January General Meeting Notes 2023


  1. City Council Endorsement
  2. Nominations for District Leader and Judicial Delegate
  3. Committee/Working Group Presentation

Four Freedoms President gives introductory remarks and welcomes the new members who are at their first meeting

  1. City Council Endorsement Vote

Keith Powers (CD4 incumbent):

Keith Powers asks for the club endorsements.  Four Freedoms was the first club to endorse Keith Powers and retells the story

Keith recounts his work on housing affordability/discrimination and his bills to deal with it

Keith talks about his bill to move the city fleet to electric vehicles

Keith talks about his bill to move composting forward

Question: Do you support the library cuts?

-Council (including Keith) is against the cuts and he thinks the council is going to succeed in avoiding them in the budget.  The budget is strained from the asylum crisis and the end of federal funding, but there are better ways

Also worried about 3K cuts

Question: Do you support LaSalle (Appeals Court Nominee) and Jay Jacobs (head of NYS Dem Party)?

No, he thinks the senate made the right choice on LaSalle.  No on Jay Jacobs, NY did a bad job in the recent elections and needs a change.  He is not at the meeting with Jay Jacobs tonight, but he is very concerned about the way our State Party is run.

Question: Are there going to be Education Cuts?

Doesn’t look there will be cuts.  Wants to make sure the whole education world (libraries, after school programs, etc…) are not cut as well.

Question: What have you done to support Small Businesses?

He has a bill to keep the signage fine moratorium.  Council removed a Tax on liquor licenses.  Repeal Commercial Rent Tax (If you are a business in Manhattan below 96th st you pay a percentage of your rent as a tax)

Question: Is there going to be a vote on your housing discrimination bill?

Yes, he thinks he has the support to pass it.  The bill “Fair Chance Housing Act” stops landlords from discriminating against tenants and strengthens the City finding out about discriminating landlords.

Question: What about the rat legislation about putting out trash later?

The city has a rat problem and it will help even if it won’t solve the problem.  Trash on the street for less time is good.  We are also working on containerization and other bigger solutions as well

Question: How do you see the new ULURP legislation effecting building?

Need a balance between member deference and combatting NIMBYism.  There is a need to address affordable housing projects and other important projects that don’t get done because of the long process.  The Council is reluctant to give up power since he is proud of the negotiations he has had with developers to win concessions, but they recognize that the current system for city-wide issues like homeless shelters too many times we are saying no.  Ideal is someone between there.

Julie Menin (Incumbent CD 5):

Ran on Universal Childcare.  Mayor signed 5 of her bills on universal child care making NYC the first city with universal childcare.

Many women pushed out of the workforce since child care costs 21,000 a year

1 stop shop bill passed by the council.  Consolidates all permits into 1 app/place.

Has a bill on creating the nations 1st healthcare accountability committee.  Make all hospitals post their prices.  By passing this bill we can drive down the cost of healthcare in nyc

Proud of her work on Rat mitigation.  100% eradication of tree burrows on 86th st.  Going block to block on rat issues since the approach was successful. 

Rooftop play space at PS190

Launched pilot program to provide free broadband in NYCHA.  Trying to spread it city-wide

Question: Why do we have to do another City Council Race?

Because of redistricting and the Census the Council has a two year term last election

Question: Are you in favor of keeping the retiree health benefits the same?

There was a bill on changing the retiree benefits for city workers, but the council took no action so it is dead.  She thinks her price transparency will save a similar amount of money without changing benefits

Question: Are you in Favor of LaSalle and Jay Jacobs?

LaSalle: The senate decided and it is dead

Jay Jacobs: We need to have a party chair who can win election

Pivoted to her achievements as census director (NY was #1 in the census largely b/c nyc overperformed under her)

Question: What is the Environmental protection committee going to do to make sure local law 97 will be effective and the money will go to resiliency projects

It is a law that requires buildings to be more energy efficient.  Too many buildings asking for carve outs or just paying penalties.  We need to do education and work on carve outs.  Maybe we can work with the club on education

Question: What is the best and worst thing the mayor has done?

Best: Universal Child Care.  It is the best thing to do both morally and financially since more people will be able to work. 

Worst: We need to work on the city employee vacancy issue.  We need to let people work remotely

Question: Can we simplify processes in city agency?

There is not so much that we can do.  Core city agencies are understaffed and NYC will suffer.  10% of the budget is on healthcare and that is skyrocketing.

Question: Work on the Right to Choice?

Working on 50th anniversary choice.  Office of Reproductive health is being started as well

Question: Do you support more transparency in PLP contracting?

