April 11 General Meeting

April 11 General Meeting_Williams

Jan 6, 2019 at the LGBT Center, Public Advocate Candidates Forum – Jumaane Williams

The April 11 General Meeting Celebrated a Birthday, Two Unapposed District Leader Nominations and an Endorsement for Jumaane Williams

The April 11th General Meeting also welcomed State Legislators Brad Hoylman and Deborah Glick and heard updates from seven committees.

FULL MEETING MINUTES

The meeting opened with President David Siffert blowing out the candles on his vegan birthday cupcake–Happy Birthday, Dave!   Then the agenda was unanimously adopted.

State Legislation

Assemblymember Deborah Glick gave a speech on the passage of legislation in the Assembly, including the plastic bag ban, and a panel to determine the details on congestion pricing, with funds going to the MTA.  Funding for electronic pollbooks passed, and funding for early voting sites, mostly upstate.  Most importantly, some significant criminal justice reform was passed, including measures to ensure speedy trials and bail reform.  Unfortunately, the pied-a-terre tax did not pass, but the millionaire tax was extended, and a mansion tax, with funds going to the MTA.  The MTA made a commitment to 50 new accessible stations to be built over the next ten years.

State Senator Brad Hoylman appeared to speak on the budget.  He opened by saying he was happy to be back at VID.  Hoylman said the outcome was better than last year’s:  a $100M program for nurse-family partnerships, services for homeless youth and LGBT organizations like the Center and GMHC, and transgender legal defense and education funds.  The Senator was disappointed with the lack of improvement in the public financing of elections.

Criminal justice reforms in discovery, bail reform and speedy trial guarantees are areas of improvement.  Sen. Hoylman spoke of subway funding and the lack of a pied-a-terre tax.  On a happier note He spoke of a process bill, with Liz Krueger chairing the Finance Committee.

On Trump’s taxes–he introduced legislation to authorize the NY State Tax Department to provide the tax returns as soon as requested.  A spirited discussion ensued when he spoke about the measles epidemic.

In his President’s Report, David mentioned that Jen and the County Committee candidates were running unopposed and had the required signatures.

Committee Reports

Sara Kimbell of the Gala Committee reported they were in the final planning stages, with Honorees being Corey Johnson, TrueBlueNY and noIDCNY, and longtime member Frieda Bradlow.  The event will be held at Tio Pepe and Sing Out Louise will perform.

Nat Johnson of the Environmental Committee announced the next meeting on April 24 at Frieda’s house, with issues to be discussed for the next year.  Anne Heaney announced a rally on April 18 to oppose the Williams Pipeline, an entirely unneeded project.  There was a discussion about the bag fee.

The Gun Reform Committee, with Sara and Deb Sherman, started their report by quoting statistics–last year there were 772 gun-related deaths in New York State.  In the nation, 100 people a day die, with 262 schoolchildren killed.  Comptroller Tom DiNapoli agreed that NY State will divest from companies that invest in guns.  He sent letters to Wells Fargo and the credit card companies explaining the risks in investing in guns.  Six anti-gun bills were not signed by the Governor, making it important to pass ERPO in more states in order to pressure him.  The next general meeting will have a speaker from Gillibrand’s office on gun issues.

Tony Hoffmann of the Campaign Committee congratulated everyone on their petitioning efforts.  The club got 1600 signatures, which is fabulous.  He especially commended Ed Yutkowitz and Jen.  There was a discussion about this year’s primaries.  Jen thanked everyone for carrying her name on petitions and announced her engagement to Cameron Krause!

Mar Fitzgerald, of the Education Committee, said she had created an agenda and will notify members about a venue.  She discussed dyslexia, asserting that it’s a social justice issue, where many children who have it are labeled disruptive.  She outlined some future events regarding schools.

David Siffert spoke for the Animal Advocacy Committee, saying that Linda Jacobson had provided lots of information regarding neutering and spaying.  Fur and foie gras are issues coming up.

