January 25th 2018 Annual Meeting Minutes

Progressive reform politics for Central Brooklyn, New York City and beyond since 1968.

Agenda for January 25th General Meeting, Camp Friendship, 339 8th St at 6th Ave, Park Slope, 7:00pm

Agenda: Michael DeVito (CD 11) and Andrew Gounardes (NY Sen 22) will both be introducing themselves this Thursday. And the RPA will give a 15 minute presentation on their 4 Regional Report

We’ll do the elections. Then we’ll discuss club objectives for 2018, have the treasurers report, a couple of quick updates on some meetings and any new business.

Yvette Clarke is stopping by too

Bobby Carroll is here

District Leaders – Josh Skaller and Anne Swern

Dirstict Leaders – Jake Gold and Lori Knipel

Kevin Parker is here



  • Vanessa Barrios – Associate Planner for Regional Plan Association – fourthplan.org
    1. What is it? 100 year old nonprofit based out of Manhattan – working in tristate region and Hudson Valley
      1. 30 people – research advocacy experts and board members are former transportation advocates, working in banks and redevelopment – focuses on infrastructure
    2. 1st regional plan and 2nd – you can see in trains and infrastructure around us
    3. 3rd recommendation – was to create the MTA? Really / not sure
    4. “Fragile Success” – but the goal is to create a longer lasting equitable plan
    5. 4th regional plan: equity; health; prosperity; sustainability – Based in grassroots community outreach
      1. First recommendation- fixing institutions around us
      2. Second – rise to the challenge of climate change
        1. Worried about coastal issues
  • Third action – transportation issues – creating commuter based system that work across the whole region – from Connecticut to NJ
  1. Fourth action – Affordability
  1. Congestion pricing, bike lanes, putting the price on driving
  2. Media latched onto closing the subways Monday-Thursday 1am-5am – to do repairs and upgrade the subway à big controversy BUT would take 40 years
    1. Create known disruptions – like fast track – to make alternative plans – to avoid unplanned disruptions
    2. 15 years with their plan (vs. 40 years)
  • Di Blasio hated the closing subways
  1. Questions: What do you want from our membership?
    1. Spreading the ideas in the region al plan – to give it legs – to advocate for the policies to our elected officials etc
    2. 161 signators to equity agenda
  • Price hikes? Price report soon



  • Michael DeVito (CD 11) – Dem from Staten Island running for Congress
    1. Currently runs a non-profit, NY Center for Interpersonal Development – also an English teacher, UFT member- bridge btwn students and educators
    2. Very affable J – his wife is sick and he is focused on healthcare – universal healthcare, fixing social security- securing his future
      1. Transportation – creating good middle class jobs – equal pay for all
    3. His daughter is paying off student loans – with a regular paycheck – fighting for her future
    4. Was in the Marines
    5. Contentious primary brewing in Staten Island – there are other democrats running but he will support the primary winner



  • Andrew Gounardes (NY Sen 22) – from Bay Ridge
    1. Running for State Senate vs. the hated Marty Golden
    2. NOT just running against Golden because he’s a bad guy
    3. Other issues: overcrowded schools; horrible subway service in South Brooklyn – no handicapped stations; immigrant communities are not represented (Arab, Latino etc)
    4. Thinks it is a winnable seat – only Republican State Senator from Brooklyn – still 8 seats down so we still need to beat 1 Republican, even if we defeat the IDC
    5. 2:1 democratic district – this is no longer a red part of Brooklyn
    6. He is a community organizer, General Council for Brooklyn Borough Pres
    7. He ran for this seat 5 years ago, right out of law school, and CBID supported him and he got 40% – and that was a scrappy new campaign
    8. Richard asks: is there any way to consolidate Dems in primary – talk to the other Dem running – but we should NOT waste money on a primary when the real race is against Golden
    9. Erica – will you take real estate or charter school money
      1. NO on charter school
      2. Only very local real estate / family friends
    10. Will NOT join IDC – will sign something? ** Maybe we should get him to – or anyone we endorse


