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V.I.D. vs. virus: Bernie-Biden showdown will go on

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Coronavirus fear may be gripping the city but for committed Village politicos, the show goes on.

David Siffert, president of the Village Independent Democrats, on Monday sent out an e-mail to club members with an update on Thursday’s March general meeting at which V.I.D. will endorse for president in the Democratic primary. The meeting will be held at the Westbeth Community Room, at 155 Bank St.

Siffert said he has been closely monitoring guidance regarding coronavirus from the Centers for Disease Control, the New York State Department of Health and the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

“At this time, they are not generally recommending canceling gatherings,” Siffert said. “We have therefore decided to go forward with the meeting this Thursday.  However, those who are sick or immunocompromised are advised to avoid large groups.”

Yet, Siffert said, the progressive club is taking precautions and will continue to monitor C.D.C. and state and city D.O.H. guidance on public gatherings and will cancel upcoming meetings if and when it is recommended.

“We will have hand sanitizer at the meeting this Thursday,” he added. “We will NOT serve food this Thursday. For those who do not feel safe attending the meeting, we will allow proxy voting!”

V.I.D.’ers will be able to submit proxy votes by e-mailing Siffert or recording secretary Kathy Slawinski, by leaving a voice mail on V.I.D.’s answering machine or by signing a proxy statement given to a member attending the meeting. A proxy vote may either be the member’s intended vote or a grant of his or her voting rights to a member of his or her choice. Proxies by e-mail or phone must be received by noon this Thursday.

V.I.D. is offering four options for president: Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard or No Endorsement.

Meanwhile, Siffert also said sidewalk petitioning — the process of gathering local voters’ signatures to put candidates on the ballot — will go on.

“Petitioning will continue unless the Department of Health tells us not to!” he said.

The club previously had considered endorsing in December but members voted to wait until after Super Tuesday to allow the crowded field to shake out.

Back then, Elizabeth Warren had the strongest show of support at V.I.D., winning 11 votes. Pete Buttigieg garnered five, Sanders got three, Amy Klobuchar took two, and former Mayor Mike Bloomberg got 1. Biden, tellingly, got zero. But the 24 No Endorsement votes topped the 22 for all the candidates combined.

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