November 2019 Meeting Notes

Welcome, General Updates

  • Who early voted? Who did GOTV to support Ranked Choice Voting?
    • Shout-out to Brooklyn Voters Alliance

Arielle Swernoff from NYRenews

  • Alice introduces: CBID voted to join NYRenews Coalition a few months ago
  • Worked for several years to pass NYS Climate Leadership & Community Protection Act
    • Strongest climate law in the nation
    • Net-Zero emissions by 2050, front-line community investment, renewable energy targets
  • Priorities now:
    • Law is implemented in line with our values
    • Lobbying governor, legislative leaders to make strong appointments to the Climate Action Council – 22 people to come up with the plan, GOP appointed fossil fuel industry representatives
    • Public hearings as the CAC writes its plan, state agencies will have public hearings – will call on folks to show up forcefully and share our priorities for a rapid transition off fossil fuels
    • Requires a lot of funding
  • Long term   
    • Climate and Community Investment Act – Fee on pollution, would raise $7 billion/year and invest into communities creating jobs, energy rebates, infrastructure, just transition fund, impacted worker fund
    • Don’t expect to win this year
  • Key Dates
    • 12/11 – statewide day of action with local, in-district lobbying visits to legislators
      • Will send more info via email
    • 1/27 – Albany day of action (save the date)
      • Governor will be introducing his executive budget in the weeks prior, not holding our breath for him to include the $ for climate
      • There will be buses coming up from NY
  • Questions
    • Is making homes more energy efficient a priority? Yes. Asking for $200 million for efficiency and weatherization
    • How is pollution measured? Focus on corporate polluters
    • Electoral program for 2020? Still considering. Key vehicles may be coalition member organizations, who already have that electoral strength, to ensure that climate justice is at the front

52nd AD County Committee

  • Alice reading on Josh Skaller’s behalf
  • On Monday night, the 52nd AD County Committee is meeting – proxy info is available
    • Cheryl: the 44th AD Committee is meeting (I think) on January 30th
    • Joe: you’ll be getting an agenda in the mail, should have already received an email from Jason Shelley with proxy info and agenda
    • Who do Kings County Democratic Committee members represent? Your Election District
      • But lots of people represent districts far from where they live

Committee Reportback

  • Events Committee – Asher
    • Annual dinner with be in February- SUNDAY, February 9, 2020 at Shapeshifter Labs in Gowanus
  • Electoral Strategy Committee – Allison
    • Have been researching races happening in 44th, 52nd, 51st, and 57th Ads – congressional and state races
    • Finished off races, now putting together candidate questionnaires to send out in the next couple of weeks
  • Womxn’s Caucus – Allison
    • Next event on January 6, 2020 – petitioning training for women and non-binary folks at Hinterlands (Kensington)
    • Asher: big thanks to Allison for organizing and getting this work off the ground
  • Climate Change & Environmental Justice Committee – Alice
    • Thanks again to Arielle
    • Fight for Sunlight update – process explainer. BBG will have a more in-depth update and training on this project in December (likely 12/14)
      • Will send an invite once they know the date
      • Folks can sign on to their petition
      • If anyone knows elected officials, particularly in that area, talk to us later so we can try to meet with and engage them in this fight
      • Opposed to a zoning waiver to allow them to build the buildings higher
    • In January, we’re going to have a speaker on the Gowanus re-development project, discussion of environmental issues
      • Workshop on that at 12/2 presented by Community Board 6 – Alice can give you that info

Club Elections coming up in January

  • Officers up for election, as well as Executive Committee
    • ExComm meets once per month, help put together agenda, events – great way to get more involved in the club and on particular issues
    • Talk to any current members (show of hands) about what it’s like
  • Officers must nominate themselves by December meeting, ExComm nominations can occur from the floor at January’s meeting
    • Two ways to nominate yourself – from the floor tonight or in December meeting, or email Erica at
  • Marvin: critical importance of next President of CBID, nominates Richard Bennett for President ­– he accepts


  • Ben presents overview of constitutional amendments: Officer Roles, Email/Membership list
  • Allison reads through changes in constitution
    • Change in titles, VP of Political Strategy, VP of Membership, VP of Communications, Recording Secretary, Treasurer
    • Changes to nomenclature for VP of Communications
    • No questions/discussion on role changes
    • Changes in mailing list (Ben clarifies that email addresses aren’t up for discussion)
      • -Marty: emails could be given out
  • Marvin: makes a motion to pass first set of amendments
  • 4 abstentions – motion passes
  • Julie: motion to pass second set of amendments
  • 3 abstentions – motion passes
  • Marty: question on process of constitutional amendment to modify the “federal” nomenclature in Treasurer description