  • Congresswoman Yvette Clarke – honoree from last year’s dinner
    1. Mourning last week’s shutdown – saying it was painful – not sure if she supported holding out or the deal to reopen Gov – did she support CR or not (?)
    2. Crisis after crisis – talks a lot about DACA
    3. She thinks we are going to have another shutdown
    4. Taxes and wealth gap – how to fund Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security
    5. The CR – Continuing Resolution – about DACA but about so much more
    6. 9th Congressional District is in the crosshairs if this Government
    7. She is calling herself “resistance central” – she is energized right now – especially about who is in charge of immigration reform (Kelley and Miller)
    8. Without the leverage of the shutdown – how are you going to get DACA passed? She did not really have the answer – but says that Republicans in the house DO support it they just don’t want to be
      1. Target is Paul Ryan – help his opponent in Wisconsin – he is more scared of the Freedom Caucus than his own reelection
    9. She is passing the buck to the senate and make them feel vulnerable – the real power is in the Senate


  • Report on County Committee from our District Leaders – Josh and Anne Swern
    1. Soliciting names for County Committee for ALL districts – email them!
    2. These are reps from 52nd district
    3. You are the grassroots / learn about the Dem Party – great way to learn how democratic party works and how politics work
    4. Last Night County Committee had a great forum on congestion prices
    5. Meets 2-3 times a year – NOT a huge time commitment
    6. New time -with NKD proposing reforms to Frank Seddio etc – EG you can give proxy to someone else like Josh, Joanne, Bobby


  • Lori– District Leader from 44th


  • Bobby Carroll
    1. Just came back from meeting about MTA
    2. Governor’s panel put out “We fix NYC” plan – does create a congestion zone or toll zone – not exactly
    3. Mta is an absolute crisis, needs billions of dollars to bring it to a state of good repair, only way to get there is a steady revenue stream – the 118,000 brooklynites who use the east river bridges every day, 2% considered low income, make sure those people in transit deserts are getting some relief. People driving into the manhattan is in the end a luxury good and will make the subways better.
    4. Update the signals similar to what they have in Paris and London we could run trains every 2-3 minutes, right now it is every 4-5 minutes, will help get elevators and escalators, and less carbon in the air.
    5. Pushing electoral reforms, gov has put 2 reforms in budget. 1) same day registration, 2) early voting. 44th and 41st in turnout – we have terrible election laws. No voter id laws, but we have every other bad law. Let Albany know these are issues that matter!
    6. State budget has some dire big numbers, 2 million cut in Medicaid, 4 billion budget deficit, reduced necessary federal funds into state, lowered taxes for wealthy. Additional payroll tax potentially to jigger this, such as charitable trusts, educational healthcare (usually paid through property tax).
    7. Muslim Ban – community activists from 44th with Congresswoman Clarke, right after it came into effect, put her money where her mouth is.
    8. Bobby says these reforms will only pass if they’re in the budget
    9. org – coalition across the state
    10. We have lots of other proposals for congestion laws that were not proposed on Friday – but we need to make sure that if we raise $$$ for MTA we hold them accountable … we need to make them spend money wisely


  • NY State Senator Kevin Parker
    1. Discussed the budget – MTA at top of priorities
    2. Problem with congestion pricing – he does not support it – not about congestion and will not fix MTA – he thinks comparisons to London are all false
    3. Problem is that taxes are not on cabs, trucks etc – this plan does not work
      1. We need to increase number of trains
      2. Another tunnel
  • Needs to tax people from Long Island and NJ
  1. Not sure if he is on the same side as Bobby on this congestion issues


  • Marty’s financial report
    1. 4 categories of expenditures
    2. We have about $30k in the bank
    3. for a while we have been a State PAC but only locally – we are working on opening a second account to establish a federal PAC
    4. *** We should put this online – have Marty email it to me


Club Elections:

** Ted Monnell made a challenge – that nominating committee was not convened constitutionally

  • Made a motion and was defeated


Nominees for Club Officers

Asher Novek – President
Joy Romanski – First Vice President
Eric Fields – Second Vice President
Erica Cohen – Corresponding Secretary
Melissa Turoff – Recording Secretary
Marty Bernstein – Treasurer

Nominees for Executive Committee
Chris Barron
Rich Bennett
Richard Bruce
Dan Campanelli
Mary Beth Carroll
Thomas Carroll
Marcia Kannry
Lucy Koteen
Cheryl Krauss
David Michaelson
Warren Miner
Alison Mingus
James Morgano
Alice Ott
Nathan Rubin
Jessica Selecky
Matt Shahabian
Louis Schwartz
Chris Stauffer
Hilary van Santen
Ben Theodore
Cheryl Wertz
Dan Wise
Peter Zessos


Nominations from the floor – Ted Monnell nominated himself; David M nominated Joel Galker

Slate for ExComm was elected – won

Read Asher’s statement

Slate of officers was elected – won