February 11 Meeting

VID’s February 11 Meeting Focused on Endorsements

February 11 Meeting Minutes

Co-President Mar Fitzgerald opened the February 11 meeting by announcing there would be lots of endorsements today.  Co-President Cam Krause delivered the President’s Report, saying we had signed on to the Invest in Our New York Coalition, involved with taxation and advocating to invest in housing and public services.  He also announced that the two Co-Presidents will be sending regular emails–David Siffert and Livvie Mann will be in charge.  The 2021 Gala will be on Thursday, May 6.  Notifications will be sent and a payment link established.  Alvin Bragg will  be holding a virtual fundraiser on Friday, February 12, called “Cocktails with Alvin”.  The Education Committee wrote a resolution demanding amnesty for New York schools, which passed the Executive Committee.  

Brad Hoylman will be holding phone banks, and Erik Bottcher has a new field director, and he’s trying to get vaccines for seniors.  Irene Kaufman will hold an “emergency documents” forum with Deborah Glick on March 11–she will have more details in New Business.  He cautioned members that the meeting is being recorded, and to turn the camera off if they don’t want to be in the recording.

District Leader Reports & Endorsements

Arthur Schwartz, District Leader candidate, announced he would combine his presentation with his District Leader Report, but would make it brief because it was also his birthday!  He was also getting his second Covid-19 shot at 9 pm.  He spoke of lawsuits he had brought including Jumaane Williams, Eric Adams, the Mayor, and Dianne Morales.  He’s been working with David Siffert in a committee to push amendments to the State Democratic Party rules regarding gender non-conformity.  He brought a lawsuit against the MTA for closing fare booths for their employees lunch breaks.  He’s involved with PALM.  He helps older people fight for apartments, and gets calls all the time.  He worked hard to get Democratic voter turnout up.  He hasn’t been endorsed by VID since 1997, and said it would be nice to be endorsed again.  He also said he embodies the principles of the reform democratic movement and VID.  This was followed by Q & A.

Now Jen Hoppe, the Female District Leader candidate, gave her presentation for endorsement.  She said there were two reasons why she felt it was important to be endorsed:  she expanded the network across the country to build coalitions with progressive leaders, including a coalition of clubs for Biden, and she helped organize the Manhattan Democratic Day of Action.  And, she got to work with the Board of Elections, allowing her to see how badly reform is needed, and what needed to be reformed.  She was honored to be involved in fixing the deep disfunction at the BOE. 

Jen also gave a very brief District Leader Report, saying that County Committee assignments had been pushed ’til next year, but there were some open seats to be filled. See procedure here.

After discussion, the vote for Female District Leader was Jen Hoppe 94.7% and 5.2% No Endorsement.  For Male District Leader, the totals were Arthur Schwartz 12% and 87.9% No Endorsement.

Judicial Candidate Endorsements

Now the Judges looking for endorsements made presentations:

First was George Santana, Civil Court candidate for the Second District.  Then, Chris Chin, Edward Irizarry, Jeffrey Zellan,  Betty Lugo, E. Derron Bowen, Kim Parker, and Harold Bahr.  

These candidates were discussed and then votes were taken.  In the Civil Court, County-Wide, the two winners were Kim Parker and E. Derron Bowen.  In the Civil Court, Second District , the winners were Christopher Chin and No Endorsement.

Judicial Delegate Endorsements

For Judicial Delegates and Alternates, the winners and vote totals were:  Ed Yutkowitz 58.1%, Irene Kaufman 80%, Karla Moskowitz 80%, Lauren Esposito 78.1%, Judith Jacobson 69%, Linda Jacobson 69%, Rick Braun 70.9%, Daniel Palmisano 67.3%, Cristy Dwyer 58.2%, and Ann Kjelberg 54.5%.

Mayoral Candidate Endorsements

The endorsement election for Mayor was held.  The candidates had previously been viewed and questioned, so after discussion, a vote was held.  The vote count was Scott Stringer 50.8%, Maya Wiley 22%, Eric Adams 8.5%, Andrew Yang 6.8%, Dianne Morales 5.1%, Shaun Donovan 1.7%, and No Endorsement 1.7%.  Scott Stringer won the endorsement.

Committee Reports

Tony Hoffmann of the Campaign Committee said there would be petitioning, but they were trying to figure out how to do it safely.

Grace Price, of the Campaign Finance Committee, said they needed more people, and asked people to join.  She also said it appeared that Cy Vance had been reimbursed for travel expenses twice, but he had corrected it.

Patricia Laraia, of the Education Committee, distributed the School Amnesty Resolution.  She explained that schools are financed by a projection of the number of students, and since the numbers are down due to the pandemic, the schools will be forced to make up the shortfall financially.  This has happened before;  in 2013 the schools were granted amnesty.  Put to a vote, the Resolution passed with 31 in favor, none against, and 3 abstentions.  Resolution on School Budget Amnesty

Nadine Hoffmann, of the Gun Reform Committee, merely stated that many resolutions that didn’t result in legislation last year will have to be restarted.

David Siffert, of the Legislative Affairs Committee, urged anyone interested in joining to contact him and he would add them to the list host.

New Business

Erik Bottcher, VID member and City Council candidate in District 3, appeared and made a short speech thanking VID for their endorsement and updating us on his campaign.  He also introduced his new campaign manager, Hannah Moses, and she made a short presentation

Irene Kaufman stated that on March 11 she was going to hold a forum on what documents you may need in an emergency–templates for docs like power of attorney, emergency room forms, etc.

Cam Krause and David Siffert have been working on an Invest in Our New York phone bank on March 8.  They will have more info soon, or you can contact David or Livvie Mann.

Jen showed the “cat attorney” meme to the club, which got a laugh.

The meeting was adjourned.