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
    • QUESTIONS ARE ON THE BACK OF THE BALLOT IN 7.7 FONT. TURN YOUR BALLOT OVER WHEN YOU VOTE
    • 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