(5/20/07) The Village Reform Democratic Club (“VRDC”) commemorates its 24th Anniversary

NEW YORK’S GREENWICH VILLAGE, NY, May 20, 2007 – The Village Reform Democratic Club (“VRDC”), a longstanding organizer of community activism and a fixture of the downtown political scene, today celebrated its 24th Anniversary by honoring MTV News Correspondent Gideon Yago, Drinking Liberally co-founder Justin Krebs, Stonewall Democratic Club and VRDC Co-Founder Steve Ashkinazy, and VRDC Lifetime Achievement recipient Rita Reznik.
Honorary Brunch Chair Council Member Alan J. Gerson and Guest Speaker Representative Anthony D. Weiner were joined by Representative Jerrold Nadler in formally congratulating the honorees and the VRDC on their achievements in the community.

An unusually high turnout of community activists, elected officials, Democratic Party dignitaries, and club officers from across the City socialized and celebrated at Frank’s Restaurant in the Meatpacking District. Familiar faces from the downtown political scene were joined by a number of young professionals, some of whom claimed to be attending their first local Democratic club event.

“The band is a nice touch,” laughed Evan Hutchison, a new face at the VRDC and the subject of a recent political documentary, So Goes the Nation, about his activities in the field in Ohio during 2004. “In all seriousness, I love hearing about what folks like Steve [Ashkinazy] and Rita [Reznik] have done over the years for their neighbors and contrasting that with what Justin [Krebs] and Gideon [Yago] are doing to bridge today’s youth social culture with politics on a national level.”

As Guest Speaker, Representative Anthony D. Weiner, who decided to forgo using the podium and microphone in exchange for a more personable position standing on a chair from within the crowd, took the opportunity to discuss the growing issues of middle class New Yorkers, Democrats reclaiming the title of 'patriots', ending the war in Iraq, and the importance of civic engagement in political clubs like the VRDC.

Representative Nadler acknowledged the role VRDC played at the County Committee special session that elected him to fill the vacancy created by the death of the incumbent, Ted Weiss , while Council Member Alan Gerson reviewed a number of community issues he has worked to resolved together with the Club’s membership.

Other notable contributors to the program were Lew Todd, a VRDC Co-Founder and familiar activist, who presented Steve Ashkinazy with his award, while Dorothy Harris, last year’s VRDC Lifetime Achievement recipient, presented Rita Reznik with hers.

VRDC President Noah Yago thanked the Club’s supporters, encouraged future activism, and mentioned work the Club was currently involved with relating to the Children’s Liberation Day Care Center and its struggle to maintain its space on Ninth St. and First Ave.

Although Arthur Schwartz, State Democratic Committeeman for the 66th AD and VRDC member was not in attendance due to family obligations, he asked that this message be circulated to the VRDC supporters in attendance.

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