David Siffert made the report for the Out-of-District Campaign Committee, as Laurie Hardjowirogo was not present.  Two candidates being considered were Jahana Hayes and Dustin Reidy.  Sara made a list of possible candidates and spoke briefly.

District Leaders

District Leader Keen Berger opened her report saying she was happy the club got many signatures on the petitions and that Jen (Hoppe) will be the next DL.  A presentation on dyslexia was made to CB2, and the Community Board will pass a resolution.  

Arthur Schwartz, male DL, was next, announcing that even though he was not endorsed by the club he had carried petitions for Jen, Jumaane, and about a dozen County Committee candidates.  The lawsuit against the closure of Beth Israel Hospital prevailed, with the hospital to file a new plan in June.  They have already closed their maternity, cardiac, and neo-natal departments.  He will be in court Thursday, and there will be a Town Hall sometime in May.  The coalition is currently working with Harvey Epstein.

Someone is trying to stop the Halloween parade, and Arthur will be representing the parade.  He’s working for Bernie, and expecting to petition next year in the Presidential primary–delegates must petition also.  Arthur will also get involved in Trader Joe’s stopping its delivery service.

Public Advocate Endorsement

Jumaane’s Campaign Manager, Trip Yang, gave a history of Jumaane, and outlined issues for the Public Advocate like affordable housing and providing a constituent services desk–he’s currently hiring more people.  There was a discussion about the SHSAT test and the problem of providing more diversity.

An election was held on whether to endorse Jumaane for the next Public Advocate term, and he won the club’s endorsement, 30 to 2.

New Business

Marlene Nadle distributed a flyer urging the members to take a strong stand against Trader Joe’s decision to no longer deliver groceries, which will negatively impact seniors and the disabled.  She urged members to write the CEO Dan Bane, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Trader Joe’s Company, 800 South Shamrock Avenue, Monrovia, Ca. 91016.  Call 626 529-4629, or go their web site, traderjoes.com.  Through the help of VID member Erik Bottcher, Corey Johnson has sent a protest letter to the CEO, and the Villager has written about it, but more is needed.

Sharon Woolums mentioned her new article on the SBJSA in the latest Villager.

 

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.

December Membership Meeting

At the December Membership Meeting There Will Be Officer Elections and Presidential Candidate Endorsement

On Thursday, December 10th at 6:30 pm, St. Lukes Lutheran Church Annex, 83 Christopher St. members will elect a President and Vice President for the Club in 2016.  There will also be a vote called for the endorsement of a Democratic Presidential Candidate (Petitioning begins January 5th, 2016).

Currently the candidates seeking VID office at the December membership meeting include:

december-membership-meeting_Nadine Hoffmann

Nadine Hoffmann, speaking for her first election in Dec. 2014

Having been VID’s President for 2015, Nadine Hoffmann is running for re-election.

Among her credits is her work with VID members on important issues:

  • Sharon Woolums on all the small business issues
  • Anne and Nat against fracking and pipelines and Indian Point and Port Ambrose, a tremendous win!
  • Keen with judicial candidates and delegate issues
  • Tony and many members on Candles For Clemency
  • Barbara Reuther and Mrs. Green’s
  • Support of the Iran Nuclear Deal
  • Erik Coler and his involvement with young voter outreach
  • Marlene Nadle and Tom Connor fighting for tenants rights and protections
  • Jonathan Geballe to expand the Tenants Clinic
  • The Gala Committee for another tremendous (and money-making) and also loads of fun dinner
  • Frieda on everything!

You can read her full statement here.

december-membership-meeting_erik-coler

Ronnie Eldridge with Erik Coler at the Presidential Forum in November

  Leading a very successful effort to recruit new young members to the Club, Erik Coler is running for Vice President.

He was born and raised in the village, attended P.S. 41, and has lived in New York City his entire life, except for four years at college (SUNY Fredonia) in Western New York. While in college he work on a few political campaigns, including a congressional race; served as a Democratic Voting Delegate for President Obama at the DNC in 2012 and advocated actively on behalf of student issues in Albany.