I will recheck my correspondence on the issue.  Will also send Four Freedoms resolution on the issue

Question: Where in the district can we build new homes since the governor wants to build 800,000 more homes?

Wants to create the max amount of affordable housing.  No inclusionary zoning here.  Densest city council district , but very little affordable housing.  People will object to any height, but she needs four freedoms support to try and get affordable housing in the upcoming ULURPS

Question: The question was a statement

Vote on Endorsement

Since there are no declared opponents President Jerry Ferguson calls for a voice vote on the endorsement for Julie Menin and Keith Powers in their respective districts.  Seconded by Ben Akselrod

Passes unanimously by voice vote (1 abstention)

  1. Nominations for Judicial Delegate

Departing District Leader Ben Wetzler addressed the club about his time as a DL and promises he will stay involved.  He also explained new rules on electing party leadership (2 lines down)

District Leader Nominations:

New way of electing DLs.  Now it is the top 2 vote getters of different genders in each Part of Assembly District.  The idea is to allow people who are non-binary be able to run for gendered party positions like State Committee and District Leader.

Part A:

Ben Akselrod (nominated by Jordan Stein)

Todd Stein (nominated by Ariana Elezaj)

William Freeland (nominated by Jane Lindberg)

Rebecca Weintraub (nominated by Evan Preminger)

Part B:

Kim Moscaritolo (nominated by Ben Wetzler)

Gabe Panek (nominated by Frank Wilkinson)

Judicial Delegates:

Judicial delegates attend the judicial convention which selects State Supreme Court judges.  Nominations will remain open for 5 days.

Accepted nominations:

Sam Weinberger

Leonard Lubinsky

Rebecca Weintraub

Todd Stein

Jill Eisner

Chris Regan

Frank Wilkinson

Betsy Feist

Evan Preminger

Abbye Lawrence

Robert Weintraub

Brian Mangan

Madelene Piel

Rich O’Malley

Jaime Regan

Bob Jackman

Marlene Schneider

Nancy Lang

Roberta Ashskin

Billy Freeland

Chris Sosa

Richard pizer

Ru Sosa

Jane Lindberg

Ruth Halberg

Margaret Joyce

Francine Meyers

Betsy Tiffany

Ariana Elezaj

Catherine Liggett

John Wagner

Ben Akselrod

Joseph Stern

Dov Gibor

Betsy Waters

Arlene Kayatt

Kacie Lally

Amy Schwartz

Matthew Lombardi


Jordan Stein (declined)

Kim Moscaritolo (declined)

Debra Freeland (declined)

Gerald Ferguson (declined)           

Flor de Maria Eilets (declined)

Alexandra Dolce (declined)

  1. Working Group/Committee report

Education working group:

focuses on improving education on the UES and increase public school funding

next meeting is feb 1st on club zoom at 7.  Details in newsletter

Talk out against budget cuts

Talk about foundation aid (state was underfunding city schools so they are forced by court order to fund schools in the city properly)

Had multiple panels on issues like funding, mental health issues, arts education

New resolution coming up arts education funding

Working on civic education

Climate and environment working group:

Next meeting Jan 31 at 7 on zoom.  See

Working on air quality, access to green space, recycling/waste, reduce reliance on fossil fuels, mitigate climate change.  Work with city to prioritize climate change

Working on Local Law 97 (building efficiency)

Working with community board sanitation committee and league of conservation voters

Work with electeds on climate bills

Transportation working group:

New working group that is a combination of the biking and transportation working groups and our first project is on Lincoln Restetler’s bill on creating a way to fine illegally parked cars via 311.  Right now traffic is held up unreasonably by selfish drivers especially buses.  We are working on a resolution (and if it work on a panel) to highlight the bill and hopefully get it passed.

We also support public transportation and try to get more money to public transit and have the MTA spend that money better.  Also create a safer space for bicycling in the city

Tax Working Group:

Try to get a fairer tax system in NY (both state and city)

Worked with Senator Liz Kruger on coming up with new tax ideas

2 resolutions comings up

Senior working group:

Creating a senior working group.  Looking into what issues are seniors and worried about.  We want to be really advocating for what they want.  Create financial security

One of the ways to we are working is to go to the Lenox hill Senior Center and see what are the needs of our elder community

Rule of Law committee:

Educate about issues facing democracy both nationally and internationally.  Still important issues after the Trump administration on promoting Democracy

Next meeting is Thursday the 26th at 7 on zoom


Alex Bores addressed the club to close the meeting

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