CBID January 2019 General Meeting Notes

Club Elections
Discussion of Committees
Discussion of Proposed County Committee Rule Changes
Update on Public Advocate Election
Joining the Let NY Vote Coalition

Zellnor is here!

  • He is thanking us for helping him get voting reform, the Jose Peralta’s Dream Act, GENDA, RHA and all the other legislation in Albany
  • Zellnor had his first bill on early voting signed to day – thanks to BK Voters Alliance
  • What about funding early voting – not in Cuomo’s budget – debate btwn Zellnor and Cathy Young about 7-10 million
  • Cuomo usually puts it in is budget – this year Cuomo did not – but did sign it into law. Let’s not assume they will allocate funding when primaries are consolidated
  • Earlier registration? Restoring rights to parolees? – eventually people in prison

Asher’s comments:

  • Reflecting back on where we were looking at the beginning of 2018 – we got people in office, we worked on numerous campaigns, we are now seeing legislation passed
  • We did a lot but we need to now work on 2019

Club Elections

  • Let’s hear from the officers !!
  • 182 members so are electing 19 ex-com members
  • Excomm meets once a month, usually the Monday after the general meeting, you cannot miss more than 4 – we help drive CBID
  • Read out 17 names
  • Ex officio – DLs Doug, Joan, Josh, Lori
  • Nominations from the floor:
    • Sherese Jackson
    • Julie Kerr
    • Amanda Richie
    • Warren Minor
  • To vote for internal elections you have to be a member in good standing

Update on Public Advocate Election – Jumaane:

3 days of Action:

  • This Saturday 1/26 – Uptown Roasters 1pm
  • Sunday 2/3
  • Saturday 2/9
  • We want to get a good turnout for this primary! Or else we will have to campaign for 9 months J Let’s get him elected NOW

Discussion of Proposed County Committee Rule Changes
Josh, Doug, Bobby and Lori have been working on set of rules changes to reform county

  • Bobby and Josh set out to fix the problem of proxies, led to confusing meeting, lack of transparency
    • CLEAR language – make clear when you sign proxy you are signing your vote away AND you can get that vote back (superseding proxy or come to meeting) instead
    • Remedy is problematic – about space on the ballot
    • Problem of whether if we eliminate proxies we will never have a quorum at County and will not be able to have a Democratic party!
    • Limit proxies to your assembly district – can only give your proxy to someone in your district à hold proxy holders more accountable and spread them around as well to make the whole process more democratic
    • Currently one person is voting for all of Brooklyn
    • Political pushback and protectionism + some viable arguments that this would decrease democracy à Committee squashed it
  • Current proposal rule change: 3 lines on proxy and then the county leader is the 4th line default
    • Line one and two – 2 DLs
    • Line 3 – blank to write in
    • Line 4 – County Leader
  • This will move the ball forward significantly – has not been proposed to ex comm
  • Lori and Doug suggest further rule changes:
    • Require all proxies to be submitted no less than 24 hours
    • Electronic submission
    • Require list to be available no later than 1 hour before the meeting
  • 1st amendment to change HOW voting is done – not just standing and sitting – to vote any way that we can count and create a public record
  • 2nd amendment – to set an agenda and to post it the website X number of days before the meeting
  • Amendments, minutes, and agenda for meeting no less than 5 days before the meeting
  • Doug’s main point is to create a public record and accountability
  • Doug has had a constructive conversation with Lou Fiddler head of Rule Committee – may be some discussion in the February ex committee meeting
  • Lori – adding that she is for these rule changes and adds that meetings should by recorded
    • Also thinks women like herself, long standing members who have been working towards reform, should be included! – should NOT be done by 2 men in a room!
    • She started women’s committee caucus on judicial interviews and selections

2 pieces of Club Business:

