Minutes for MPJC Meeting of February 3, 2009


Present: Peter, Pam, Ron, Glenda Rae, Rey

Old business
    1.  Approval of Minutes for January 13: The minutes were approved.

    2. Progress Reports
        a. Postcards to Obama re Department of Peace: We asked folks to fill out the postcards at our MLK day table and also at the inaugeration day get together at the West Side Democratic Club. In addition to the six that Ellyn mailed from our last meeting, Ron mailed 25 from the two events mentioned above. We had good response at the MLK day table. We have not heard back from Obama as of yet.

        b. IPJN report: No one present had any information on IJPN.

        c. Youth Violence as a public health crisis: Lois was unable to make the meeting so we did not discuss this topic.

        d. Meeting with Donnelly: Ellyn and Peter met with Donnelly at his Congressman on the corner event at Martin's on Western Ave. Ellyn had prepared a letter asking him to sponsor an event where young people could meet with representatives of the Peace Corps, Americorps, and other groups working with the poor in the US and other countries. We got an email back from Hodge promising us a response, but so far nothing. Folks suggested getting Roger Parent involved in this effort since he had extensive Peace Corps experience, particularly in Haiti. Ellyn will follow up.

        e. MLK day table: Lois did a great job organizing and staffing the table with help from Ellyn, Pam, and Ron. We had two interactive activities in addition to lots of good pictures and literature. We mentioned the post cards above. In addition, folks could register their budget priorities by placing 15 black beans in six bottles representing Jobs, Agriculture/Security, Environment/housing, Military, Education, Health Care, Mass Transport/roads. The military bottle received a much smaller quantity of beans. See the picture on the mpjc website.

     3. Treasurer's Report: Glenda Rae reported that we had $ 202.95 in the bank and $1.76 in petty cash.

New Business

    1. What do we (can we) do next? Iran supposedly launched a satellite today. The last report of a rocket launch was proven incorrect. We hope that President Obama continues with his push for diplomacy with Iran. He plans to double the number of troops in Afghanistan. We need to continue our opposition to this plan. The military contractors in Afghanistan are fouling up just like they did in Iraq. We had no news of demonstrations on the March anniversary of the war. (After the meeting we discovered that ANSWER is calling for a large demonstration in DC on March 21, and UFPJ is calling for local demonstrations.) We will wait until the March meeting to decide on MPJC participation beyond our vigil on Saturday, March 21.

    2. Procedure for putting links on the website: Caroline had asked to have some links in favor of universal health care put up on the MPJC website and Peter put them up under Links. Rey had questioned whether or not we needed a policy about how to approve such requests. We decided that Peter would make sure that the link was in conjunction with our policies, and send a message to the listserv whenever he put up a link. If he received any negative feedback, he would put the issue on the agenda for the next MPJC meeting.

    3. April 15 protest: This is our annual Tax Day leafletting and vigil. We will ask Lois to spearhead the effort this year with help from Pam and Ron. Peter will be out of town, but will make sure there are enough leaflets. April 15 is the Wednesday after Easter.

    4. Topic of the Month: We are still working on the environmental issue. Peter will try to develop a list of actions people can do to preserve the environment. (e.g., drive less, turn down thermostats, use alternative transportation.)

    5. Other Topics and Issues: On February 12,13,14 ND is sponsoring "The Changing Faces of War." You have to call 631-2800 to request free tickets. David Cortright is one of the speakers.

The St. Margaret's House walk is on Sunday, Feb. 22. See www.stmargaretshouse.org for more information. Michiana Monologues will play at IUSB on February 12-14. See michianamonologues.org. Homeward Bound Walk will be Saturday, May 9. Stepoff at 9:00am.

    6. The meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:10pm.

    7. Next meeting: The next meeting will be at Pam and Ron's on Wednessday, March 18, at 7pm.