Brooklyn Law School and via Zoom
President Ilyssa Meyer thanked members who have been petitioning and reminded the group that completed petitions must be turned in by March 24. That evening, the club will celebrate the end of the petitioning season at the Park Plaza Diner. In the meantime, there are several petitioning events being held; information on all of them is available on our IND website.
Prizes were awarded to the two members who have, to date, garnered the greatest number of petition signatures. These members were Art Levy (first place) and Hal Friedman (second place).
Judicial Candidate Rena Malik expressed her gratitude for the support that she has received from IND.
Speakers from RAPP (Release Aging People in Prison), (Jose Saldana and Anisah Sabur) described the mission of their organization, which is to end mass incarceration and promote racial justice through the release of aging people in prison and those serving long sentences. In particular, they are currently advocating and asking for support for two State bills that would change parole practices toward these ends.
A motion was made, seconded, and passed unanimously to draft a statement reflecting IND’s support of the two bills. The statement will be brought to the membership for a vote at the April meeting.
City Council Member Justin Brannan, who represents the 43 CD spoke about the potential challenges to his re-election in November and asked for IND’s support in the fall.
City Council Member, Lincoln Restler spoke about the Progressive Caucus’s decision to include a clause about reducing the size of the NYPD and the Department of Corrections in the new Progressive Caucus Statement of Principles. He explained the decision as part of an effort to create a stronger, more focused Progressive Caucus. Some members of IND questioned the decision on the basis of both policy and politics. City Council Member Shahana Hanif, who co-chairs the Progressive Caucus with Lincoln, joined the meeting on Zoom and reiterated the explanation provided by her colleague.
Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon gave a short report. Both the Senate and the Assembly had just passed their one-house budgets. Both budgets rejected the Governor’s call for an increase in public college tuition.