Apr 112016
 

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.

 

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Apr 112016
 

The April General Meeting Agenda 

…highlights endorsements for New York State candidate primary, Clean Energy March, Rent Controlled Tenants and a Street Vendor Fundraiser.

Thursday, April 14, 2016
83 Christopher Street
6:30 PM
This meeting must end by 9:45 PM

April General  Meeting Agenda

  1. President’s Report-Nadine Hoffmann
  2. District Leader Report- Keen Berger
  3. Campaign Committee-Tony Hoffmann/Ed  Yudkowitz – Update on petitioning
  4. Gala Committee–Jen Hoppe

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  5. Endorsements
    Assembly/ 66 AD– Deborah Glick, Arthur Schwartz
    State Senate/ 27 SD–Brad Hoylman  (unopposed)
    State Committeewoman /66 AD–Rachel Lavine  (unopposed)
    State Committeeman /66 AD–Deley Gazinelli, Dodge Landesman, John Scott, Benjamin Yee
    You can see the Live Treet of the Candidates Forum, April 7th from Danielle Tcholakian at DNA Info here.
  6. Co-sponsor the March For A Clean Energy Revolution – Sunday, July 24 — The eve of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia
  7. Letter to Governor Cuomo regarding tenant issues for Seniors–Tom Connor
  8. Update on Candles for Clemency–Tony Hoffmann
  9. Street Vendor Fundraiser Party–Alison Greenberg
  10. New Business

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Mar 302016
 

VID’s March Meeting featured reports on the gun violence forum, the Congressional primary, an early voting bill in the NYS legislature and the Algonquin Pipeline.  It ended with Club endorsements for Jerry Nadler, Carolyn Maloney, Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton.

See the full meeting minutes here.  [Revised ]

VID's march meeting_Gun-violence-panel

Forum on Gun Violence Panel: Richard Aborn, Leah Gunn Barrett, Joel Vatsky (CRDC), Nadine Hoffmann (VID),Scott Stringer (not pictured) and Assemblyman Keith Wright

President Nadine Hoffmann opened VID’s March meeting by welcoming Congressman Jerry Nadler, who is up for reelection.  He soon left, as he could not speak at the meeting. She then reported on the March 1 Women’s Issues forum at the Red Room, participated in by VID, DID, CODA, Manhattan Young Dems, and Councilwoman Rosie Mendez.  There had also been a forum on gun violence the day before, sponsored by the VID and VRDC, and featuring Keith Wright, Richard Aborn, Leah Gunn Barrett, and Scott Stringer, among others.  And she reminded the members about the upcoming Candidates Night on April 7.  See April Announcement

District Leader Keen Berger discussed campaigns in other states and candidates she was supporting like Donna Edwards, Catherine Cortez Masto, Russ Feingold and Maggie Hassan. [A previous version of this post incorrectly stated that Keen Berger was supporting Chris Van Hollen who is Donna Edwards opponent.  Keen is strongly supporting Donna Edwards.]

Nadine commended Erik Coler for meeting with Assemblyman Brian Kavanaugh on the topic of early voting–the Assemblyman thinks Republicans are in agreement on this issue and it may pass in the Assembly and State Senate.  Jonathan Geballe explained what’s involved in getting this legislation passed.

VID's March Meeting_Petitioning

Jonathan Geballe, Congressman Nadler, Nadine Hoffmann, Erik Coler, Congresswoman Maloney, NYS Senator Brad Hoylman join the petition-launching breakfast at the VID Clubhouse.

Tony Hoffmann spoke about the upcoming Congressional primary on June 28 and the necessity for petitioning.  A Campaign Breakfast, paid for by Congressman Nadler, would take place at the clubhouse on Saturday.

Nat Johnson updated everyone on the environment–on February 29, Governor Cuomo sent a letter to FERC about the Algonquin Pipeline, requesting this dangerous project be suspended until a full environmental study is completed.  Nat described a circular firing squad involving FERC, NRC, DEC, and the EPA diffusing the blame by saying the others had approved the project.  There was a discussion about Int. 446, a bill introduced to prevent fracking and its byproducts from traveling through the city–26 City Council members were needed to sponsor the bill. ( Pipelines leak methane at much higher rates than previously understood, and methane is much more dangerous to the environment than carbon dioxide.)

FERC had not responded to the Governor’ s letter, so Keen proposed sending a statement to the Villager and Cuomo’s office, which was unanimously approved.  It was also proposed to send letters to Councilmembers Corey Johnson and Rosie Mendez (copied to the Villager) thanking them for supporting the initiative to suppress fracking.  This too was unanimously passed.

Tom Connor, a rent-controlled tenant who is a chair on the advisory board of Greenwich House, a senior center, read a letter to Governor Cuomo regarding the unfairness of the rent raises to rent-controlled tenants, the majority of whom are senior women.  Rachel Lavine, a State Committee Representative, asked about SCRIEE having a role.  It was proposed that Nadine, Rachel and Tom meet to collaborate on the letter, and this was unanimously passed.

Next Jen Hoppe updated us on the Gala, set to take place on Thursday, April 28 at the newly renovated Tio Pepe.  The Committee is soliciting sponsors, and invites are to go out next week.  Honorees will be Ben Yee, former leader of the Manhattan Young Dems and current VP of the National Young Dems, someone (as yet undecided) from the Cooper Square Committee (addressing homelessness), and Soffiyah Elijah, Executive Director of the Correctional Association of NY (regarding prisoner’s rights).  Nadine said the committee had wanted to honor Susan Lerner of Common Cause, but she was unavailable.

Nadine reviewed the VID rules for endorsement of political candidates; after much discussion regarding the candidates–

  • Jerry Nadler was unanimously endorsed by acclamation.
  • Carolyn Maloney was endorsed by 23 in favor, with 3 no endorsement votes and one invalid ballot.
  • Chuck Schumer was endorsed by 19 in favor and 7 no endorsements.
  • Hillary Clinton received 19 votes, Bernie Sanders received 9 votes and one no endorsement.

And now, the pictures:

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Mar 092016
 

Here’s the March Membership Meeting Agenda

Thursday, March 10, 2016
83 Christopher Street
6:30 PM
This meeting must end by 9:45 PM

  •  President’s Report-Nadine Hoffmann
  • District Leader Report- Keen Berger
  • Update on Early Voting Bills- Erik Coler
  • Campaign Committee-Tony Hoffmann:  Petitioning Breakfast–March 12
  • Update on environmental issues–Nat Johnson
  • Letter to Governor Cuomo regarding tenant issues for Seniors–Tom Connor
  • Update on Clubhouse fix-up–Jonathan Geballe/Nadine Hoffmann
  • Gala Committee–Jen Hoppe
  • Endorsements–

Congressional District 10   (Jerry Nadler’s Seat)
Congressional District 12  (Carolyn Maloney’s Seat)
US Senate– (Charles Schumer’s Seat)
US President 

  • Discussion of possible resolution regarding Super Delegates
  • Looking ahead to April, 14, 2016 meeting.
    Endorsements for:

Assembly District 66–Deborah Glick’s seat
Senate District 27–Brad Hoylman’s seat

State Committeewoman 66 AD–Rachel Lavine
State Committeman 66 AD–Buxton Midyette

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