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.

 

 

Thanks to Our True Blue Supporters

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

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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).