Minutes for MPJC Meeting of May 6, 2009


Present: Peter, Ellyn, Carol, Lois, Bernie

Old business
    1.  Approval of Minutes for March 31: The minutes were approved as written

    2. Progress Reports
        a. April 15 protest: Lois, Ellyn, Rey, Pam, Ron, Susan, and Carol were mentioned as having participated. The vigil went from 6-11:30pm. Approximately 400 flyers were handed out. The postal clerk was not at the mailbox this year but they came out periodically to pick up the mail. The event was successful. Thanks to Lois and Pam and Ron for organizing it.

        b. IPJN report: We have not heard anything from them in over six months, so we decided to drop this topic from the agenda.

        c. Forum for Economic Development: This was held on April 18 and was much better attended than previous years. Lois set up an MPJC table but it received little attention. She set up the bean poll that we had started on MLK day. She was interested in further tabling with this prop.

        d. Campaign against Violence: Lois has contacted Arnold Sulley, whose job is to reach out into the community re health issues. She wants to see if Gladys will reactivate the coalition she put together a year ago on this issue, so we can work incrementally. Lois talked to the mayor's office about a youth violence proclamation before MLK day but they were too busy then. She will try again to get a proclamation for the Sept. 21 UN International Day of Peace. To see the status of this effort, go to www.usmayorsconference.org/resolutions. The discussion turned to healthcare and Ellyn noted that single-payer health insurance seem to be off the table for the Obama administration. She had given a talk at a health fair panel and Donnelly's representative said he would never support a single payer option.

        e. Topic of the Month: Environmental Issues: Peter has not posted the list of ways to preserve the environment to the website. He is working on it.

        f. Topic of the Month: Support for Conscientious Objectors: Rey did contact the Catholic Peace Fellowship which maintains a GI hotline and helps soldiers obtain CO status. He sent the following message:

Hi Rey,

Yes, many in our community are involved in the Catholic Peace Fellowship, and part of that work entails accompanying people in the military who are discerning conscientious objection. CPF is based in Biff's and my house, 511 S. St.
Joseph St. The website is: catholicpeacefellowship.org

Mike Baxter is in charge of CPF, so he'd be the person to ask if you would like someone to visit your meeting. His email address is: mbaxter@nd.edu



        g. Homeward Bound Walk: This starts at 9am on May 9 at the Football Hall of Fame. MPJC will walk as a group. Lois returned the banner so we can carry it. will sign us up and notify the list.

        h. ND Graduation Demonstration of Support for Obama: This is being organized out of Democratic headquarters. Folks are supposed to gather on Lincolnway near the airport, greet Obama, and then go into the neighborhoods to collect food for the food pantries in the area. Food is to be dropped off at Democratic headquarters. The idea is to stay away from ND campus so as not to conflict with the abortion protesters. We discussed going with signs such as: "Welcome - we back your attempts at Peace." Several folks though it was not well enough planned and we should wait until the next time he is in the area to hit him with our end-the-war message. Ellyn will keep us up-to-date via the list serv about vigil developments.

        i. Gun Buyback: Glenda Rae was not able to attend. We assumke it is going well and our $75 has been contributed.

        j. Hiroshima/Nagasaki protest: Lois is still working on this. It was held at the Morris last year and we were well received. She is looking at Friday, August 7, or Saturday, August 8.

3. Treasurer's Report: Glenda Rae was not able to attend.

New Business

    1. What do we (can we) do next? Ellyn will set up appointments with Donnelly and Bayh representatives to talk about health care. MPJC has a position on this which they should hear about. She noted that Donnelly set up a healthcare advisory committee a year ago but it has never met. Julie from Bayh's office told Ellyn she is doing work in the schools on this issue, but there has been no publicity. The theme should be Healthcare not Warfare. Lois send away to the Democratic Progressive Alliance for flyers on this issue. She will pick a Friday when they have music at the Morris over the noon hour and call on us to help her pass out these flyers.

    2. Topic of the Month: We decided to stick with the two topics we are already working on.

    3. Other Topics and Issues: Lois mentioned that June 21 is ASK Day - a day to ask parents of children who play with your children if they have a gun in the house and if it is locked away. Ellyn said she used to ask that on a routine basis when she was in practice. There are flyers on the Physicians for Social Responsibility website.

The vigils have been sparsely attended. We discussed stopping the Saturday vigil. Lois was reluctant to do so because of the hundreds of honks she gets when she is there. We decided to let the folks who regularly vigil on Saturday decide whether or not to continue. We should shift our focus more to Afghanistan in the vigils. NPP has a brochure on the cost of the war in Afghanistan out now.

    4. The meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:20pm.

    7. Next meeting: The next meeting will be at Peter and Ellyn's on Tuesday, June 9, at 7pm.