Minutes for MPJC Meeting of April 6, 2015

Present: Peter, Ellyn, Glenda Rae, Rey, Sarah, Lois, Wanda, Galen

Old business

    1.  Approval of Minutes for January 26: The minutes were approved as corrected. The chief correction was that the scholarship sponsored by Lois' MLK Day table was to attend any college, not just IUSB.

    2. Progress Reports

        a. Topic of the Month: Indigenous Rights - Sarah sent a draft of the topic and Peter printed it out, but it was several pages long and would have used up the entire meeting for folks to read it. We decided to send it to the list for comment and also to send Sarah our own feedback as soon as we can. Sarah mentioned a film "Unrepentant" by Kenin Arnett about the massacre of Indian children in Canada. All the main churches: Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Quaker, etc. were involved. The book, "American Holocaust," by David Stannard is also very powerful. She could not believe the attrocities committed against the indigenous people of America. Their lifestyle was one we should have emulated, not suppressed. Everything was focused on taking care of the community. Instead, white America would not let them practice their religion, control their land, hold meaningful jobs. White folks did supply the Indians with plenty of alcohol and treated them as less than human. Wanda and Galen mentioned their experience at the Oglala Sioux reservation in North Dakota. That state was originally intended for the Indian tribes -- until gold and precious metals were discovered. There was a group called "Remember" with 160 acres just outside the reservation. This group brought mainstream white folks to their camp, helped them find helpful projects on the reservation, and organized talks by Native American speakers in the evening about Indian life and spirituality. The focus was on bringing out the truth of white treatment of the Native Americans in the past and present.

        b. Michelle Alexander talk on "New Jim Crow:" - This was well attended and a very interesting talk. It was too long ago to remember specifics.

        c. Community Forum on Economic Justice: None of our group went to the CFED discussion the night after Ms. Alexander's talk, but have been attending CFED meetings since then. They are participating with other groups (CAFE - Community Action for Education, Moral Mondays) combatting the School to Prison Pipeline. These groups sponsored a panel discussion. Jay Caponigro, chair of the School Board, and Susan Sharpe, working with the Talking Circles at Rise Up Academy, were two of the panel members. These Talking Circles were discussed as ways to work with troubled youth. On April 22 at 6pm in the downtown South Bend library there will be a meeting to discuss the problem of issuing citations to students who misbehave. Although the schools have claimed there were no citations issued this year, CAFE has discovered they were issued but just not given out. These citations require students or their parents to pay fines and if they do not, the student can be dragged into court. Charlotte Pfeiffer will meet with parents and students privately to gauge their reaction to this news.

       d. Meeting with Sheila Rosenthal: This gathering at Liggetts was very pleasant and informative.

       e. Change Time for Monday Vigil: We had changed the time in the fall from 5-6 to 4:30-5:30pm. since it was dark by 5:30 after the end of Daylight Savings Time. We decided to keep to the earlier time since there seems to be more traffic between 4:30 and 5:00 than between 5:30 and 6.

    3. Treasurer's Report: Our bank total is now $40.67 with $5.11 in petty cash. We decided to go in with Study Circles and pay $6.95 for half of the poster markers that Glenda Rae bought.

New Business

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

    2. Topic of the Month: We decided to continue work on indigenous rights.

    3. Tax Day/Arbor Day/ Earth Day: We decided to combine our observations of these three days by having a table at the celebration at Howard Park 2-4pm Saturday, April 25. We decided to hand out tax resistance literature, including our Cost of War brochure, the WRL pie charts, and Peace Tax Fund Bill brochures. We will also bring the bean poll. Peter, Galen, and Wanda can help out and Glenda Rae can do the 1-2 shift. Lois intends to be there the whole time.

    3. Other Topics and Issues: We agreed to endorse the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee. Peter will send in the application form.

There will be several Candidate sessions open to the public before the May elections. City Clerk (Tuesday, April 7, 6:30pm, at Wiecamp Hall 1001, IUSB); 2nd and 6th district candidates (West Side Democratic Club, Wednesday, April 8, 6pm); At Large candidates (Tuesday, April 14, 6:30pm, at Wiecamp Hall 1001, IUSB); All districts (Wednesday, April 22, 6:30pm, at Wiecamp Hall 1001, IUSB).

April 14 is Pay Equity Day. There will be a rally on the Court House steps at noon.

    4. Next meeting: Monday, May 18th, at 2:30pm at Peter and Ellyn's.