May General Meeting

President David Siffert opened the May General Meeting by thanking everyone for their efforts to help in the Gala, especially congratulating Melissa Carty and Sara Kimbell.

At the May General Meeting on Thursday, May 9th four resolutions passed; six committees gave progress reports and guest speaker, Emily Arsenault, from  Kirsten Gillibrand’s office spoke on gun control.

 

Party Leader Reports

District Leader Keen Berger’s three conclusions:

  1. Support elected officials who are doing good work, mentioning especially Jerry Nadler and Brad Hoylman. 
  2. The importance of the little organizations that are working on good goals like electing good people and correcting gerrymandering. 
  3. She agreed that the 14th Street situation is a mess and she’s glad that Elissa Stein wrote her great resolution in response. 

This sparked a discussion regarding support for the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, working on the “double jeopardy” law, pushing to get Trump’s tax returns, and support for Planned Parenthood in the light of the anti-abortion campaign.

Rachel Lavine, State Committeewoman, urged support for the upcoming delegate selection in the State Committee and the need to approve a resolution addressing NY election laws, especially regarding the time frame in which you can register or change your party affiliation. 

She also spoke on local transportation issues and the lack of inclusiveness with the community.   Rachel also said it was imperative that the House impeaches Trump, and that we should have a conversation and inform Nadler.

Ben Yee, State Committeeman spoke of the upcoming vote on the delegates for candidates.  He’s having an event to gain donations to cover the expenses of his Public Advocate campaign.

Arthur Schwartz, the male District Leader offered details on his ongoing case regarding the 14th Street changes, and how changes in the bus routes will affect the elderly and disabled.  He will be bringing another case regarding the vehicular traffic rerouting.  The Beth Israel project is at a standstill.  Then Arthur discussed the Board of Elections knocking people off the ballot.  

Guest Speaker

Emily Arsenault, of Kirsten Gillibrand’s office, gave a Gun Control update.  She expressed frustration at seeing zero progress on this issue, but said it has become a young people’s movement.  She discussed a bill, S730, regarding prior gun trafficking, which Gillibrand re-introduced in March as she does every year.  Emily discussed S42 to expand background checks, co-sponsored with Senator Murphy, and S506, the Extreme Risk Prevention Order Act, which allows family members to petition the court to prevent people with mental illness from acquiring guns.  She also emphasized Ed Markey’s bill to study the effects of gun violence.  

Resolutions

The Resolution Urging Trader Joe’s to Resume Deliveries, by Marlene Nadle with one amendment came to a vote.  Marlene thanked everyone for their help, especially Jumaane Williams, Corey Johnson, and Erik Bottcher, and urged people to call and write and express their opinions.  The reso passed, with 18 in favor and one abstention.  

Rick Braun’s Resolution for a Law Prohibiting the Use of Campaign Contributions for Personal Expenses.  This led to a discussion about what donations can be used for, and a friendly amendment was made and accepted to change some language.  The resolution passed unanimously, 22 to zero.

Rick Braun introduced another resolution calling for the creation of adequate space in Housing Court for clients and attorneys to have private communications, a problem at least since the 80’s.  This passed unanimously, with 16 in favor.

Elissa Stein introduced a Resolution on Proposed Changes to 14th Street .  After discussion, this passed unanimously, with 15 in favor.

Committee Reports

Mar Fitzgerald, chair of the Education Committee now spoke on the first City Council hearing on school segregation, in which Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza spoke for hours.  There was a discussion about the SHSAT and the protocols for admissions for Gifted and Talented students, and the disparities with race and equity.  She said there was a right-leaning faction in danger of taking over the Community Education Council, with anti-inclusive candidates and has a list of the candidates for District 2.  Mar also said she’s the Education Editor for Westview News.

Elissa Stein gave a report on the Gala Committee, saying it was a great success, netting approximately $20,000.  She gave credit to Sara as the workhorse.

David Siffert delivered the report on the Out of District Elections Committee, as Laurie Hardjowirogo was not present.  He said they were in the process of selecting candidates to back.  There will be an upcoming Dustin Reidy fundraiser.  And he mentioned Erik Bottcher’s birthday party on Saturday.

Deb Sherman and Allison Stowell of the Gun Control Committee spoke of their coming postcard campaign to advise Governor Cuomo on what legislation he should back.

Tony Hoffmann of the Campaign Committee was not present, but David commended him on his great work.

David and Deb reported on the Animal Advocacy Committee’s work –they’re working on a letter regarding spaying and neutering of pets which will be sent out in the next few days after approval.  The legislation status regarding puppy mills is unclear.  Corey is involved with banning fur and Carlina Rivera is trying to ban foie gras.

New Business

Katharine Wolpe distributed fliers for the rent control lobby in Albany on the 14th.  She also mentioned that on Memorial Day weekend  Theater for the New City will be hosting the LES Festival of the Arts.  She advocating putting a small ad in the literature, which David will bring to the Executive Committee for a vote.

Alec Pruchnicki brought up the fact that the fourth Monday of the month would fall on Memorial Day, and proposed possibly rescheduling.  He also said the renovation status of the White Horse Tavern was unclear.

David reminded everyone about the upcoming Nadler Forum to be held at the Little Red Schoolhouse with himself and Richard Corman of DID to appear with Jerry.