You can read his full statement here.

 

A current VID Vice President, Linda Jacobson is seeking re-election for 2016

Jacobson_Bottcher_0060Linda has been a member for over 20 years and for the past year served as a Vice President.  Prior to this office she was  treasurer for the two years and stepped in as interim treasurer this year when our current treasurer, Frieda Bradlow was unable to due to health issues.  Adding to her commitment to the Club, Linda has also served as Campaign Committee Treasurer for Jonathan Geballe, and for VID when these committees were active.

You can read her full statement here

 

Barbara Reuther for Vice President

Barbara has volunteered her name for nomination for the office of Vice President of the Village Independent Democrats.  She believes that the Village Independent Democrats is one of the most effective and esteemed organizations in our community and City.  She looks forward to better serving progressive goals, in particular:

  • election of Democratic Majority in New York State
  • housing fairness
  • senior citizen needs
  • campaign finance reform
  • strengthening community communications

You can read her full statement here 

VID’s September Meeting

The September Meeting Covered Many Topics…

Minutes-2015-9-17

September Meeting_Judges

The audience at the Judicial Forum held at Judson Church, Sept 20

September was a busy month:  leafleting, poll watching, campaigning, judicial candidate selections, forums, vigils, the Judicial Delegates Convention and more.  Following is a brief summary of the General Membership Meeting with a link to the full minutes.

  • Tim Wu will be working for the NYS Attorney General, specializing in technology.
  • The Executive Committee had voted to donate $225 to the Cooper Square Committee for an ad in their journal, it was approved by the Membership.
  • Terri Cude and Dennis Gault won by a large margin, and
  • All six of our judicial delegates won.
  • VID will be working with Food and Water Watch regarding regarding the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in raising livestock and its role in causing antibiotic-resistant bacteria.  VID has already passed a resolution on the topic.
  • Keen Berger began the District Leader Report by speaking on the battle over the Elizabeth Street Garden. She also brought up two races, those of Donna Edwards and Sheldon Whitehouse, whom she thought were worthy candidates.

There was a presentation on the Lenox Hill Emergency Center, made by Alex Hellinger, Executive Director and Wayne Kawadler, Director of Community Relations.  They brought out many points like the number of patients treated (24, 996), the speed and quality of care involving the very latest high tech equipment, and the impact on the community.  It is important to note that they are not an urgent care center and should only be used in critical cases except for traumatic heart problems or blocked airways.

  • After the presentation Tony Hoffmann discussed the Candles for Clemency vigil to be held Saturday the 26th.  The emphasis will be on clemencies for longtime, elderly prisoners who are rehabilitated and need to go home before death.  See coverage here.
  • Eric Coler reported on his Young Voter Outreach project, held in Union Square and Washington Square Parks.  He has some more strategies for reaching prospective voters, reaching out to political groups in colleges and supermarkets.  He plans his next event for the VID Street Fair on October 3.
  • Nadine introduced a resolution in support of A617, requiring the labeling of GMO foods in New York, to be addressed to Senators Schumer and Gillebrand.  This was unanimously approved.
  • Marti Speranza was recognized for her work in organizing ten local clubs to participate in a Presidential Forum, to feature representatives from each campaign and to be held November 1 at the School of Visual Arts Theater.
  • Nadine will be working with Kate Linker on a resolution in support of Letitia James initiative to divest from Walmart, Dick’s and other large gun sellers.
  • Sharon Woolums announced another Small Business Forum to be held September 30 in the Bronx.
  • Bruce Farrands and two other representatives from UFCW Local 1500 made a presentation on Mrs. Green’s new store in the Village.  He had participated in a previous battle at a Mrs. Green’s upstate, where when employees tried to organize they were fired.  There was general agreement that local electeds should be notified and involved.  Barbara Ruether volunteered to write a letter to this effect.See the Full Meeting Minutes Here