Open for floor nominations of officers

  • Ben nominates Allison Mingus for Vice-President of Membership – she accepts

New Business

  • Alice: hosting a fundraiser for Josh Skaller at her house on 12/4 Wednesday, co-hosted by Cheryl, Marvin, Dan Wise, Asher, Jim Brennan
  • Cheryl: December meeting will include business but is also a holiday potluck party
    • Will be meeting in the basement of the church around the corner
    • Not required to bring phone
    • 12/19 Thursday

Meet & Greets

  • Jabari Brisport – candidate for 25th Senate District (currently held by Velmanette Montgomery)
    • Middle school teacher
    • Brooklyn born and bred, teaches in Crown Heights
    • Second-time candidate; came to speak at CBID when running for City Council in 2017
      • Ran because of frustration around housing, over-policing
    • Gentrification running rampant, police presence getting worse
    • Asked to run again by people in the community, knocking on doors this past weekend in Ft. Greene, registering voters and talking to folks left out of political system
    • Questions
      • How would you address spike in hate crimes? Increase know-your-rights efforts in district, how do we make this a true sanctuary city, support move to abolish ICE and not collaborate with them; father was undocumented for 20 years
      • What sitting senator are you most aligned with? Julia Salazar, Zellnor Myrie – DSA member, close with Zellnor, had a great conversation with Jessica Ramos’s chief of staff
      • Have you spoken to the incumbent? I’ve reached out to the office a few times, I have not yet gotten in contact. I’ve heard she’s retiring, I’ve heard she anointed her preferred successor
      • Concerns about policing, what could state legislature do? Terrible bill called 50-A, shielding police records making it hard to investigate/prosecute. Repealing would create more transparency and accountability. Participatory budgeting of police departments. Aside from racial justice, pushing to reform foundation aid formula, felt understaffed classrooms firsthand. More aggressive action on climate change
      • Housing? Elected governance of NYCHA is interesting, need to research more. Massive funding deficit – it started being federally funded, I don’t see a way to get $30 billion next year unless the federal government steps up, but see a path to get $ over time by raising revenue. Vacancy taxation, pied-a-terre taxes, anti-speculation tax.
      • Why do you oppose the sale of air rights from NYCHA? I opposed when it was being sold pay-to-play style to donors of de Blasio’s campaign, and also pushes more towards privatization which as a socialist I oppose
        • Would you support a plan to transfer those air rights to a wider area, which would avoid pay to play? Would you support if their air rights were invented whole cloth rather than taken from NYCHA? Need to learn more about that proposal, would it drive up rents
      • Incorporating Census outreach into our campaign? Will star this weekend
      • SHSAT and desegregation? Used to be a SHSAT tutor so I’ve seen the disparity first-hand. Less than 10 students got into Stuyvesant last year. In favor of a new form of testing, interested in a model that would take top students from every school around NYC. Move further away from high-stakes testing – more frequent testing but less high stakes, just to provide constant feedback on where students are at. Also look at what schools are overpoliced, fight for more counselors, fewer cops.
  • Katherine Walsh – candidate for 51st Assembly District
    • Challenging Felix Ortiz, has been in office 26 years
    • 2 other women who are running – can talk about the issues in our district and debate them, ensure we are planning for the future
    • Climate activist, urban planner, Chairwoman of Assembly District Committee, Community Board 7 member
      • Has worked with cities to build sustainable transportation structures, green infrastructure – cares about critical investments
    • Seeing what Felix Ortiz is not doing, putting our community at risk
      • Displacement and gentrification and climate change working together – will uproot diverse communities
    • Grew up in Sunset Park
      • Saw neighbors come together, show up to combat ICE raids this summer
    • Green New Deal, especially in Red Hook
    • Single-Payer Healthcare in NYS, extend to immigrant communities
    • Pass the Liberty Act to get ICE out of the courts and streets
    • Pathways for affordable housing, protect tenants through good-cause eviction, reinvest in Mitchell-Lama program
    • Pass fair elections law – matching funds, term limits
    • Questions
      • Census outreach as part of campaign? Yes. As ADC head, one of the first things I’m doing is leveraging 187 Dems in the County Committee to roll out a census campaign. As candidate, I haven’t thought about it yet but I can integrate it. Semi-trailer issue in a new development project, AD already has the highest asthma rate in Brooklyn – integrating climate activism with campaign. No Trucking Way BK effort.
      • Industry City rezoning? I’ll need to vote on it as a CB member. What they resubmitted, I am opposed to. It’s the same proposal for luxury hotels and retail. In the process, they can hear from the community and our CB will make a recommendation, ultimately up to councilmember.
      • Vision for Industry City site? It’s private development so they have the ability to do what they want with the site. Want some form of community-based agreement for other facilities. Green industrial development is aspirational. Think proactively for Sunset Park, comprehensive development across the waterfront and NYC, not just in this one project
      • School segregation? Attended Midwood High School. Different people are motivated by different things, so many students are left behind. Foundation aid is not coming to our city and our schools, by the time they show up to the test they aren’t set up for success. First part of this is the funding we need. Then thinking through fair choice and fair opportunity. Desegregation efforts in D15 seem to be working. Maybe we can roll it out to other communities in NY.
      • Crowded primary? Good to have more choices than Felix Ortiz. Our team is setting up specific metrics of what success looks like – where we want to be by January. 16 canvasses and 1,000 doors already. Energizing and GOTV is the key, presidential election will make things look different than last time.

