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 

 

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