VID’s Feb 18 Judicial Endorsement Meeting Hears Six Candidates and Reviews Census Protocols
President David Siffert called Feb 18 Judicial Endorsement Meeting to order with general announcements, including: a Budget Justice meeting on Feb 20, the start of petitioning on Tuesday, Feb 25, and the Petitioning Kickoff breakfast on Feb 29.
He also announced the next General Meetings would be on March 12 and April 2, and that the VID Gala would be on May 7.
Guest Panel on the Census
Judith Herzburg, a leader of TrueBlue in Brooklyn, and Aries Dela Cruz, the Manhattan borough director of the census for NY, spoke about the importance of the census to New York City and how to get people to participate in it. Here’s a link to the online form.
They emphasized that a personal, “Neighbor to Neighbor,” approach to encouraging trust in the census process was most effective. They pointed out that New York is in danger of losing two Congressional seats due to both a declining population and undercounting in the census, and that only overwhelming participation by residents could prevent it.
They noted that New York State already sends $16 billion more to Washington than it gets back in funding. Undercounting could lead to cuts in the funds NYC receives in Medicaid, Title 1, food stamps, infrastructure, housing, schools, roads, and even bus routes.
In the last census ten years ago, the response rate to the census overall was about 62%. But a concerted community effort can lead to much higher rates. An example is Washington Heights, which is largely Dominican, where the response rate was 80% in 2010. This enabled the creation of a new Congressional seat and three new schools.
They emphasized the confidentiality of the information people provide, and the safeguards that are in place to protect undocumented immigrants and those who might be fearful of sharing information with the government.
The Census discussion was followed by short presentations by candidates for Civil Court, including incumbents Carol Feinman, David Cohen, Leticia Ramirez, and Michael Katz. All won the club’s endorsement.
John Wang and Eric Schumacher, who are competing for an open seat in Manhattan Judicial District 1, spoke about themselves. The vote was 14-12-1 in favor of Wang.
Debra and Linda Jacobson introduced a resolution banning puppy mills that passed 12-9.