December Meeting and Potluck

Due to the Christmas holiday, December’s meeting will take place on Thursday December 19th and will be held in the basement of the Park Slope United Methodist Church on the corner of 6th avenue and 8th street.

Please note that we will be holding our annual club potluck immediately after the meeting. We ask that you bring a dish to share, but everybody is welcome regardless of whether they bring something or not.

October 2019 Meeting Notes

CBID General Meeting Notes

Thursday October 24, 2019

  1. Welcome
    • Early voting starts Saturday!
    • Ice breaker
  2. Open spot on the CBID Executive Committee
    • Nominations: Sharon Harkey nominated
      1. Member for 10 months. Worked on campaigns in the last few years, including Doug Schneider’s district leader race. Petitioned for Jumaane Williams for Public Advocate, volunteered for Caroline Cohen. Likes bringing people into the political process, bringing people together.
    • Sharon elected unanimously
  3. In January there will be elections for Executive Committee and for Officers. 18 or 19 Ex Comm seats currently. Asher is term-limited. If you are interested in running, inform any of the current officers.
    • Anyone interested in running for officer must be nominated tonight or at the next meeting. They cannot be nominated from the floor in January. Ex Comm members can be nominated from the floor.
  4. Committee Updates
    • Climate Change / Environmental Justice Committee
      • Please everyone sign the Brooklyn Botanic Garden petition “Fight for Sunlight” on the BBG website!
      • Committee has drafted a letter to send to elected officials asking that they oppose the development that would block the BBG’s sunlight
      • Rezoning around the Gowanus Canal: Suggestion for the club to bring in someone who can teach us more about the zoning and environmental issues around the canal since there is a major proposal to significantly increase the density around the canal.
        1.  Josh Skaller suggests we host a community forum to educate members of the community on the subject.
      • Extinction Rebellion protested by holding funeral for the environment at the Atlantic Antic street festival. Some very bored plainclothes police officers volunteered to provide a police escort. There may be another funeral march on 7th Ave in Park Slope on Halloween.
      • Acme Studios is hosting a debate watching party and all the proceeds will go to raise for Extinction Rebellion. If you want to hang out with Richard Bennet, be there!
    • Events Committee Update
      • We are changing when we have our annual dinner as a response to the fact that the primary elections have moved to June. We are still exploring venues and dates. Possibly early February
    • Electoral Strategy Committee
      • First meeting of the Electoral Strategy Committee took place
      • Allison was elected Chair
      • We made a list of all of the races we’re paying attention to and divided them up between committee members to research the candidate
      • We created a timeline for creating endorsement questionnaires.
      • Other committees will be asked to submit 3 questions on their issue to candidates
      • There will be three questionnaires: District Leader, State Legislative, and Congressional
      • If anyone is interested in joining the committee, contact Allison!
  5. Early Voting Starts Saturday! Most folks here will vote at the Armory
    • Voting early will make the point that we need more early voting sites in the future so vote early!
    • There are a lot of new voting laws going into effect this year and early voting is a chance to test them all out before the main event
  6. Explanation of Ballot Measures from Karen Wharton
    • Karen is from the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting
    • Ranked choice voting: Instead of having one vote per office, we’ll rank up to five of your favorite candidates in order for each office.
      • If no one candidate has a majority with the first choice votes, we start eliminating whoever is in last place and reassigning their votes to the voters’ second choice. This continues until someone breaks 50%.
      • This discourages candidates from focusing only on a small subset of voters and encourages them to instead attempt to appeal to a much broader set of voters
      • This eliminates the issue of spoiler candidates
      • This would only be in the primary election, not the general election and only for municipal office.
      • Many people are concerned that this system will confuse voters. However, research from areas that have ranked choice voting indicates that voter engagement did not diminish, but education is necessary.
        1. Karen taught ranked choice voting to a bunch of elementary school kids and they figured it out.
      • If the proposal passes there will be a lot of education.
      • It would go into effect in 2021.
    • Asher discusses ballot measures 2-5 by reading them. Look them up online!
      • A few progressives oppose question 2 (about the Civilian Complaint Review Board) because they want to eliminate the CCRB entirely and replace it with something much better.
  7. Motion to Endorse the Five Ballot Measures: Passes
  8. Jesse Pierce, Candidate for Female District Leader in the 52nd AD
    • Running because she believes the Brooklyn Democratic party can be much more than it is today. We should be a standard bearer for progressive organizing and promoting progressive policy around the country. The County Committee should be front and center in that vision.
    • She has organizers canvassing to inform Democratic voters about the voting reforms to make sure people know their voting rights.
