Minutes for MPJC Meeting of January 11, 2011

Present: Peter, Ellyn, Glenda Rae, Bernie, Pam, Ron, Wanda, Galen, Lois (on speaker phone)

Old business

    1.  Approval of Minutes for December 14: The minutes were approved as corrected.

    2. Progress Reports

        a. Topic of the Month: Working with Occupy folks - Lois has contacted the Occupy folks by attending several of their meetings. She offered to let them share half of our table at MLK Day and they were very interested. She had not asked us at the last meeting but thought that she had. We all agreed that it was a fine idea to let them share the table, especially since Lois has provided most of the material in the past. The Occupy folks are preparing leaflets. We were not able to find the MPJC banner for awhile, but Rey found it after the meeting in their Oddessy. While we share the table with the Occupy folks, we will talk to them about doing a tax resistance workshop with them and also how to disburse the 3 War Tax Boycott scarves that national NWTRCC sent.

        b. Martin L King Day tabling: Lois described how her hopes of keeping the veterans room in the framework of MLK nonviolence to help convince vets who have been trained in violent responses and in keeping comrades alive to commit to nonviolence had not borne fruit but she has not given up trying to convince veterans to commit to nonviolence. Peter will bring the Cost of War brochure up to date and print 50 copies. Rey sent two sample brochures about veterans' thoughts on the war in Iraq. He said that the same points can be made about the war in Afghanistan. We asked him to look to see if both flyers were necessary, and make 50 copies of one or both of them. We have a lot of "Where do your tax dollars go" leaflets that we can bring. Ellyn, Pam and Ron will set up the table starting about 8:30. Wanda and Galen will arrive about 9:30. Peter will come after the noon march. Peter has downloaded MLK's Vietnam speech and can play it on his computer. The folks at the meeting thought the volume was loud enough without using an external speaker. Ellyn will bring the computer in the morning as well as the Bean Poll. She will get the banner from Rey at the Little Taste of Peace and bring it as well. Rey and Lois each have posters.

        c. Little Taste of Peace: Glenda Rae is swamped with last minute details. Wanda will help register people starting at 5:45 on Saturday. Although Wednesday was the deadline for signing up, they are letting people register right up to the event. The last time the event was held at the Mosque, there were 120 folks and many of the Mosque people who came had not registered. There will always be people who register and don't come and those who come without having registered. This year Glenda Rae hopes to streamline the check-in by taking food from people as they enter the building.

        d. Occupy Potluck and IUSB town hall meeting: The potluck was cancelled, much to the chagrin of Wanda and Galen who had traveled from North Liberty to attend. Lois recommended that folks check their website http://www.occupysouthbend.com. The town hall meeting was successful, with many good speakers including Lois. There were different opinions about the size of the crowd but more people could have benefited from attending.

3. Treasurer's Report: Our bank total is $172.13 with $8 in petty cash.

New Business

    1. What do we (can we) do next? We skipped over this as time was running out.

    2. Tax Day Plans: Tax Day is April 16th this year. Ellyn noted that 90% of the taxpayers are expected to file electronically this year. We wondered if we should do a noon leafletting and bean poll again this year but the consensus was that it would not be worth it. We thought about doing a tax resistance workshop at the library, but wondered if anyone would come. We decided to see if there was interest among the Occupy folks for such a workshop, and will sound them out at the MLK Day table. We have lots of time to decide on this, so left a decision to the next meeting.

    3. Topic of the Month: With the rising tensions re Iran, we decided to come up with an MPJC position on this topic. No one volunteered to get the ball rolling, however. We noted that the U.S. Navy is rescuing Iranian fishermen, and the fact that Somalis turned to piracy only after the U.S. and first world nations took out all the fish in the waters off the Somali coast. Also, people in other parts of the world are probably wondering why the U.S., which is bristling with nuclear weapons, is so concerned about Iran obtaining any.

    4. Other Topics and Issues: The unions still have busses going down to Indy to oppose the Right to Work for Less legislation. Donnelly was at the bus sendoff in Lakeville last Friday and supplied the travelers with water and snacks. Folks are pretty pessimistic about the chances of stopping this legislation.

Glenda Rae passed around a petition to support Senate bill 102 which eases restrictions on allowing ex-offenders convicted of a drug felony to get food stamps. Indiana is one of only 12 states which has not opted out of the federal ban on food stamps for drug felons. All other felons are eligible for food stamps. This policy has proved to backfire as folks who cannot get good food go back on drugs. The legislation under consideration would allow ex-offenders with drug felonies to get food stamps if they enter into a treatment program and have been drug-free for five years.

The annual ScreenPeace film showings will be held in Debartelo Hall Feb 2-4. You need to call for reservations but the tickets are free. See http://kroc.nd.edu/newsevents/events/2012/02/02/972 for more information.

    6. Next meeting: Wednesday, February 8 at 7pm. Place to be determined.