BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | The storied Village Independent Democrats political club held their 57th annual awards celebration at Tio Pepe restaurant, at 168 W. Fourth St., last Thursday evening.
Honorees included, above from left, with club president Tony Hoffmann, center, Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation; Kevin Finnegan, director of politics and legislation for 1199 SEIU United Hospital Workers East; Michael McKee, treasurer of Tenants Political Action Committee; and Kate Linker, a community organizer with Greater NYC for Change.
Berman, in his remarks, said he would keep being a watchdog of the powers that be that would wreck the Village, vowing to “hold their feet to the fire.”
McKee, for his part, said, as a defender of affordable housing, he’ll call out Republicans and Democrats alike — no one gets a pass. He then promptly slammed Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver for allowing rent-regulation protections to weaken “three times” during the past two decades.
Among the plentiful political mingling and schmoozing, club member and senior advocate Tom Connor spoke with Judge Tanya Kennedy, below right.
The guest speaker was John Strausbaugh, author of “The Village: 400 Years of Beats and Bohemians, Radicals and Rogues, a History of Greenwich Village.”
Political buttons from campaigns past were among the items in a silent auction. So was a copy of Strausbaugh’s comprehensive and gracefully written book, plus two loaves of delicious home-baked bread by former club president Jonathan Geballe.
Club members and their guests enjoyed Tio Pepe’s delicious Spanish fare, including a mammoth-sized mixed paella and some of the largest, eggy-est flan you’ll find anywhere.