    • Jesse’s campaign team is a team of five women
    • Background: Has lived in the 52nd for 4 years. Is currently in Boerum Hill with her partner Renee. Loves meetings that happen on basketball courts.
    • She is Director of Operations at a small software company.
    • Short term goals for county: Wants to see county start following the rules that currently exist. Make party inclusive, accessible, and transparent. She also prioritizes proxy reform. Also concerned with county’s finances.
    • Josh asks: since the 52nd has a lot of political enthusiasm but its county committee is full – what is her philosophy about how to handle an excess of folks wanting to participate. Response: She believes it is important to foster a culture of participation – it’s important for county committee members to go out and talk to their neighbors, not just because it’s their obligation but because it’s important, and Jesse would like to reduce the number of people who are appointed in order to accommodate people who want to canvass.
    • Regarding the involvement of District Leaders in elections: Jesse would like to see an active Assembly District Committee and she would like to involve the ADC in recruiting poll workers.
  9. Update from Assemblymember Carroll
    • On November 18th, Bobby and Brad Lander are cohosting a public meeting with the DOT at PS 889 at 6:30 to discuss the Ocean Parkway and Coney Island Ave traffic
    • Campaign Finance Commission is a disaster: They’re going to come out with a report that will probably create a matching program. It will only match dollars of in-district contributions. Bobby considers it unworkable. It is meant to fail and it is meant to stifle participation in democracy and is counter to the purpose. The Commission has broad authority to change any election laws. The legislature has only three weeks to overturn anything this commission does or it automatically becomes law.
      1. “Lots of members of the state legislature are mendacious and craven. Not me.”
      1. The Commission’s report will come out either right before or after Thanksgiving.
    • Last week in Albany there was a forum on early childhood literacy and dyslexia screening
  10. Update from Assemblymember Simon
    • A problem with the public financing commission is they’re trying to take the city’s matching funds program and superimpose it onto the state level, and it doesn’t work statewide.
    • Closing of Riker’s and the Brooklyn Detention Center: This process is going in a problematic way. Each borough has a stakeholder group of people who live near the detention center. One of the issues is ULURP – this is a land use issue. Also considering whether the facility will be a place that provides the programs and treatment that inmates need.
    • BQE: It’s not figured out yet. An expert panel will issue a report, which is delayed. They are working very hard to get the report right. Neither of the approaches that were proposed is great.
      • This used to be a state project until they decided the city owned the roadway, but the city isn’t in the business of building bridges, the city repairs roads, so JoAnn has been working on getting the state back to the table.
  11. Amendments to CBID Constitution
    • Procedure: The club has to hear them, have the opportunity to ask questions, and then vote to approve them in two consecutive meetings.
    • These amendments specifically serve to clarify the officer positions
    • There will be two questions: The first is the definition of the officers. In our current constitution the responsibilities of the officers is not explained.
    • The second question clarifies that the club doesn’t give out email addresses.
    • Explanation of the officer roles:
      1. Changed some titles.
        1. First VP = VP of Political Strategy
        1. 2nd VP = VP of Membership
        1. Corresponding Secretary = VP of Communications
      1. The role of president is an explanation of what is already happening, with the addition of the creation of a “financial plan,” so that members have a better idea of how our money is used
      1. The two VPs get more specific responsibilities instead of how it is now, which is more ad hoc
    • In terms of the club’s list: we are only giving out names and mailing addresses, not emails. Also the use of the club’s list, instead of being determined by the standard of being in the spirit of the club, that standard will be determined by the Ex Comm.
      1. Josh spoke against the Ex Comm being empowered to deny members access to the list
    • Marty is concerned that this puts him on the hook for federal filings, which are currently completed by Rich Bennett
    • Extended discussion of the executive committee deciding whether to give out the club list. Some folks think it’s too restrictive, others think we’re giving the members’ information out too easily.
    • Discussion of VP of Political Strategy: Their purpose is to help ensure that we approach endorsements in a thorough way.
    • Vote on the first question: to change the officer positions and create descriptions for them: Motion passes
    • Vote on the second question of Article 16, the membership list: Motion passes
    • Immense thanks to the people who spent so much time and energy working on the amendments
  12. Fundraiser for Josh Skaller for District Leader at Alice’s house on November 20th
  13.  Sharon Harkey announcing an event next Wednesday at Beth Elohim on Garfield Pl.  Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez discusses his justice 2020 plan.
  14. Update from Josh Skaller on county didn’t actually happen