October 2018 General Meeting Notes

CBID October 2018 Meeting Notes 

Agenda

  • WHARR (Women’s Health and Reproductive Rights)
  • Discussion of ballot propositions
    • The 2018 NYC Charter Revision Commission is putting three proposals on the November 6th ballot that would amend the City Charter (NYC’s constitution) to give New Yorkers a stronger voice.
  • Overview of GOTV plans
  • Endorsements
    NYS Attorney General
    Letitia James
    No Endorsement

    46th Assembly District
    Mathylde Frontus
    No Endorsement

    11th Senate District
    John Liu
    No Endorsement

Club Business:

  • Election night watch party at the Bell House
  • About ExComm discussions about communications and transparency
    • Any time the club communicates out through the list serv
    • Public stance will be approved by Excomm
  • Vote on spending condolence funds – approved
  • GOTV – everyone pick something to do! We handed out a schedule – from cbidems.org

WHARR (Women’s Health and Reproductive Rights): 3 people reporting

  • Only 2 years old! One of the biggest issues was raising awareness for Women’s Reproductive Health Act
  • CPCs – Crisis Prevention Clinics aka “fake clinics”: don’t have medical providers on staff, lie about age of fetus and deter women (often from underserved communities)
    • 96 CPCs in New York State
    • Nationwide – outnumber REAL clinics 4:1
  • Very little legislation to – in NY State only in NYC – local law 17
    • Very little enforcing of local law 17
    • Pro-life groups are well-funded, litigious, and claim free speech
    • WHARR is going to fight for statewide legislation
    • Calling 311 if there is a CPC or no medical person on staff
  • RHI and Menstrual Equity Movements – good news! 2017 was the year of the tampon!
    • 2016 – 17 struck down “tampon tax” / pink tax
    • Free tampons, pads etc – for public schools and prisons
    • NYC became first city to guarantee access – good legislation but need more action to be put into place
  • RHA = Reproductive Health Act
  • CCCA – Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act
    • We can do this if we swing 2 more seats in the Senate – because of bad Senate majority leader Jeff Flanagan
    • Make sure New York is a safe haven – closes all loopholes to ensure all women have birth control that women say they need
  • State Legislation – Maternal Mortality Review board
    • Senate level review board on maternal mortality – passed recently
      • Racial divide – WOC are much more confidentiality
    • Senate has a bill that does not ensure confidentiality
  • Federal Legislation: Gillibrand has 2 acts on maternal mortality
    • MOMS Act
    • Maternal Care Act

Mayoral Charter – 3 Ballot Propositions:
What did people want to change about the city Charter? Results of long conversations with the public
Lori Davidson: what are these propositions?

  1. Campaign Finance Reform
    1. Sense that there is too much big money in politics
    2. Reduces the amount an individual can contribute to a candidate
  1. Prop reduces from 5k to 2k
    1. To make up for fundraising – can apply for public matching money
  1. Raises from 6:1 to 8:1
  2. Raises amount that can be matched from 175 – 250
  • Make smaller donors count for more & help campaigns based on small donation
  1. Help money from matching arrive earlier – not so close to primary
  1. Civic Engagement Commission
    1. How can we get more people involved in our communities
    2. Structure of Commission
  1. 15 appointees – 8 by Mayor, 1 by each Borough president, 1 by speaker
  2. Seek out appointees from diverse backgrounds – POC
  • Appointees are not paid and have term limits of 4 year
  1. Will they have power to disperse funds? – She is not sure, but would be part of budget discussion
    1. Commission must address:
  1. More foreign languages/ translations available at polling sites – only 4 languages available in certain places (eg. Bengali but only in Queens)
    1. Mayor’s office of immigrant affairs already had a small pilot program with Russian and Haitian Creole – v successful
    2. BOE will not cooperate or fund – would have to be state or federally mandated
  2. Expanding participatory budgeting
    1. People can participate in PB regardless of immigrant status
  • Coordinating different groups on civic engagement – Gov, non-gov, non-profit – how can we all work together?
  1. Community Boards
    1. A lot of public comment and concern – about being more diverse, about how to get on the community board, about who is on the board / criteria
    2. Term limits on community board member – 4 two-year terms (8 total)
  1. Would be staggered and moving forward
    1. Standardize application process city-wide
    2. Have board be representative of communities
    3. Borough Presidents have to show who is on the boards – some demands on transparency on who is on them, how and why
  1. Some protection of community board members – why they are not reappointed etc
    1. Giving expertise to boards so they can make better decisions on imp zoning and city planning issues
  1. Have some foreign language interpretation
  2. More open to immigrants
  • Giving the some resources

