2020 Officers; NYS Candidate Endorsements

VID Elects 2020 Officers; NYS Candidate Endorsements at January 9th Meeting.

Full Meeting Minutes Here

David Siffert opened the 2020 Officers; NYS Candidate Endorsements meeting with a discussion about how to handle endorsing civil judge candidates in light of the fact that the County’s panel will not report out approved judges until the day after our February meeting.  He suggested three options:

  • One, to hold a special meeting on the Tuesday after the regular meeting to address the endorsements.
  • Two, to leave the endorsements to the Executive Committee.
  • And three, to hold an extra long meeting on the normal date, February 13. and allow Exec to re-endorse for any candidate the club endorses but who does not get reported out of the panel

It was agreed to hold a special meeting on Tuesday, February 18th.

As petitioning has already started and we have not endorsed, he advised the members that there were petitions present and could be signed.  He also brought everyone’s attention to a demonstration at Judson Church on January 16th to protest the deportation of Jean Montreville, a member of the church.  He also noted problems in the use of new BMD’s in the election, and their vulnerability to hacking.  Lastly, he promoted a demonstration in Albany on the 21st, to stop the use of solitary confinement and support taxing the rich instead of slashing social programs.

VID 2020 Officer Elections

David outlined the election rules for Judicial Delegates, and their duties, and an election was held.  The delegates were:  Jonathan Geballe (30 votes). Alison Greenberg (30), Ed Yutkowitz (29), Rick Braun (27), and Allison Stowell (27).  The Alternate Delegates were Irene Kaufman (26), Linda Jacobson (25), Karla Moskowitz (24), Lauren Esposito (23), and Kathy Slawinski (22).  Three other candidates – Lois Rakoff, Judith Jacobson, and Kelly Grace Price received fewer votes.

The election of VID Treasurer was next, with Mar Fitzgerald winning with the Secretary casting one unanimous vote in acclamation.

Kathy Slawinski won the Recording Secretary position by acclamation with one unanimous vote.

And the two Corresponding Secretaries were won by Jonathan Geballe and Ed Yutkowitz unanimously by acclamation.

Last was the election of the Executive Committee.   The winners were Lois Rakoff, Susan Gottesman, Frieda Bradlow, David Saperstein, Nancy Shamban, Linda Jacobson, Nadine Hoffmann, Lauren Esposito, Nat Johnson, Keen Berger, Erik Bottcher, Melissa Carty, Patricia Laraia, Alec Pruchnicki, and Patrick Doherty.

NYS Candidate Endorsements

 Assemblymember Deborah Glick opened her presentation by wishing everyone a happy new year and thanking everyone for supporting impeachment.  She asked for the club’s endorsement, touting bills for the Reproductive Health Act, banning conversion therapy, protecting artists living in lofts, and an annual donation of $5 million to the Humane Society.  She also spoke of a state education discipline bill and the “gig economy” bill.  After Q & A, she was endorsed by 31 votes to 5 “no endorsement” votes.

New York State Senator Brad Hoylman made his presentation, opening by saying VID was his home club, and it was a pleasure and an honor to be our State Senator for many years.  He spoke of his advocacy for voting reforms and Automatic Voter Registration, LGBTQ rights, battling child sexual abuse, removing dangerous chemicals from the environment, and banning ghost guns and robocalls.  He’s also taken the lead on tax equity, and passed legislation to require Trump release five years of his tax returns (in litigation), lead on tax equity, including carrying a pied-a-terre tax bill, and passed legislation to require affordable housing, and new tenant protection laws.  After Q & A, he won endorsement by 38 votes to one “no endorsement” vote.

Rachel Lavine, State Committeewoman gave her remarks, opening by saying she was a Warren delegate and had petitions to be signed.  She spoke of her history as a founding member of the progressive caucus in the State Committee, and the progress of the committee in leaving machine control.  The caucus proposals include a moratorium on fracking, marijuana reform, transgender rights, gender inclusive language, a minimum wage for farmworkers, ousting the IDC, and ethics.  She also mentioned the sexual harassment accusations against Jeff Klein.

