I have a question for you: Will Trump’s Presidency make a difference in the West Village? That’s the question that has been on my mind for the past few days.
Last month, I was elected President of the Village Independent Democrats (VID), a forerunner in the reform movement of New York. As President, I’ve been tasked with the question of what Trump will do to our community. I can’t say for certain yet, and neither can anyone else.
The answer I can definitively give is that we, the VID, intend to fight back against Donald Trump. But our fight against Trump is going to be impossible alone. We need people like you to become more involved.
The first step must be organizing people in our neighborhood, engaging people on the issues we care about, and connecting with other groups. It is important that we are all on the same page so we can be a unified front against Donald Trump.
We must start by fighting for the protection of Medicare, against privatization of Social Security, against the efforts to undo the progress of Obamacare, against the rollback of environmental laws that regulate coal, gas, and oil, and for the protection of vulnerable groups, including Blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, Women, and the LGBTQ community.
While we fight against Trump, we cannot forget issues that affect our lives on a daily basis. Rents in our neighborhood are astronomical. We do not have adequate health care coverage for the growing older adult population and we need a Level I Trauma Center in the Village.
We will organize against landlords who abuse New York State tax programs by advocating for better enforcement, and organizing tenants to sue for re-stabilization of illegally overcharged units. While not a complete solution, it is something that we, the VID, can do for our community.
This is urgent as we see the Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center preparing to downsize. As it unloads a huge residential portfolio, we must ensure that it goes through a public review process. More residential development will impact our communities and we should consider the data on other hospital closings. In emergencies, we need to have a closer option than Bellevue.
I am asking you to join the Village Independent Democrats. We meet the second Thursday of every month at 6:30pm at St. John’s Lutheran Church Annex at 83 Christopher Street. We can’t do this without you.