Minutes for MPJC Meeting of March 5, 2008


Present: Peter, Ellyn, Paul, Kathy, Rey, Ed, Ron, Carol

Old business
    1.  Approval of Minutes for February 5: The minutes were approved.

    2. Progress Reports
        a. March Program for war protests: Tomorrow, March 6, there will be a sendoff for the folks going to the Christian Peace Witness in DC, at 6:15am at the Catholic Worker house on St. Joseph St. just south of the post office.

On Friday afternoon, 1-2:30pm, March 7, there is a prayer vigil in support of the peace witness at the First Presbytarian Church, 333 W. Colfax. Lois knows the time but was not able to make the meeting. We will post the time on the list when we find out.

On Thursday, 7pm, March 13, at Saint Mary's College, Bobbi Wren Banks will lead a "Faith Seeking Peace" workshop. Contact Sierra at scompo01@saintmarys.edu for more info.

On Friday, 11:45am, March 14, at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Banks will be a featured story teller at chapel. Call Ginny at 574-296-6210 for more info. At 6:30 that evening, WAND will host a potluck for Banks. Call Karen at 574-206-5753 for more info

On Saturday, 9am, March 15, Banks will present "The Great American Pie Chart: Our Money, Our Priorities," at a buffet breakfast at Pedlars Village. Contact Shari at skmellin@comcast.net for more info. From 1pm to 3pm that day at the Cristina Creek Country Club in Elkhart, WAND will host "Messages with Wings," a roundtable of women's groups for the purpose of networking. From 3-5pm at the South Bend main public library on Main St downtown, MPJC will conduct a workshop on redirecting your tax money from war to peace. Banks will present how to cut the Great American Pie at 4:30pm.

On Wednesday, March 19, (the 5th anniversary of the start of the war) MPJC and other organizations will hold a demonstration/rally/march near Morris Civic Auditorium starting at 6pm. David James will supply a sound system and we will ask lots of folks to speak - Mayor Luecke, Tim Rouse, Bob Warnack, Andre Stoner, Gladys Mohammed, Mike Griffin, Wes Liggett, as well as reps from the sponsoring organizations were all mentioned as possible speakers. We will have noisemakers, drums, singing, letters to sign to Donnelly and Bayh to stop suppporting the war - possibly these signatures could be collected at various sites, such as college campuses, throughout the week. At the end of the rally, some of us will march by Donnelly and Bayh's offices and tape the letters to the door. Kathy mentioned the need for CD by blocking St. Joe St. We decided to hold a non-violence training session on Saturday, March 15, from 1-3, site to be determined. We will ask Andre when he gets back from DC how the training was handled. Someone needs to make sure no event is being held at Morris that evening.

        b. Vigils at Donnelly's office: We decided to focus on the March 19th event this month and consider the march to his office a substitute for the vigil.

        c. War Tax Resistance Topic of the Month: Peter provided a list of FAQ from NWTRCC on why folks who work for peace decide not to do war tax resistance. He will include a link to this document from the issues page on the web site.

        d. IPJN report: Kathy was not able to return any phone calls from the folks down state so does not know what IPJN is planning re the spring conference.

         e. Our plan for the day after the 4,000th U.S. military casualty in Iraq is to gather at the Morris Civic Auditorium at 7pm with candles and flashlights - perhaps a drum beat if it isn't too cold - perhaps a reading of the Indiana war dead. We selected Kathy to make the call for when the vigil will occur. The count is at 3973 or so, now, so this event may come before the 5th anniversary. Kathy is trying to get lists of 20 names per sheet of Iraq war dead. We will tape them all together for this vigil to emphasize the enormity of the loss of life in Iraq. She will ask students to take responsibility for this printing.

      f. War Tax Resistance Workshop: See above for the plans for the March 15th workshop. We decided to focus on redirection to attract more people, but the only way to redirect tax dollars is to refuse to pay them to the IRS. Peter, Ellyn, and Glenda Rae will get together and plan the workshop.

       g. Stakeholder's meeting. We didn't hold this meeting and decided to contact the stakeholders directly. The folks involved with the Social Forum should definitely be contacted. We need to get lots of flyers all over town. Kathy will use the national design and include our local events. She will email it to Peter to put on the web.

     3. Treasurer's Report: We have $189.11 in checking and $10.01 in cash.

New Business

    1. April 15th events: Lois was not present so we decided to wait plans for this vigil until later.

    2. Ballot Access in Indiana: We first clarified the relationship between MPJC, the list serv and the Peace Ed Fund. MPJC has decided not to endorse any candidates for office, but we are not required to avoid political activity. Folks can contribute to the Peace Ed Fund which is a 501c3 organization and we can use the money to support educational activities of MPJC. MPJC itself is not a 501c3 organization. The list serv is independent of MPJC and anyone can propose anything for discussion as long as they do not "flame" other posters. Only topics discussed and agreed upon at regular MPJC meetings constitute the official stands and business of MPJC. Thus, we decided that the post asking folks to help with ballot access for Nader was perfectly appropriate on the list serv along with the responses that Nader was not worth supporting. We decided to take up the topic of the unfair restrictions for ballot access for third party candidates after the fall elections.

    3. Topic of the Month: Kathy raised the question of Indiana's voter ID law which unfairly penalizes seniors and those without vehicles. She believes that the Supreme Court will let the state law stand, restricting voting to those with government issued photo IDs. We decided to ask Donnelly and Bayh to pressure the DMV to provide a mobile van to travel to nursing homes, soup kitchens, homeless housing sites, various festivals, and process ID applicants who find it hard to get to the DMV office. We could prepare bookmarks outlining the requirement and process for getting the ID. Perhaps the unions would print them and we could ask the library to put one in each set of books checked out. We did not formerly choose this ID problem as the topic of the month, but Kathy will send out a post to the list.

    4. Other topics and issues: None were raised.

    5. Next meeting: Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 7pm at KJ's Main Cafe across Main Street from the downtown public library.