Present: Peter, Ellyn, Glenda Rae, Rey, Lois, Wanda, Galen
1. Approval of Minutes for March 13: The minutes were approved as written.
2. Progress Reports
a. Topic of the Month: Racial Justice - Chip Roush has not been able to pull anything together on this topic. Ellyn found some essays on the internet but they were too narrowly focused. It is going to be very hard to cover this broad topic in a small space. Maybe NU (Neighborhoods United) Black Power has written on this topic. They have become involved with other groups and sponsored a march at noon on April 8. They work with children, encouraging them to have pride in themselves.
b. Tax Day Plans - We will use the regular vigil on Monday, April 17, to protest the use of taxes for war. We will bring signs and Cost of War and Where the Money Goes brochures. Some suggestions for signs: "We will not be safer after bombing Syria," "Terror begets Terror," "With the money spent on missiles in Syria, _____ teachers could be hired," "44% of the discretionary budget goes to the military," " pay for healthcare, not warfare," "Billions for teachers, none for the Wall." Peter was to send Rey the web address of the cost of war brochure.
c. Book of the Month report: Wanda brought an update to her last month's report on "Gertrude's Oath." This is the story of two families beginning in 1929. In Berlin, Germany, Karl Rink had married a Jewish lady, and they had a daughter Helga. Due to losing his job as an accountant, Karl became a German SS officer. When his wife was killed he sent his daughter to the land of Israel.
Jacob Stolowitski and his wife Lydia lived in Warsaw, Poland, and their son Michael was born in 1936. They hired Gertruda Bablinska who was Catholic to be Michael's nanny. Michael was 3 years old when his father was sent on a business trip to France. The family learned that the Germans would be invading Warsaw, so, after much discussion, their chauffeur took Lydia, Michael, and Gertruda to Vilna, Lithuania, as many other Jews were also heading there. When Lydia had a stroke, she asked Gertruda to promise to raise Michael and take him to the land of Israel. Life was very difficult in Vilna and the Germans eventually invaded that city also.
After the war, Gertruda and Michael joined up with 4500 mainly Jewish chilren who had escaped death and they went by boat to the land of Israel.
As a Nazi soldier, Karl Rink had also been sent to Warsaw but he made it his mission to save Jews after his wife was murdered.
Ellyn reported on her book about Thomas Jefferson's time as Ambassador to France. He was able to get the Belgians to lend the U.S. a lot of money. He spent a lot of tme renegotiating the loans and taking out more loans to pay the interest until Congress passed the income tax law, Even back then folks did not want to pay taxes.
d. Memorial Day Parade: Lois is still trying to get young people to walk in the parade. She wants to put the Vets for Peace slogan on long poles so that 3 people on each side could carry them. We could ask Kevin or CPNV to try to get people to march. Lois needs to make a decision by April 30.
e. Resource Hub: Kathy is continuing to work on this. It might be combined with a hub to coordinate food pickups from grocery stores or restaurants. She is meeting with a couple of people this week.
f. Protest events over the past month: We talked about the April 9th town hall meeting on Health Care. Around 500 people attended and everything was very peaceful. Neither Walorsky nor anyone from her staff attended in spite of multiple invitations from the organizers and from Channel 57 who moderated the event. For several Wednesdays before the event, folks gathered outside her office to protest her stand on health care.
The group asked Peter to list our weekly vigil on the Syria protest site. The Civil Rights Heritage Center continues to have great programs, especially on First Fridays.
3. Treasurer's Report: $18.72 with a $5.11 in petty cash.
1. What do we (can we) do next? We incorporated this topic into other discussion
2. Wanda notified us that long-time activist, Laurie Silberman had died.
3. Topic of the Month: We will continue to work on racial justice. Perhaps we can incorporate the immigration ban
4. Pay Equity Day was last week. Some workers are not happy with efforts to increase the minimum wage since they are worried that they will no longer be eligible for food stamps and earned income credit.
Regina Williams sponsored a session at the County City Building during Peace Week. She invited peace groups to tell what they are doing. Ellyn represented MPJC.
Earth Day is April 22 at Rum Village Park. Lois asked about setting up an MPJC table. All the rest of us will be gone on that day. She will ask Kathy if we can share another group's table. There will be a March for Science that day at Howard Park, 2-6pm.
There is a climate march on April 29th nationwide.
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5. Next meeting: Monday, May 8th, at 2:30pm at Lois' assisted living center. We will send the directions in the meeting announcement.