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.

 

 

Notes from VID’s New President

VID’s New President, David Siffert Presided Over the First Meeting of the New Year

Here’s his meeting wrap-up…

VID's New President_David SiffertFirst

I would like to congratulate our new officers — Erik Coler as Treasurer, Kathy Slawinski as Recording Secretary, Ed Yutkowitz and Jonathan Geballe as Corresponding Secretaries.  The 2019 Executive Committee includes Frieda Bradlow, Melissa Carty, Susan Gottesman, Laurie Hardjowirogo, Tiffany Hodges, Nadine Hoffmann, Jennifer Hoppe, Linda Jacobson, Nathaniel Johnson, Irene Kaufman, Cameron Krause, Alec Pruchnicki, Lois Rakoff, Deb Sherman, and Elissa Stein.

Second

If you are interested in coming up to Albany on Tuesday, January 15, to lobby with True Blue NY for the People’s Platform, you can sign up here: https://goo.gl/forms/U8i1DKWmu186Z6ex2.  There is a bus leaving from 14th St. and 4th Ave. at 7am, and Jonathan may be driving.  Please get in touch if you are interested.

Third

If you are interested in participating in postcard writing events, there are a few campaigns to encourage Florida voters to sign up to vote by mail: 

  • Sunday, Jan. 13, 2pm-4:30pm,  near Washington square (Sarah O’Neill) – email for address: sqoneill@mac.com
  • Monday, Jan. 14,  9am-11am, Le Pain Quotidian, Bleecker & 6th Ave (Downtown Nasty Women)

There are also some campaigns to flip the Virginia legislature (RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sister-district-ny-12-13-14-postcards-to-virginia-tickets-54533754929)

  • Sunday, January 20, Lower East Side, 2-5pm
  • Sunday, January 20, Upper East Side, 3-6pm
  • Thursday, January 24, Chelsea, 6:30-8:30pm
  • Saturday, January 26, East Village, 2-4pm

Fourth

For more events and actions, I highly recommend you sign up for the weekly United Thru Action (UTA) list — it’s put together by VIDers!: 
https://unitedthruaction.us17.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=5d39856e5e769397f8feaaa33&id=2db91abf42

Fifth

On the Dilley Pro Bono Project:  If you were inspired by the work being done there, here are some things you can do to help:

  1. Volunteer, or encourage your friends to volunteer, by emailing volunteer@caraprobono.org.
    • If you are a lawyer who speaks Spanish, this is a required trip, both for you and for the cause.  If you know any lawyers who speak Spanish, tell them that they have to sign up for this program — as much for themselves as for their clients.
    • Data entry team.  If you are willing to do simple data entry, you can be of assistance!
    • Remote Spanish-English Interpretation Provide remote Spanish-English interpretation for volunteers on the ground who don’t speak Spanish!
  2. If you do not have time, you can donate by clicking here: https://secure.everyaction.com/BS6Q9eElpEuRBxDyh9WxiA2?ms=CARA-Dilley_Artesia-OTG.  The project is severely underfunded, and basic office supplies are often purchased by staff and volunteers out-of-pocket.  You can also directly purchase items off the DPBP Amazon Wish List here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/2NM5FBYOV8T4X.
  3. If you have neither the time nor the money, spread the word on social media!
  4. If you are an experienced immigration attorney, and you are really ready to dive in, DPBP is hiring a Managing Attorney: https://aic-1.jobsoid.com/j/16977/managing-attorney-dilley-pro-bono-project.
  5. If you’d rather work more locally, Liane’s organization has many volunteer opportunities available.  You can start by checking their website here: https://www.catholiccharitiesnyvolunteer.org/.

Thanks to all of you, and see you at our next meeting, on February 14.

Best,
David

VID Officers for 2018 Elected at December Meeting

VID Officers for 2018_Erik Coler President

Senator Brad Hoylman speaking on the IDC at the December Meeting

Erik Coler topped the list of VID Officers for 2018 as he was re-elected President

Also elected at the December 14 meeting, as VID officers for 2018 were Vice Presidents, Jennifer Hoppe and two new Vice Presidents, Erik Bottcher and Laurie Hardjowirigo.  All three have been ardent campaigners for local candidates as well as frequent volunteers in Up-State New York, Pennsylvnia, Virginia and Georgia.  We are now, officially, infused with exceptional energy and Democratic commitment for another momentous year.

At the January General Membership Meeting candidates for Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Treasurer, and the Executive Committee will be elected.