READ THE FULL MEETING MINUTES HERE

Thanks to Our True Blue Supporters

VID’s True Blue Supporters Highlighted Our 62nd Annual Awards

Cincopa WordPress plugin

Among many illustrious attendees were Congressmember Carolyn Maloney, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Borough President Gale Brewer, Senators Brad Hoylman and Robert Jackson, Assemblymember Deborah Glick, and Councilmember Carlina Rivera.  Of course, we owe a special thank-you to our awardees: our incredible Speaker and Councilmember Corey Johnson, grassroots allstars True Blue NY and No IDC NY, and VID legend Frieda Bradlow.  Lastly, we need to thank the Gala Committee — Sara Kimbell, Elissa Stein, Nadine Hoffmann, Tony Hoffmann, Lois Rakoff, Nancy Shamban, and Jen Hoppe.  The BIGGEST thanks go to Sara Kimbell and Elissa Stein, the Gala Co-Chairs — the amount of work they did was jaw-dropping, and they managed to make an incredible event go off without a hitch.  And we haven’t forgotten our long list of sponsors.

Feb 14th General Meeting

The Feb 14 General Meeting Passed two Resolutions, Endorsed Two Judicial Candidates, Endorsed Candidate for Female District Leader for the 65th AD and Elected Judicial Delegates. Whew!

An epic Feb 14th General Meeting began with VID President David Siffert addressing Governor Cuomo’s proposed budget rule affecting grassroots organizations, requiring anyone giving over $500 to register as a lobbyist.  He said we needed to be together and organized, and mentioned that Deborah Glick and Brad Hoylman were against it, and we needed to work with Deborah.

David introduced the Resolution in Support of Public Financing of Elections, which passed 26 in favor and 4 against, with one small amendment. Voted a second time, there were 35 in favor and one abstention.

This was followed by general discussion of the much longer Statement of Legislative Priorities, each of whose Parts passed, with amendments.  The vote was Part I, 18 in favor, no opposed or abstentions.  Part II, 23 in favor, no opposed or abstentions.  For Part III, there were 15 in favor, no opposed or abstentions.  On Part IV, 16 in favor, one opposed, no abstentions.  Part V, 17 in favor, one opposed, no abstentions.  Unanimously voted, Part VI, has 15 in favor, none opposed, no abstentions.  Legislative priotities, Part VII, had 20 in favor, none opposed, no abstentions.  Part VIII, 18 in favor, one opposed, no abstentions;  Part IX, 19 in favor, no opposed or abstentions;   Part X, 12 in favor, 10 opposed and three abstentions;  Part XI, 20 in favor, no opposed or abstentions; And Part XII, 21 in favor, no opposed or abstentions.

Deborah Glick addressed the club, speaking of the many bills in progress, especially the Reproductive Health Act, a ban on conversion therapy, the Child Victims Act, voting rights, and a possible Dream Act.  A discussion about the Governor’s attack on grassroots organizing followed, with David promising to send a letter to the Governor from VID on this topic.

 

Civil Court Endorsements

Now the Civil Court Judge candidates spoke.  Eric Schumacher spoke but was not seeking an endorsement.  Robert Rosenthal and Ashlee Crawford spoke, both seeking endorsement.  Grace Park and Chris Chin also spoke, but were not seeking endorsements.  Ashlee and Robert were both endorsed, Ashlee with 38 in favor, and Robert with 42 in favor.

Jenn Hoppe Candidate for District Leader

NYS Senator Brad Hoylman acknowledges Jenn Hoppe as candidate for female District Leader to replace Keen Berger who has stepped down from the post.

District Leader Endorsement

Now District Leader Keen Berger spoke of her fourteen years as DL, and how VID now had two excellent candidates for female DL, Elissa Stein and Jen Hoppe.  Elissa and Jen spoke, and a discussion followed.  Jen won, 26 to 24 with one no endorse vote.

Arthur Schwartz spoke, asking for a VID endorsement for male DL.  A spirited discussion followed, with a split vote, 24-24, meaning no endorsement.

The election of Judicial Delegates and Alternates now ensued, with Karla Moskowitz, Kelly Grace Price (alternate only), Sharon Woolums, Irene Kaufman, Kathy Slawinski, Allison Stowell, Jen Hoppe, Elissa Stein (alternate only), Ed Yutkowitz, Melissa Carty, Jonathan Geballe, Lois Rakoff, and Judith Jacobson nominated.  The vote was:

Judicial Delegates

Jen 26
Allison 26
Irene 25
Jonathan 24
Judith 22

Alternates

Ed 21
Carla 21
Elissa 21
Kathy 21
Lois 19

Others

Sharon 17
Melissa 13
Grace 9

Other Business

Tiffany Hodges made a plea for volunteers for Ben Yee, candidate for Public Advocate.

Nat Johnson, of the Environmental Committee, announced a meeting Tuesday, with discussions on plastic bags and the climate, and a resource map.

Allison Stowell, of the Gun Reform Committee, announced a meeting March 5.

Full Meeting Minutes HERE.

Endorsements and Resolutions

Let the Endorsements Begin…

We’d like to congratulate VID’s endorsed candidates: Robert Rosenthal and Ashlee Crawford for Civil Court Judge, Jennifer Hoppe for Female District Leader, Jennifer Hoppe, Allison Stowell, Irene Kaufman, Jonathan Geballe, and Judith Jacobson for Judicial Delegates, and Elissa Stein, Karla Moskowitz, Kathy Slawinski, Ed Yutkowitz, and Lois Rakoff for Judicial Alternates.

In addition to the elections, VID passed two resolutions. 

 The first was in support of public financing of elections and can be found here.

The second outlined our legislative priorities for the year.  It is quite long, and can be found here (as amended).