Ben Yee, State Committeeman, now gave a capsulized version of his time on the committee.  It’s his third term and he’s written six resolutions which all passed, making him the most successful in that respect.  He spoke about promoting transparency and successfully getting bylaws and officers on the NY State website.  He also told of his resolution on how to choose DNC members, ethics reform for the State Committee, and efforts on handling sexual harassment.

After Q & A and discussion, both Rachel and Ben were endorsed by a vote of 36 in favor and 2 “no endorsement”.

District Leader Report

District Leader Jen Hoppe now gave her report.  She spoke of how she and Vittoria from DID had formed a progressive caucus in the County Committee and they were very opposed to the Chair being a lobbyist.  She spoke of how she and Melissa Carty were supporting Elizabeth Warren, and had a discussion about the Warren rally.

Committee Reports

David Siffert reported for the Animal Advocacy Committee, citing that Carlina Rivera and Corey Johnson had helped pass a suite of animal welfare bills with Erik Bottcher’s help, and the problem of city shelters not allowing pets.

Tony Hoffmann spoke for the Campaign Committee, reminding us that petitioning starts February 25 for Congress, State Senate, State Assembly, State Committee, Judicial Delegate, and Civil Court on the Congressional level.  He said he would inform members when to pick up petitions.  The Kickoff Breakfast will be February 29th at the clubhouse.

Tony also reported for the Out-of-District Elections Committee, saying they will be meeting to decide who to support, and getting other clubs and organizations involved.  He spoke of the difficulties in campaigning with this year’s demographics, requiring hiring two buses.  David noted the next meeting would be on January 11, followed by a clubhouse cleanup.

Rachel Lavine volunteered that there will be bakeoffs with volunteers to explain Ranked Choice Voting.  David solicited volunteers for the Gala Committee.

Mar Fitzgerald, of the Education Committee, said lots of things were in the works, with some resolutions coming.  She wants to meet at the end of the month.

Deb Sherman, of the Gun Reform Committee, said that Nick Smith, a Jumaane staffer, will speak on a more holistic approach to gun reform at a future meeting.  They want to raise awareness and funds for violence “interrupters”, and there will be two resolutions on ghost guns to include “80% receivers”, which are undetectable by metal detectors.

New Business

Katharine Wolpe spoke of an action on the 10th in front of the closed Nativity Church, sold for luxury housing–to protest luxury housing and instead promote affordable and senior housing.  Also, there will be an event on the 26th, an Evening of Interfaith Recitation and Music, involving thirteen different religious institutions.

David now synopsized the month’s events:

January 10, Nativity Church demo
January 16, the Judson Church demo
January 21, the Albany HALT/Solitary demo
January 22, DID will be hosting a forum on the Presidential candidates at the Gibney Dance School.

He reminded us that there were Elizabeth Warren, Andrew Young, and Amy Klobuchar petitions present.  Rachel said she will be petitioning at Abingdon Square for Elizabeth, and Cam Krause said he will have Andrew Yang’s petitions.

The meeting was adjourned.

 

 

VID Visibility Days

VID Visibility Day Tablings Have Been a Great Success – One More to Come

East Side Visibility DayWe will be holding the final VID Visibility Day of the 2019 year in two weeks on Saturday, November 2nd

On the West Side we will be at Abingdon Sq. (corner Hudson  & Bethune Streets)  from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM.  On the East Side we’ll be at the park in front of St. Marks Church (2nd Ave. & 10th Street) from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM. 

Help collect signatures on postcards going to Governor Cuomo urging him to sign gun safety legislation that is presently sitting on his desk; register people to vote; inform people of early voting (Sunday, 11/3 is the last day); give out info on the five ballot proposals and sign up new VID members.

Please contact Tony Hoffmann with the time and place you would like to go to if participating. Erik Bottcher and Tony will be organizing the Abingdon Sq. Visibility site and David Siffert and Jen Hoppe will be organizing the St. Marks Visibility site.

