VID’s General Meeting Covered L-Train, KidsRise, Endorsements, Campaigning and More…
L-Train, KidsRise, Endorsements, Campaigning were the mail topics at February’s General Meeting held at PS 41 on the 8th. John Weatherall spoke a meeting addressing the L train shutdown at a February 14 MTA Open House.
Chris Marte made a report on 85 Bowery, a building where almost 75 residents, children and seniors among them, were evacuated because of structural issues which the new landlord had not addressed. He had disputed the status of the building as rent-stabilized and had not fixed the staircase for two years, so the court ordered the evacuation and gave the landlord two weeks to do the repairs. The tenants, many of whom don’t speak English, were sent to a homeless shelter in East New York, where they were packed six to a room. Both VID and DID sent letters to the local electeds. There’s more background and an update here.
Keen Berger spoke of her work with the New Sanctuary Movement, the deportation of Jean Montrevil to Haiti, and the future deportation of Ravi Ragbir. Both of these people are activists in the NSM. Nydia Velazquez introduced a private bill to rectify the situation. Eric called for a motion that VID support special bill HR 4937–this passed unanimously, and Jonathan Geballe will work on it and send it out.
Assemblymember Deborah Glick introduced Julie Menin–she worked with Julie and CB1 after 9/11, then Julie ran for Borough President, after which Ms. Menin became the Consumer Affairs Commissioner and is now the Media and Entertainment Commissioner, where she is working on womens’ issues such as pay disparity. Deborah applauded her for her long history of community organizing.
Julie expressed her happiness to be back and spoke of NYC Kids Rise, her program to provide low-income children a $1,000 college savings account. She is also involved in protecting the undocumented. In Media and Entertainment, her focus is on various programs to provide women opportunities in film and onstage, including a $5M fund for women filmmakers and playwrights. She also promotes sustainability and when a production is in the neighborhood, everything must be bought locally.
Following Commisssioner Menin the Club listened to the candidates running in the Democratic Primary for Federal offices. The endorsements went to Gillibrand, Nadler and Maloney after in-depth discussion.
Nat Johnson reported for the Environmental Committee, speaking of the four pillars of the Committee: use less and reuse, use everything more efficiently, protect the neighborhood and world environments, and assure progressive policies rooted in social safety nets and environmental justice. There will be a presentation in the VID March 8 meeting featuring Tal Zakan, Senior Coordinator, Organics Outreach, DSNY, to discuss recycling. There will also be a Town Hall followup on these same themes.
Laurie Hardjowirogo recounted a great meeting two weeks ago where phonebanking at Livvey Mann’s persuaded 50 voters to re-register upstate at their second homes. The Committee is working with organizations like True Blue and people like Julian Spector, and will host a forum with Ross Barkan and Andrew Gounardes at Greenwich House.
Tony and Laurie outlined the last Campaign Committee meeting, which was attended by 19 people and set the calendar for endorsements. There will be a forum for statewide candidates on May 7, and a breakfast March 3 which Nadler will probably attend, and petitioning begins March 6.