  • Should we join the Let NY Vote Coalition? Julie Kerr speaks
  • Bklyn Voters Alliance started it
  • Grass-tops and grassroots coalition to coordinating tops (existing organizations working towards electoral reform) and roots (new groups since 2016 – like BVA)
  • First 4 reforms we have seen in a century – they got that done! Now working on:
    • Portable registration
    • Pre-registration of 16-17 yrs olds
    • 2 constitutional amendments – same day registration; no excuse absentee balloting
  • Registering parolees as first step towards universal voting – Universal Voting Rights – first step is codifying the governor’s executive order (registering parolees)
  • Getting funding for all these reforms
  • This is a non-partisan coalition – some groups involved cannot be partisan – this is an issue-based coalition
  • Ballot redesign – Voter Friendly Ballot Act
  • Same day registration – constitution currently says you cannot register less than 10 days before the election – this amendment would make change to 0 days, and will also have an enacting legislation to make it active immediately
  • A lot of partisan organizations are part of this coalition
  • Automatic voter registration, parolees, flexibility around changing party, electronic poll books, voter friendly ballots

We made a motion, we voted to become part of coalition unanimously

  • The conduct of Senator Kevin Parker
    • The tweet saying “kill yourself” after abusing parking placards
    • His conduct at tonight’s meeting
    • Allison and the ex comm has drafted a letter – we want to propose it to the general meeting – asking him not to come to meetings until he addresses these anger issues to our satisfaction
    • This is a pattern of verbal and physical violence
    • Discussion – what do we want him to do that would satisfy us?
    • Lori suggests that he needs to seek help
    • Marty – Senator Parker is a member of this club and we can expel him constitutionally – needs to start with ex comm etc
    • Should we communicate with him first in a different way – or is this the first time we have expressed our feelings before?
    • Funding an anti-bullying bill or some type of legislation that shows that he wants to change – so others don’t fall down the same path
    • Takeaway – let’s try to open a fruitful dialogue – re-word it a bit on ex comm – new ex comm on Monday !!

Stephanie Latour – report on County Committee

  • Report from a new member
  • She wants to organize new members to petition and actually try to reform it
  • Are people interested in a members to try and get grassroots reforms?
  • Try to get Josh, Lori – other leaders – to help them speak up
  • ** let’s talk at excomm !!

Bobby Carroll:

  • Report on all the amazing work the assembly has done along with the senate !!
  • Any person who is a victim of sexual abuse as a minor will have 18 months to bring a claim and will extend – this will pass assembly next week
  • Upcoming – legislation on the environment hopefully, Cuomo’s calling things a Green New Deal but is he just taking AOC’s language – promised this off shore wind farm
  • The Assembly needs to do more for the environment – this Governor has NOT actually helped and we need to do more
    • Plastic bag bill
    • Fee on paper
  • MTA – in a good way, Board of MTA postponed the fare hike – it is bleeding money and using reserve funds to pay its bills
    • Will need 300 million dollars – 2022 will need 1.6 billion
    • We do need to raise money
  • We NEED to pass Congestion pricing – just to pay the bills before we can upgrade
    • Governor’s bill is very vague still
    • Similar to Brooklyn Battery Tunnel – $5.76 each way with some nighttime fluctuation – even this is not enough
    • Addition of tax on taxi rides in congestion area
    • Hopefully will raise enough money to freeze the fare for the next 4 years – to implement congestion pricing
  • Now we are in an era of good feelings, this getting along will end, but the reason these reforms have happened is because of US – we need to keep pushing
  • Bobby has a new bill on new corporate tax – to address Amazon issue – and he wrote an op-ed recently – to increase the corporate tax rate as well
    • The problem of these subsidies – in theory the legislature could discontinue the subsidies – but the Governor would veto them – the Mayor and Governor bent over backwards and now the Assembly does not have enough to overcome Cuomo’s veto
  • Bobby does not think Amazon will totally change NYC

Discussion of Committees

Judicial Races – surrogate seat and 6th judicial district seat