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to the Democratic Presidential Forum on Nov. 1st.
In a departure from his previous policy, Governor Andrew Cuomo is establishing a system to review requests to shorten prison sentences of rehabilitated prisoners.
Four days before a planned demonstration near his Westchester County home that had the backing of a wide array of elected officials, the governor called longtime gay activist Allen Roskoff, saying, “I get it. I get it. It will be done.” Cuomo pledged to review requests for clemency from state prisoners.
The September 26 demonstration in the parking lot of the Presbyterian Church of Mount Kisco was the second annual “Candles for Clemency” gathering demanding that “Governor Cuomo get a heart; issue clemencies now.” Nathan Riley, Gay City News, Sept. 27
Cuomo chief counsel, Alphonso David, addressed the demonstrators and described the new review plan: “Particular attention will be paid to prisoners who received sentences for crimes committed at a young age, elderly prisoners who pose little risk to society, and prisoners who have served long sentences but have demonstrated that their release would not harm others.” The latter may prove controversial. David specifically offered the assistance of his office to help attorneys and advocacy groups through the clemency process.
You can also see video news coverage of the Candles for Clemency vigil by Diana Campbell on Fios News
Endorsements for the vigil included: City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Letitia James, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, seven local members of Congress, and 17 members of the City Council, including Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
The event was organized by Tony Hoffmann of VID and Allen Roskoff of The Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club.
The rally and vigil will take place at the intersection of Crow Hill Rd. and Millwood Rd.,
in Mount Kisco, on Saturday, September 26 at 7 p.m.
Buses will leave New York City from 10th Avenue, (btw 16th and 17th Sts.) at 5 p.m.
Mount Kisco is also accessible by car and Metro North railroad.
New York State prison policies are in desperate need of reform. Many people are unjustly incarcerated, given unreasonably long sentences and have been placed in solitary confinement.
Prisons hold many elderly, ill and disabled people who have served excessive time, pose no threat to society, and can live productive lives and make a positive contribution to the world. They must be released. Why should people die in prison separated from their loved ones and families?
Why won’t the governor give incarcerated people a second chance? The support for clemency transcends national party lines. But in close to five years, the Cuomo administration has not issued a single clemency to anyone in prison.
In April, the Governor’s counsel, Alphonso David, promised that the governor would begin a process of identifying viable candidates for clemency and to begin issuing clemency to those deemed worthy. But he has reneged on his promise. The Candles for Clemency Rally will help ensure that Governor Cuomo hears and heeds the public demand to reform New York’s prison system, stop playing politics with people’s lives, and show mercy and compassion by issuing clemency to those who deserve it.
Principal sponsors of the rally and vigil are the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club and the Village Independent Democrats. The event‘s supporters include some of New York’s most respected political, religious, and civic leaders and organizations, prison reformers, and leading figures in arts and entertainment.
Demand justice and compassion. Join us.
For more information, go to https://www.facebook.com/CandlesforClemency or http://jimowles.org/events/2015-candles-for-clemency. Follow us on twitter at CandlesForClemency@candlesfor.
Founder, and Co-Coordinator, Candles for Clemency
President, Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club
Co-Coordinator, Candles for Clemency
Former President, Village Independent Democrats, at
Please vote on September 10th for our judicial delegate slate.
Get your friends and neighbors to vote. The most important things you can do are:
Distribute the VID flyer/Mailer under your neighbors’ doors
Give out the literature at a polling place for an hour or two on September 10th.
If you can do either and need literature please:
1-Contact Ed Yutkowitz and make arrangements to pick up the literature from him. His email is eddieNY@aol.com. His home address is 3 Sheridan Sq.
2- Contact Tony Hoffmann. His email is TonyHoffmann26@gmail.com. His address is 100 Bank Street. If you need large quantities (over 100 pieces) please contact Ed snce he has the bulk of our literature
3- Come to VID on Wednesday, September 9th from 6:00-7:30 PM. Ed will be there.
4- Come to VID on Primary Day from 7:00-8:00 AM or 5:00-6:30 PM– Tony will be there.
As for giving out VID literature the best is to do it for an hour before or after you vote at your pollng place.
All the other scheduled events mentioned on August 13th – election of Judicial Delegates on the Sept. 10th Primary; the next VID General Meeting, Sept 17th; Congressman Nadler’s Soiree, Sept. 21st; the Judicial Convention, Sept 24th; the Candles for Clemency Vigil, Sept 26th and the County Committee Meeting, Sept 29th are all detailed in the AUGUST CALENDAR to the right.
Other items discussed and voted at the VID Membership Meeting in August included;
All of the above letters and resolutions will be posted and linked in the copy above as soon as they are made available.
And here are the full Minutes-2015-8-12
Herman was a former Greenwich Village Democratic district leader, Democratic state committee member. He was father of Alan, former city councilmember for the First District, which covers Lower Manhattan, part of the Village and the Lower East Side and Soho, Noho and Little Italy; and husband of Sophie, a former school board leader and community board member. They all lived at 505 LaGuardia Pl., where Herman Gerson was president of the board of directors and edited 505 News, the building’s quarterly newspaper. He also tutored in math at Washington Irving High School.