Public Advocate Candidates Forum 2019

The Public Advocate Candidates Forum 2019 Featured 17 Candidates and Nine Clubs

Held at the LGBT Center on West 13th St, the Public Advocate Candidates Forum 2019 attracted hundreds of activist voters with no shortage of questions to ask of the candidates.  And, the well-credentialed roster was certainly up for the task.  VID endorsed Benjamin Yee for Public Advocate, in a members-only meeting following the Forum.

Candidates

The candidates included, in order of appearance, Jared Rich, an Attorney;  Nomiki Konst, a progressive activist and watchdog journalist; Raphael Espinal, NYC Council;  Danny O’Donnell, member of the NYS Assembly;  Dawn Smalls, an Attorney; Daniel Christmann, business owner; Ron Kim, member of the NYS Assembly; David Eisenbach, a history professor at Columbia University; Benjamin Yee, activist and State Committee member; Jumaane Williams, NYC Council; Theo Chino, businessman; Ofeoma Ike, activist, former deputy executive director of the de Blasio administration’s Young Men’s Initiative; Sami Desu, journalist turned activist; Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice;  Melissa Mark-Viverito, former Speaker of the NYC Council; Latrice Walker, member of the NYS Assembly; Michael Blake, Member of the NYS Assembly and Ydanis Rodriguez, NY City Council.

Another Forum on Jan 29th

VID is co-sponsoring another Downtown Public Advocates Forum with Grand Street Democrats on January 29th at 6:00pm at the Manny Cantor Center, 197 East Broadway.  Make your reservation.

Possibly More Run-Offs

With so many currently elected leaders vying for the post, there could be more run-off elections to follow.  “Depending on the outcome of the February election we could have another — or possibly two other — special elections in 2019 as well,” said Amy Loprest, Executive Director of New York City’s Campaign Finance Board.  The February 26th run-off election will be followed by an off-cycle primary in September, and a general election in November. That’s three elections all in 2019. And that’s the minimum.  WNYC has a podcast on the subject.

Also appearing at the Forum were NYS Assemblymembers Deborah Glick and Richard Gottleib who filled a pause while some candidates were arriving with updates on this year’s Assembly agenda. 

Sponsoring Clubs

The co-sponsoring clubs were Village Independent Democrats, Grammercy Stuyvesant Independent Democrats, Grand Street Dems, Hells Kitchen Dems, Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, Samual J. Tilden Democratic Club, Downtown Independent Democrats, Chelsea Reform Democratic Club and the Stonewall Democratic Club.

You can learn more about VID’s endorsed candidate, Benjamin Yee HERE.

FULL FORUM MINUTES HERE

Coverage in The Villager 

 

Rent Control Reform

rent-control-reformRent Control Reform Is Past Due

At a time when rent-stabilized tenants in New York City are enjoying a freeze in their rents, another group of regulated tenants — the dwindling minority in rent-controlled apartments — is facing an increase of up to 9.6 percent over the next two years. New York Times, 

Since December 2015  there has been a concerted effort for rent control reform to correct this inequity, which by the very nature of the rent-controlled legislation affects seniors who have lived in their apartments since the legislation began in 1970.  The 2014 Housing and Vacancy Survey found that the median rent for a rent-controlled unit was $1,020 per month on an average income of $29,000 per year…or 42% of their fixed income. (By comparison, rent-stabilized tenants pay a median rent of just $1,300 per month with average annual salaries of nearly $41,000…or 38% of annual income).

In the NYS Assembly, Linda Rosenthal, (Assembly District 67-Manhattan) introduced AOO398, co-sponsored by Assemblymembers Felix Ortiz (District 51-Brooklyn), Walter Mosley (District 57-Brooklyn), Richard Gottfried (District 75 – West Side Manhattan) , Maritza Davila (District 53 – Northern Brooklyn), Victor Pichardo (District 86 -Bronx) , Rodneyse Bichotte (District 42-Brooklyn), William Colton (District 47-Brooklyn), Latoya Joyner (District 77-Bronx), Guillermo Linares (District 72 – Northern Manhattan), Latrice Walker (District 55-Brooklyn).

On the NYS Senate, Adriano Espaillat (Senate District 31-Upper West Side Manhattan) has introduced SO5040, the same legislation as the Assembly bill, co-sponsored by Senators Brad Hoylman (Senate District 27 – Mid Manhattan) and Bill Perkins (Senate District 30-Harlem).

