V.I.D. fetes Johnson, blue change-makers

Corey poses with singers from Sing Out Louise that sing satiric original progressive songs with one especially tailored to Corey.
Corey poses with singers from Sing Out Louise that sing satiric original progressive songs with one especially tailored to Corey.

BY TEQUILA MINSKY | The Village Independent Democrats recently held their 62nd awards reception, aptly titled, Blue New York, to celebrate a blue state government, voted in during the last election.

Returning to Tio Pepe, the W. Fourth St. Spanish restaurant, the annual event recognized outstanding individuals and organizations noted for advancing the progressive agenda.

Sing Out Louise, a gaggle of singers who perform original songs with progressive lyrics at rallies and marches, energetically entertained at the V.I.D. awards reception. (Photo by Tequila Minsky)

With a blue majority in the state Legislature, as well as in Congress, the mood was much more upbeat than last year. As usual, the evening offered opportunities to schmooze with local politicians.

Leading the program off in the liveliest of fashions, Sing Out Louise, the resistance chorus with a credo of “Get out there and make your voices heard,” distributed its original satiric progressive lyrics and got the crowd singing. Upon City Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s arrival, he was serenaded with a song tailor-made for him.

No IDC NY received an award for exposing “fake Democrats” and allowing New York State to realize its progressive potential. Accepting the award from V.I.D. President David Siffert, right, is Gus Christensen, center. (Photo by Tequila Minsky)

Johnson received the V.I.D. Outstanding Leadership Award. He currently represents the Village, Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen in the Council. When he was just 29, he won the chairpersonship of Community Board 4. Johnson has a reputation as a tenacious advocate for his constituents and as a prolific sponsor of legislation in the Council.

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who represents District 3 in the City Council, received the Outstanding Leadership Award from V.I.D. (Photo by Tequila Minsky)

Another award recipient, the grassroots progressive organization No IDC NY, spearheaded the successful 2018 effort to replace six out of eight of the Independent Democratic Conference a.k.a. I.D.C. members; the incumbent “fake Democrat” senators aligned themselves with Republicans. No IDC NY works to ensure that progressive lawmakers are elected and progressive legislation passed.

For building a grassroots progressive coalition so strong it helped change the state Senate’s political majority, True Blue NY founding members received a V.I.D. award, above, from left, Judith Hertzberg, Susan Martin, Lisa DellAquila and Mia Perlman, with club president David Siffert. (Photo by Tequila Minsky)

True Blue NY — and the four founding women who had no previous political experience who accepted the award — was also recognized. The organization’s first task was to defeat the I.D.C. and Simcha Felder to flip the state Senate blue. They built a coalition of more than 60 diverse, grassroots groups, Democratic clubs and issue-driven organizations.

For a lifetime of progressive activism in Greenwich Village and “an enduring legacy of environmental concerns that know no bounds,” Frieda Bradlow received the V.I.D. Visionary Award. (Photo by Tequila Minsky)

A club stalwart for nearly 40 years and a longtime Villager who has held various V.I.D. offices, Frieda Bradlow received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Bradlow was a social worker, environmentalist, community activist and campaign director for longtime Councilmember Miriam Friedlander. She was a founding member of Downtown Independent Democrats but redistricting changed her territory. This award recognizes her perseverance, dedication and compassionate leadership.

In a changing of the guard, Jen Hoppe, left, is the Village’s new female district leader, tasked with filling the very big shoes of Keen Berger, right, who held the post for 14 years. (Photo by Tequila Minsky)

The Village’s new female district leader, Jen Hoppe, was introduced to the crowd. After some 14 years, Keen Berger said she would not run again as district leader. Four women showed interest in the unsalaried party position.

After endorsements and a club election, Hoppe prevailed in a close race.
Showing up during the dinner part of the event, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer arrived and, always welcome, was applauded upon arrival.

Borough President Gale Brewer, right, greeted the youngest member of V.I.D., Reagon Fitzgerald. (Photo by Tequila Minsky)

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