Present: Peter, Ellyn, Glenda Rae, Lois, Nevin. We all mourn the passing of our ever faithful MPJCer Galen. He will be long remembered.
1. Approval of Minutes for December 17: The minutes were approved as corrected. Lois asked to change her contribution to the Book of the Month report to indicate that she had paged through the book but had not read it.
2. Progress Reports:
a. Topic of the Month: We did not pick a topic this month. We talked about draft registration. A Texas court has ruled the male-only draft registration unconstitutional since combat roles are now open to women. There is a Congressional Commission,named National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service (NCMNPS), studying this problem and they are to produce a report in March, 2020. Lois wanted us to develop a position paper on draft registration. We already have a 2005 position paper on reinstatement of the draft. It reads as follows:
MPJC Position on the Draft
The Michiana Peace and Justice Coalition is opposed to the military draft and supports the right of each person to follow his or her conscience in the event of war.
Furthermore, we are opposed to the economic or "back-door" draft that is currently in place. As funding for schools and universities decline, and unemployment rises--especially in communities of color-- military service is one of the only ways of securing a decent job or funding for higher education. We support the expansion of real job and educational opportunities for young people, including lowering the costs of higher education, expansion of scholarship programs, and job creation which will give them real non-military options.
At the same time, the coalition believes that there would be significant disincentives for going to war if a broad-based, gender-neutral, "auto-onset" draft were instituted, one which would be activated any time Congress authorized military aggression (as opposed to defense from attack). Such a draft would assure that politicians would think more seriously about the consequences of military aggression and the advantages of resolving conflict through diplomatic and legal means, and many more citizens would be motivated to consider the true impact of a decision to go to war and to express their opposition to such a decision.
b. Little Taste of Peace, Jan 19 6pm: Lots of people said the discussion was great. The attendance was down greatly - the smallest LTOP ever - 70. The weather was not great. Glenda Rae was still able to start 3 study circles, about the same as in past years.
c. MLK Day Table: Lois had a table next to ours that focused on scholarships. She and Ellyn set up the tables. The bean poll was very popular, but participation was down from previous years. We gave out a lot of flyers about Cost of War and Where the tax money goes. Wanda and Galen staffed the table during the march and Peter worked until closing. Lois mentioned her story about a little African American boy who pulled out a tightly folded dollat and dropped it in the scholarship jar after she had explained the purpose of the jar.
d. Book of the Month report: Ellyn is reading Michele Singletary's book where she describes payday loans. Several of us attended her lecture at the library.
e. Immigration Coalition Report: The coalition is set to meet on Wednesday, March 13th. Joe Carbone seems to be staying in South Bend and not moving to Michigan and is still acting as coordinator.
3. Treasurer's Report: $104.52 with $30 in petty cash. Bernie donated $20 to the cause.
1. What do we (can we) do next? We incorporated this topic into other discussion
2. Topic of the Month: See above.
3. Tax Day Vigil: We will dedicate our Monday Vigil on April 15 to holding signs about taxes.
4. Other Topics and Issues: Lunafest will be held on April 13th from 1 to 4 in Madeleva Hall on Saint Mary's campus.
The facilitator training for LTOP and Study Circles will be held on April 24th at Saint Mary's college.
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5. Next meeting: Monday, April 15, at 2:30pm at Lois' assisted living center. We will send the directions in the meeting announcement.