On Saturday, Oct. 19th we had amazing success.  Seventeen VID’ers staffed the two sites.  Two people joined VID and numerous others took our literature and were seriously considering becoming involved. We got 283 signatures on the gun reform postcards going to Governor Cuomo and registered a number of people to vote.  We also had a lot of fun with our Jelly Bean Poll. 76 people voted to impeach and remove President Trump.  3 people voted for an inquiry only and 1 person voted to impeach only.  This highly valid and scientifically authenticated poll will continue in two weeks as long as people stop eating the jelly beans.  Below are some pictures I thought you might like to see.

July 2019 General Meeting

The July 2019 General Meeting covered planning for Primaries, affordable housing, the recount in Queens, the proposed 45 story prison construction at 124 White Street…and pidgeon kidnapping.

VID at Lenox Hill Greenwich Village Healthplex

VID’s July Meeting held at Lenox Hill Greenwich Village Healthplex

Full Meeting Minutes Here

President David Siffert opened the July 2019 General Meeting by citing the successful Primary, in which Jen Hoppe won the District Leader position unopposed, and the Judicial Delegates also won unopposed.  Among his announcements:

  • A Judicial Candidates Forum in Soho on August 5,  set up for the delegates, but anyone is welcome to attend. 
  • A call to attend  the July 12 protest of the border camps, at Broadway and Reade Streets
  • The VID picnic on July 17 at Hudson River Park
  • The Andy Kim fundraiser on July 19 at Frieda Bradlow’s house.

Our new District Leader, Jen Hoppe announced she had been in Queens helping with the Tiffany Caban recount.  She said Democratic Socialists of America and other groups had done a tremendous job with data mining and that supervising the recount was costing money, recommending donations online.  Jen also asked VID members for issues needing her attention; among the mentions were tenants rights, the census, and problem landlords. On a similar note, David Siffert mentioned he had met with Andrea Shapiro of Metropolitan Council on Housing and was trying to set up a forum on the tenant legislation already passed and possible future legislation. 

District Leader Arthur Schwartz‘s lawsuit obtained an injuncion with DOT on the 14th Street busway.  

Guest Speaker

Chris Marte on new PrisonChris Marté, State Committeeman, gave a talk on the proposed 45 story prison construction at 124 White Street.  He brought a model of the prison and emphasized that Chinatown already has three jails, and more jail beds than any other borough outside of Rikers.  The community feels it is being taken advantage of, and the Community Board voted no.  Neighbors United Below Canal Street is an organization leading the fight against the project.

Committee Reports

Nat Johnson, Chair of the Environmental Committee, opened with a discussion of the NYC Council Resolution 0864A-2019, which declares a climate emergency and calls for immediate mobilization for restoring a safe climate.  He proposed sending a letter to the sponsors expressing gratitude and support; the letter passed unanimously with 26 in favor. 

Also, Nat reported that the committee met last month with Brad Hoylman and Deborah Glick and expressed concerns about three issues: 

  • the Williams Natural Gas Pipeline, previously stopped by the Governor, which needs to be stopped permanently; 
  • the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which passed but failed to include labor provisions; 
  • HR 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019, which pretends to be climate positive but subverts the process of climate change.

Additionally, Anne Heaney and Nat met with Grace Lee of Children First, which is fighting to clean up a toxic waste site at the Seaport.  Grace would like to speak at VID in September or October.

David gave the report for the Out-of-District Campaign Committee.  In a nutshell, Dustin Reidy and Grace Park won, Tiffany Caban’s election is in a recount, and he reminded us about the Andy Kim event.

Cameron Krause spoke for the Gun Reform Committee. They’re working on a Gun Reform forum for next year.

July 2019 Meeting_Campaign CommitteeTony Hoffmann reported for the Campaign Committee along with Erik Bottcher.  The Presidential Primary will be at the end of April, and petitioning starts December 31.  There will be a forum downtown with the downtown clubs.  There was a discussion about the calendar and when to endorse.  Anne Heaney emphasized the need for a climate discussion.  The state elections are in June, with petitioning beginning in February; VID will hold an endorsement meeting in January.  The Judicial Convention is August 12 and the County Committee will meet in October.