Other Topics

Other initiatives discussed from the Dec. 14th agenda included Brad Hoylman speaking about the negotiations in the NYS Senate regarding the IDC; Laurie Hardjowirigo gave the Voter Reform Committee Report; Nat Johnson gave the Environmental Committee Report by stressing what was learned at the December 4 Future of Renewable Energy Forum; Erik Coler of Affordable Housing recapped the year’s achievements by saying this year 42 units had been re-stabilized and he was hoping next year to add 90 more.  

Carlina Rivera, our new City Council member, gave a short speech in which she thanked the VID for its incredible support in her campaign.  She won the Primary with 60% of the vote, the General with 80%. 

Tony Hoffmann explained the new revised constitutional amendment and the process involved.  After reading the amendment, it passed overwhelmingly with one opposed.

Erik Coler introduced the Final Mt. Sinai/Beth Israel Resolution.  Tony thanked Zella Jones, Marlene Nadle, Judy Wessler, Susan Gottesman, Alec Pruchnicki, Barbara Ruether, Jim Yates, and Jonathan Geballe.  After some discussion, in which some errors were discovered, a proposal was made to send the resolution back to committee.  This was passed unanimously.

You can read the full meeting minutes here.

 

Busy November – General Meeting Minutes

VID had a very busy November.  Polling, poll watching, GOTV – here and elsewhere, and phone-banking consumed most Club members.

 

Busy November_Virginia Election

Polls in Virginia and in New York drenched but victorious.

Our busy November began with a bus trip to Virginia, coordinated by Jen Hoppe with the usual cookie sustainance from Keen Berger.  Tony Hoffmann congratulated the Election Committee and VID Members  on their incredible performance. November 7th, even though in the world of excitement, this year’s election was not near the top (in NYC).  The weather in the morning was cold and in the evening, it rained.  Laurie Hardjowirogo, Ed Yutkowitz, Elissa Stein, Irene Kaufman, Jen Hoppe, and Erik Coler led the pack.

The Voter Reform committee’s Laurie Hardjowirogo was very happy to announce that the three candidates she campaigned for upstate all won.  Where Indivisible groups were active, results were good; where they weren’t, results were not so good.  The second phone bank for upstate second home owners got many people to re-register, and a few went to the True Blue Summit, in late October  There was still a lack of transparency with the DNC, and she was concerned that millennials, who will outnumber baby boomers in 2020, are mainly registering as Independents.

A rally on November 13 at Cuomo’s office on Fifth Avenue urged him to stop the Williams Pipeline and commit to transitioning NYS to renewable energy.  

Paul Newell reported on the County Committee where certain reforms were pushed at the September meeting, with seven resolutions proposed.  Five were straightforward rules changes, but the seventh one, regarding Keith Wright, was quite controversial.  It called for Keith to resign one of his positions, County Leader or lobbyist.  A Rules Committee has been convened and will meet in three months, which has never been done before–most meetings are held every six months.  He urged anyone interested in proposing rules changes to let Keen know–he said we can convene a new meeting, and he feels we will win.  The Democratic party must be set up to be open to outside groups and other activists.

Assemblyman Deborah Glick spoke, advising everyone of her seminar on climate change held November 28 at the New School.  She also spoke of her proposal of an enhanced TAP for private colleges.

The November meeting featured a discussion of Mt Sinai/BethIsreal Hospital;  Judy Wessler and Anthony Feliciano represented the community–Mt. Sinai/Beth Israel declined to attend, saying they had already spoken enough on the issue.  Jonathan Geballe had put together a resolution re Beth Israel.  There was a discussion, and Tony Hoffmann recommended putting together a committee comprised of Susan Gottesman, Zella Jones, Alec Pruchnicki, Marlene Nadle, and Judy Wessler and Anthony Feliciano.  They will meet before the next membership meeting.  This passed unanimously. SEE THE FINAL RESOLUTION.

Again, a substitute amendment re Executive Committee members running for Judicial Candidate positions at a different club, saying the amendment that passed was meaningless.  Susan proposed tabling this to the Executive Committee meeting.  This passed with 25 for and one abstention.  It will be re-introduced at the December meeting.

There was an election for two new Executive Committee members to fill two vacancies.  The candidates (and election results) were Deb Sherman (22 votes), Irene Kaufman (19 votes), Yvonne Sherwell (9 votes), and Cam Krause (2 votes).  So, the new members are Deb Sherman and Irene Kaufman.

Rounding out the busy November schedule, Laurie announced a November 16 phone bank against the IDC.

Here are the FULL MINUTES of the Nov. 9th, 2017 General Meeting.