The Village Independent Democrats have taken up the cause of rent control reform with a letter to Governor Cuomo from VID President Nadine Hoffmann and Executive Committee Member Tom Connor, urging his attention.

“At this point, the MBR system is well beyond the point of repair. It is antiquated and clearly is not reflective of the economic realities faced by tenants and landlords alike. In order to save rent control, and in the process, the lives of just about 30,000 seniors who have built their communities and this city, we must end the MBR and instead pass into law my bill, A.398. Any increase is an unwarranted one,” says Assemblymember Rosenthal.

 

58th Annual Awards Gala

Awards Gala_Hoppe&LeBouf

Jenn Hoppe and Josh Duboff again spearhead Gala preparations this year.

VID Celebrates its 58th year with an Awards Gala

A highlight in the spring season of NYC politics, VID’s 58th Annual fête  promises no less in 2015.  The Spring Forward Awards Gala will take place on Thursday, April 30th from 6:00 to 9:00 PM at Tio Pepe Restaurant, at 168 West 4th St.

Honors will go to Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu for bringing progressive values to the ballot and challenging the Democratic status quo.  Receiving honors for the fight for a living wage for all workers will be Shantel Walker, on behalf of Fast Food Forward.

Among those sponsoring the event are NYS Committee Member Rachel Lavine & Roberta Kaplan, Esq.; Hon. Keen Berger; Hon Tony Hoffmann & Hon Nadine Hoffman; Alec Pruchniki, M.D.; NYS Senator Brad Hoylman & David Sigal; NYS Assembly Member Deborah Glick; Hon Katharine Wolpe; Sam Jacob & Marcus Andrews; Irene Kaufman & Daniel Neiden; Kate Linker & Bernard Tschumi; Lois Rakoff and Marti Speranza.  NYS Assembly Member Richard Gottfried; NYS Assemblymember Keith L.T. Wright; Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer; City Council Member Margaret Chin; City Council Member Corey Johnson; City Council Member Rosie Mendez; Hon. Arthur Schwartz; Frieda Bradlow; Jim Fraser & Katherine Hanson;   Hal Friedman; Jonathan Geballe, Esq. & Karin Coonrod; Eli HausKnecht; Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club; Ann Kjellberg; Al Lewis, M.D. & Ellen Petersen-Lewis; Burt Rosenberg and Annette Zaner.    The list is still in formation. 

If you’ve got any interest in progressive politics at all, you better grab your tickets quickly.
Click on the invite to purchase online Awards Gala-Invite

Anti-Fracking and Anti-Spectra Pipeline Events

Anti-FrackingThe Anti-Fracking Crusade

VID members and hundreds of New Yorkers have been involved in a number of different Anti-Fracking and Anti-Spectra pipeline events  over the last four weeks.  You can see a slide show here.

Protests against Fracking outside Chelsea Piers, October 19

Hundreds of demonstrators,including  members of the Village Independent Democrats, participated in a rally against hydraulic fracking outside of Chelsea Piers.  Governor Cuomo was scheduled to host a luncheon at a restaurant inside the facility but was unable to attend and therefore missed the protest. Protestors also mobilized a pair of boats to face the waterfront venue.

October 30 Rally in Albany

Anti-Fracking, AlbanyOn Wednesday, October 30, hundreds of New Yorkers from across the state came to Albany to expose Governor Cuomo and the Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) proposed Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) regulations for what they are: fatally flawed, a danger to public health and our well-being, and supportive of a massive fracking infrastructure build out.  Photo Credit:  New Yorkers Against Fracking.

Rally at the Spectra Pipeline –November 2, 2013

The pipeline which started operation on November 1st is bringing radon laced natural gas into New York City.  Radon is a known cancer-causing radioactive gas and is found in the gas producing shale formations in Pennsylvania that are being piped into the City via the Spectra pipeline.  VID is part of a lawsuit with a half dozen other organizations attempting to stop or modify its operations. A peaceful civil disobedience demonstration to mark the beginning of its operation was held on November 2. Corey Johnson, newly elected City Council representative and VID member Nancy Shamban, along with 11 others, were arrested. Elected New York Officials: Borough President Elect- Gail Brewer, Assemblyman-Richard Gottfried and Assemblywoman-Linda Rosenthal gave speeches of support.

Village Independent Democrats members: Frieda Bradlow, Anne Heaney, Nat Johnson, Alexander Meadows, Katherine Wolpe and Celia Wu also participated. See the video clip of the demonstration.

Submitted by Nat Johnson