watch Party and Fundraiser on Thursday, September 6 — come see our President accept the nomination of the Democratic Party for a second term, and lead the way to another four years of Democratic leadership in the White House. Your contributions to our Pennsylvania bus trip canvassing effort are needed and welcome. We are a blue-rich state here in New York, let’s help out our fellow Dems in neighboring PA.
Location: Tony & Nadine Hoffmann, 100 Bank Street, Apt. 3D
Date: September 6, 2012
Time: 830 p.m. until ….
Light refreshments
Fundraising contributions accepted
Obama Watch Party and Fundraiser— print this out and send to your Dem friends who can help out with the fundraising.
Special thanks go to our Campaign Committee for this effort, and especially to Yayoi Tsuchitani, with substantial help from Tony Hoffmann, Nadine Hoffmann, Peter Crosta, new member Marti Speranza and Keen Berger.
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Jul 042012

There will be NO VID General Membership meeting in July — no meeting on July 12.  Our next General Membership Meeting will be Wednesday, August 15, 2012 at 7:30 p.m., location TBD.  This will be an important meeting because we will be discussing the upcoming local primary and September battleground bus trips supporting the Obama campaign organized by our Yayoi Tsuchitani.

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May 052012

To see all the pictures of our friends, click here

It was a great turn-out for our 55th Anniversary, with warm feelings all around.   Long-missed faces, like William Stricklin and Chad Marlow…and our honorees Norman Siegel, Friends In Deed and Gale Brewer were clearly wowed by the celebration.

Thanks to all who attended and who donated.  Some deserve special recognition for making this happen.  Our Gala Committee of Katharine Wolpe, Ellen Peterson-Lewis, Tom Conner and Sharon Woolums put in the long hours of planning, strategy and arranging. Extra help was provided by Deley Gazinelli, who set up the award placques. Eli Hausknecht monitored the ticket purchases and arranged the event check-in and revenue. Eli, this could not have happened without you.

Celia Wu also worked on the tickets and brought our prominently displayed VID banner to the event, and helped me set up Paypal on the VID website. Reinforcements for the phone tree included Nadine Hoffmann, Tony Hoffman, Keen Berger, Brad Hoylman, Frieda Bradlow, and Kathy Jacobson. And our top table team, taking tickets, was attended by Peter Crosta, Georgina Christ, Tim McNerney and Teresa Hommel.  Sharon handed out drink tix and Katharine Wolpe directed traffic. Tony Hoffman served as photographer. Our well-placed and elegantly presented Villager ad was designed by Yayoi Tsuchitani.

I want to say a special word about our outstanding District Leaders, Keen Berger and Brad Hoylman. Somehow during my opening remarks I lost a card and thus skipped over their leadership over the past year on the St Vincent’s matter and the park and the new middle school at 75 Morton, the opposition to NYU2031, and so many other issues. Brad and Keen exemplify the heart and soul of VID. Thank you both for turning our ideals and goals into realities.

It was honoring Annette Zaner and Yvonne Sherwell, who have been two of the pillars of VID that was the sweetest verse of this song. This was our moment to embrace you. Annette, Yvonne, it is far too little recognition for your many years of fierce and longstanding dedication to VID, but I know that it lifted us — all of us — and so I hope it lifted you as well.

Happy 55th Gala, VID.


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