Political Clubs in the Crazed COVID Days

13 Apr 2020 | 03:08

Four Freedoms Zooms in on the future - Virtual meeting places are the current go-to and are appealing and useful in these days of social distancing. Even before there was COVID-19 and a quaratine, the UES's Four Freedoms Democratic Club's Technology Committee - Alex Bores, Jerry Ferguson, Ben Wetzler and Jeremy Berman - was exploring ways to add a virtual element for meeting attendance so those who, for health or other reasons, might not be able to attend an in-person meeting. Once the quarantine became clear, the club's board voted to authorize the technology committee to come up with a solution and make recommendations. Zoom was selected over Skype, WebEx, and other options. Alex scheduled sessions to help people log on for the first time. And so the first virtual monthly club meeting was born. Representatives Carolyn Maloney and Rebecca Seawright were there, as was Dr. Dana Manzo from Mt. Sinai Hospital who addressed public health matters. Despite the short notice, 83 people joined the video and 218 watched it on Facebook.

Today's political clubs are an important social outlet for members for purposes of advocacy, getting out the vote, influencing public policy, and building more responsive political parties, so virtual meetings are the future - and are very now, too.

GOP in COVID times - The Manhattan Republican Committee, through its Liberty Club, held a half hour online conversation in April with economist Stephen Moore to discuss the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus on the American economy. There was a 15-minute presentation by Moore followed by a Q&A from membership. So far, none of the GOP clubs have done virtual meetings. Manhattan GOP Vice Chair Alli Nigolian said that committees will continue to hold online meetings and have speakers online to stay connected.

Same old, same old - You know times are bad when you're happy to see things you'd rather not see. Brings you back to the old normal. Like those Trump 2020 stickers on parking meter kiosks midblock on Third Ave where Target stands at the corner. If there was no COVID, NYC's mayor undoubtedly would keep overnight parking until after the November election. Why not - in that way nobody would be moving their car. And with everyone staying home or social distancing, nobody would see the stickers. And if you're out walking and happen to see the stickers, you might giggle. A good giggle would be a good thing.

Nice, Not Nice - Third Ave Garden grocery/bodega on 91st and Third has got a big sign on the awning outside its shop saying that they're giving out free hand sanitizers to customers. Nice. Very nice. On the same side of the street, on 89th and Third, Milano Gourmet has added a charge for credit card use. Not nice. Very very not nice.

Skip sippy cups - Dunkin' has to get with the COVID times and add new coffee tops to their stock. Sippy cups don't work when you're carrying hot coffee in a bag. Doesn't matter if it's paper or plastic. And you can't always - or don't want to - carry the coffee in an egg crate which may be okay if you're walking and not taking the bus or train. Let's make an un-zippy cup the go-to for take-out, at least for now.

If that's you, United Health ... Stop those calls that reach me on my cell and want to know if it's me, only me. And I want to know why you're calling before I tell. Well, United Health, if you can speak only to me, then write or email, don't call and annoy. Or I'll tell HIPAA on you.