Minutes for MPJC Meeting of March 16, 2020

Present: Peter, Ellyn, Glenda Rae, Reynaldo, Wanda, Lorna, Lois (by phone).

Old business

    1.  Approval of Minutes for February 17: The minutes were approved as corrected.

    2. Progress Reports:

        a. Topic of the Month: We skipped over the topic of the month to expedite the meeting. We had spent some time catching up on our lives and pressing issues before officially starting the meeting. Wanda said how hard it was to mark the one year anniversary of Galen's death last week and was glad to have her daughter Lorna with her. Lois encouraged us all not to lose sight of the spiritual side of things as we go through these hard times. We tried to keep social distance as we sat around the table. Most of our volunteer activities have been canceled, so we are not getting out much except to shop and walk.

        b. Book of the Month report: Lois is reading "Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels" by Jon Meacham which talks about the current climate of partisan conflict and how it is not new. Wanda is about to read "American Dirt" by Jeanine Cummins, a novel about a Mexican bookseller who has to escape cartel-related violence with her son, fleeing to the US. Lorna had read the book and mentioned that the author had married an undocumented immigrant.

       c. Immigration Coalition Report: Wanda attended the last meeting on March 11. It was very sparsely attended and Joe was there but he had not yet found anyone to take his place. He had met with Mayor Mueller who wanted to meet with the group.

       d. Tax Day and Earth Day Events: We will start today holding signs about military use of our tax dollars. Peter will get the signs to Glenda Rae on this topic. The Earth day joint celebration with the Audubon Society on Saturday, April 25 at St. Pat's park has been canceled. We do not yet know the status of the celebration on Wednesday, April 22 at 5:30 pm in Leeper park by the fountain. Diana is planning a celebration in late June with music and booths when the weather is sure to be better.

3. Treasurer's Report: $118.50 with $20 in petty cash.

New Business

    1. What do we (can we) do next? We incorporated this topic into other discussion

    2. Topic of the Month: We skipped over this topic.

    3. Memorial Day Parade: This will be held on Monday, May 25. We do not know whether it will be cancelled because of coronavirus. The planning meetings have been cancelled so far. Lois did not receive an application this year. They are probably available online. Peter was reluctant to participate this year. It was a lot of work. Last year Reynaldo had to rent a truck and supervise its decoration. He agreed with Peter and said we should only plan to walk without the truck if we participate at all. We will see what things are like at our April meeting.

    4. Updating our social media profile: Reynaldo was unable to contact Ken Riemann. He will keep trying. He is able to post to our facebook page but needs someone to help provide photos to use.

    5. Other Topics and Issues: Ellyn mentioned that Memorial Hospital has set up a command center to deal with the corona virus. They are postponing elective surgeries. The citizenship classes have been shut down as has the VITA program. La Casa is operating at a minimal face to face schedule. The fatality rates are 15% for those over 80 which means an 85% recovery rate. Overall the recovery rate is above 95%.

Reynaldo mentioned an immigration forum he is involved in planning. There will be small group discussions, much like the study circles, with immigrants from 6 parts of the world: Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. The goal is to gain an appreciation of the lived experience of others and thus be enlightened about our world neighbors who choose to become our community neighbors.

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    4. Next meeting: Monday, April 20, at 2:30pm. We are going to try to hold the meeting via Zoom. Ellyn will test the Zoom link before the meeting. Since the limit for a free license is 45 minutes of meeting time, we will pay for a one month extended license, making sure we cancel it before the month is up.