David reported for the Animal Advocacy Committee, with the latest on the declaw bill, the fur bill, banning foie gras and pigeon kidnapping.  

New Business

Jon Verbalis again emphasized a need to enforce the laws and rules currently not being enforced by city agencies.

David said he was waiting to hear from the Christopher Street Pier for the VID picnic.

Katharine Wolpe mentioned the Elissa Stein Guest Editorial in the Villager, which prompted a discussion about the Gay Marches.

Alec Pruchnicki announced an October 6 Healthcare Forum on the NYC Healthcare Act, to be hosted by Richard Gottfried and Gustavo Rivera.  He will get the details out to the membership.

November 2018 Meeting Minutes

High Spirits Dominated the November 2018 Meeting with NYS Senate Democratic Majority and Congressional Victories Throughout the State and Nation.

Erik Coler opened the November 2018 Meeting with congratulations to a long list of VID members whose unceasing volunteerism made a tangible difference, with a special shout out to Erik Bottcher, Laurie Hardjowirogo, and Tony Hoffmann.

There was a discussion about the Public Advocate’s Forum to be held on November 12, and whether the club should co-sponsor.  The club voted to co-sponsor with the caveat that all who ask to appear will be included, possibly at future VID meetings.

Erik also announced that the elections for club President and three Vice Presidents will be held in December, and he explained the rules.

November 2018 Meeting_Keen Berger

Keen Berger moves on to the proposed Bleecker St. School after victory at 75 Morton.

Keen Berger’s District Leader report also included congratulations for the club’s role in electing Antonio Delgado, Max Rose, and Ron Kim, and the NYS Senate victories.  She spoke of her role in public schools and a possible future fight for the Bleecker Street school.  

november-2018-meeting_brad-hoylman

State Sen. Brad Hoylman discusses priorities of the newly Democrat majority senate.

Brad Hoylman, three term State Senator, gave a speech about recent victories in local races, and gave an agenda of things for the new Senate majority to implement.  Among these are voting reform, ethics reform, womens reproductive health, anti-fracking waste laws, rent laws, the NY Health Act, the child victims act, LLC loopholes, and fixing the MTA.

Rachel Lavine, State Committeewoman,congratulated Brad on his performance in the Senate, and then thanked VID for its support.  She congratulated the NYS Senate on doubling the number of women members.  She spoke of the Jeff Sessions firing and how people must urge Sen. Schumer to protest it.  She spoke of the lawsuit her wife Robbie was bringing against Trump, and how it was being combined with the NY Southern District suit against Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville.

 

November 2018 Meeting_Rachel Lavine

Rachel Lavine (right) who now sits on the NYS DC Executive Committee

Next up at the November 2018 meeting was Ben Yee, State Committeeman, who congratulated Rachel on her new position on the Executive Committee of the State Committee.  There will be County Committee elections in 2019 and he urged everyone to run.  All meetings will be live-streamed on Facebook.  There was also a resolution introduced condemning the anti-Semitic mailer sent out  at the last minute against Cynthia Nixon.

 

Committee Reports

Nat Johnson, Chair of the Environmental Committee, reported the environmentally correct bags were selling well; that on Thursday mornings there will be composting on the corner of Sixth Avenue and Waverly.  Since the holidays are coming, he urged people not to use bows, to use recyclable packaging (tissue paper is not recyclable), and pushed recyclable straws.  He also advised us about upcoming events on solar power, coastal resilience, and managing solid waste.  He urged us to call Governor Cuomo to express opposition to the Williams Pipeline.  BTW Nat circulated a link to the new improved recycline pamphlets.

Deb Sherman, of the Gun Reform Committee, passed out anti-gun postcards to be signed and advised of upcoming Gays Against Guns (GAG) meetings.

Tony Hoffmann and Laurie Hardjowirogo of the Campaign Committee talked of the campaigning they did in NY, Long Island, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.  They also thanked Kate Linker and Yayoi for their help.  They spoke of the buses sent, the volunteers, canvassing and the money raised, and thanked a long list of members for their time.

FULL MEETING MINUTES