Minutes for MPJC Meeting of April 4, 2013

Present: Peter, Ellyn, Glenda Rae, Jenny, Wanda, Galen, Lois (by phone)

Old business

    1.  Approval of Minutes for February 10: The minutes were approved as corrected.

    2. Progress Reports

        a. Topic of the Month: Gun Violence- Peter could not find a copy of Kathy's petition before going to Nicaragua, and did not post anything to get started on a position paper on gun control. Lois had talked to Mae Lee at the Tribune when the latter asked for stories of local interest. The Tribune printed the picture of the boy looking at the magazine with guns that Lois had submitted for the photo contest at the library, but blurred his face. There were only two letters to the editor about the story, both of them pro-gun, but Mae Lee's email box overflowed. She said there were a few negative responses, but many positive ones as well.

        b. Tax Day Plans: Tax Day is Monday, April 15, except in Massachusetts where April 15 is the celebration of Patriot's Day, so taxes are due on the 16th instead. Rey had heard about an event planned by another group locally on that day, but he was not able to make the meeting. He will let us know by email what and when it will occur. We decided to support that event and bring our leaflets from the War Resisters League to hand out. If no local event occurs, we will leaflet at noon on the corners of Jefferson and M9ichigan and carry sandwich boards as we did last year. Lois will get permission from DTSB if such is needed.

        c. Petitions to Donnelly's Office: A group of six folks selected by Kathy, including Rey and Lois, met with Donnelly's representative, Meredith, on Good Friday and gave her petitions with more than 300 signatures. A number of folks, including Wanda and Galen, gathered outside the office to ask the Senator to support efforts to end gun violence. Rey spoke about the role of the 2nd Amendment. Meredith promised to pass our concerns to Donnelly, but had not done so as of Monday, Dingus Day, when Kathy asked him about his response. There was good publicity by the Tribune and WSBT, although it is discouraging when some in the media say that gun control legislation isn't going anywhere.

    3. Treasurer's Report: Our bank total is now $121.04 with $5.16 in petty cash. We decided to pay our dues to St. Joe Valley Project. Glenda Rae will write a check for $50 and send it to Joe Carbone.

New Business

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

    2. Memorial Day Plans: Lois did not receive a letter inviting us to participate in the West Side parade and noticed the organizing meeting announcement too late to attend. Only those who attend the meeting are allowed to participate. We decided to wait until next year, though most felt that it was worthwhile participating in this parade.

    3. Topic of the Month: We decided to talk about immigration reform. We already have a position paper on this topic, but it may be time to revise it. Look on the website for the wording. Peter will post a link on the listserv. There will be a Round Table at the Civil Rights Heritage Center on West Washington on March 28 concerning this topic. Joe Carbone and Tony Flora are organizing it. It is good that the Chamber of Commerce and Organized Labor have agreed on a joint statement on reforming our immigration policy.

    4. Other Topics and Issues: John Goodson said that Occupy Michiana is going to have an Occupy Peace event in Elkhart on July 6. MPJC has been invited to table at this event.

There will be an Equal Pay Day rally on the steps of the County Court House on Main St on April 9 at noon. The attendees are asked to wear red.

We noted that today is the 45th anniversary of the assassination of Rev Martin Luther King, Jr.

There will be a speaker at the Eck Center on Notre Dame campus on Tuesday, April 8, 7pm, to discuss the problems facing ex-felons. All are welcome.

There was a press conference last Wednesday, April 3, at 11:00am outside Donnelly's office, to put pressure on him and other legislators to ensure we get meaningful gun control legislation. Lois brought a poster with a little girl who had accidently shot herself to death, and the words: "Her father successfully hid his gun from her for four years." The Tribune picked up this quote and did a good story on the rally. Lois asked us to send individual emails or letters to Donnelly, Coats, and Walorski, and we agreed to do so. Ellyn will send out a list with direct links to the email addresses of our senators and representatives. She will also correct the contact information on the webpage which had grown sadly out of date. She will draft a letter to Mayor Buttegieg thanking him for appearing in a recent gun control ad and for his efforts with Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Lois will send her talking points. We also need to contact our State Senator and Representatives to ask them to prevent guns from being mandated in schools.

Wanda read a story about a young man from Bangladesh who had been shot during the aftermath of 9/11. Two other middle eastern men had been murdered by his attacker. He had forgiven his attacker and tried without success to get his death sentence commuted to life imprisonment.. He helped create the organization World Without Hate. He said that he was especially motivated by three things: the lesson from his parents that he is best who forgives, the lesson from his Islamic faith that human lives are precious, and the need to seek solace for the wives and children of both the attacker and those whose husbands and fathers the attacker had killed.

Jenny thanked us for procuring the video, Race - the Power of an Illusion. She was interested in showing it in three segments with discussion following each showing. After discussing various venues, it seems that the public library would be the best, although its closing time of 8pm could be a problem. She will contact Dan, whose Study Circle group was interested in continuing. Perhaps they could help spread the word and organize the discussions. Glenda Rae might be able to have an announcement about the Video on Race series sent to the email lists she used to invite folks to the Little Taste of Peace when the arrangements are finalized.

    5. Next meeting: Friday, May 31st at 7pm at 1036 N. Niles Ave.