Minutes for MPJC Meeting of April 14, 2014

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

Old business

    1.  Approval of Minutes for March 24: The minutes were approved as written.

    2. Progress Reports

        a. Topic of the Month: Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We looked at both Rey's and Ellyn's revised drafts briefly. Elaine Zoughbi's email address bounced when Peter tried to send the documents, and Lois and Peter failed to connect on an updated email address. We decided to try again sending Ellyn's and Rey's versions to Elaine and Zoughbi in Bethlehem and asking them to look them over with the view towards obtaining reconciliation without obscuring truth. We will look at all this at the next meeting. We decided not to put out anything on the web until then.

        b. Tax Day Plans: Tax Day is Tuesday, April 15. We plan to meet for a 4pm vigil at Rep. Walorski's office, 202 Lincolnway East, Mishawaka. We will join the unions, Americans for Tax Fairness, and Americans for Democratic Action. Ellyn sent out a press release and Jeremy from ATF scheduled a meeting with Walorski's representative. Peter will make some new signs, one of which will point out the connection with the Global Day for Action against Military Spending. Ellyn passed out an appeal letter to help war tax resisters with reimbursement of the penalties and interest on funds seized by the IRS.

        c. XL Pipeline Situation: We held a demonstration at one of our Monday vigils and were joined by a few folks from Frack Free Michiana. We did get press coverage and Rey made some good remarks that were aired on TV. On April 22, the farmers, ranchers, and Native Americans arrive in DC for a big demonstration at the Capital on Saturday, April 26. We decided to hold anti-XL signs at our April 21st vigil.

        d. Indiana Gun Bill: The Governor signed this bill to allow guns in locked cars on school property. We noted that in Illinois, the NRA shot down a live test of whether carrying a gun in public helps prevent attacks. In spite of a $50,000 prize, the legislature defeated a bill to allow this test. Folks who had been attacked while carrying a gun were to be be asked exactly how their gun helped prevent injury.

Lois asked if we would support Mamas Against Violence in their Memorial Day walk. Lois will meet with Bobbi, their coordinator to see what kind of help they need and will talk to us when she finds out. Rey recommended that we read David Kennedy's book, "Don't Shoot." This is the basis for a program to focus police anti-violence attention on people who cause violence, both on the perpetrators and the victims. This program involves calling in folks likely to cause violence and give them an ultimatum: stop the violence or else. They are offered access to help to curb their violent behavior. They are promised no prosecution if they take the help and refrain from future violence. Otherwise they should expect to face maximum prison sentences. This program has worked in several large cities including Boston and Chicago. South Bend mayor wants to start the program but there is someone blocking progress. Rey has not been able to pinpoint the bottleneck as both the mayor and the police chief are in favor.

    3. Treasurer's Report: Our bank total is $81.04 with $5.11 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 decided to continue work on MPJC response to the Israeli-Palestinian situation. Lois will also share her concerns about voting restrictions in preparation for a future topic of the month.

    3. Other Topics and Issues: On April 22, Earth Day, there will be a day-long conference at the Double Tree Hotel sponsored by Green Town with sessions having to do with the latest sustaining the environment policies and practices. The cost is $35 if you stay for lunch ($20 for seniors) or free if you just want to attend a few sessions. Contact CFED for a guest pass. IUSB has a reception and awards ceremony at the Grill 5:30-7:30.

There will be an Earth Day celebration from 9am - 3pm at Potawatomi park on April 26

    4. Next meeting: Monday, June 2nd, at 3pm at Peter and Ellyn's.