 

Debate: Pros & Cons
Chris (last name ?) – the Cons, the Challenges, the reasons not to vote

  • He is a founder of Committee: Vote No on Two & Three
    • He sits on Manhattan Community Board 4 – but here as a private person
    • Hells Kitchen Zoning Communities
  • Term limits on board members will take away institutional knowledge
  • Politicizing volunteers and will make communities vulnerable – eg. Hudson Yards Project and change in land use is because Bloomberg lost Olympics bid
    • Fighting successfully because of institutional knowledge
    • Chris is arguing we can’t lose individuals who have tons of experience
  • Diversity – this is a mandate is by borough president who is elected by us
    • the only borough president for 3 was Eric Adams
    • inadvertently opening up communities to big money, big real estate, gentrification
  • He is arguing that we have the power and should use our elected officials:
    • Councilmembers, borough presidents
    • NOT an exclusive commission that has total power
  • He is arguing this will all give mayor more power
  • Civic Engagement Committee sounds nice but we don’t need it – it is just a power grab by the Mayor – to get 8 more appointees
    • Small laws could have changed this – we should NOT be changing our constitution
    • This is being done hastily – without educating the public
  • Big Take-away: This is a power grab by the mayor
  • Mayor should NOT have control over information from or about Community Boards – this is the basis of their
    • This is NOT progressive – this would not be “progressive” under Bloomberg
  • The Progressive Caucus should be doing this
  • We should be holding our borough president accountable for having community board be diverse
  • We should be holding our city council members accountable NOT change our constitution

Pros: Brad Lander – our City Council Member

  • Brad is admitting this was done hastily and without enough public participation – meetings were not well advertised etc
  • Basic Question: does this increase democracy? He says YES
  • This helps encourage civic engagement – like PB
  • Civic Engagement Board – should it NOT have a full mayoral majority (8 appointees) but this is still much more democratic than any
    • They will increase PB
    • Brad does not see any downsides
    • Obligated to provide the resources – Community Boards are NOT obligated to take the funds or advice
    • [This seems like a big issue we need to clarify – Brad says READ IT] *The CEC would be required to provide information and resources to the Community Boards, it’s still always up to the members of the CB to decide if and how to use them
  • Term limits add diversity – the City Council now has term limits and Brad can’t run but this is because of term limits that have brought in new voices
  • YES something is lost – but more has been gained – this is how democracy works, how information is passed on, how leaders emerge
  • Brad does NOT think CBs will be weakened by these measures but actually strengthened
  • Lucy has concerns about this increasing number of mayoral appointees
    • Brad says if we vote NO there will be ONLY mayoral appointees, once Mayor-controlled Civil Engagement – this is better than nothing or JUST the mayor doing it all himself – there will be more oversight and more diversity

Can’t City Council – in its Charter Revision – do this better?
Brad says – it’s doing other things, NOT this.  If this loses, it won’t be put up again by another Commission

 

 

Endorsements:

Results: All Endorsed

NYS Attorney General: Tish James – sent someone who spoke to her record

  • We need a strong AG to take on Trump – eg protect Trans communities at state level just like we fought against Muslim Ban
  • Democrats need to unite and come together after the primary
  • She will follow corruption – Morgan Act – even if it’s vs Cuomo – she will sue Cuomo
  • She has sued the mayor and governor before
  • The Republicans are coming for this seat – to take away our backstop against Trump

Mathylde Frontus – sent a letter that Asher wrote – 46th Assembly District
We endorsed before, we need to endorse again – she is running against a strong Democratic candidate

John Liu – sent a letter / note – asking for endorsement 11th Senate District

Rich Bennett is hosting daytime text-banking and phone-banking too

Announcement – Delgado (Dems) vs Fasso (Trump supporter)

Excomm is Tuesday

Nov 15th next meeting