Minutes for MPJC Meeting of May 18, 2015

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

Old business

    1.  Approval of Minutes for April 6: The minutes were approved as corrected.

    2. Progress Reports

        a. Topic of the Month: Indigenous Rights - Sarah was sick and could not attend the meeting. However, she sent an email to the effect that we should make changes to the paper and send it out for approval. Rey had sent a paragraph to be added and mentioned that maybe the paper should be toned down, but Sarah and others at the meeting felt it should remain strong given the atrocities suffered by Native Americans over the years. Peter made the changes suggested by Rey and other folks at the meeting and will post the revised document to the list for comment before putting it on the MPJC website. During our discussion it was noted that folks from Asian heritage seem to have had more success maintaining their cultural identity than other nationalities. Many in this country would like Mexicans living in the U.S. to assimilate and give up their culture.

        b. Election Results: No surprises. We noted that the mayor put a ton of money into Karima's campaign for City Clerk to prevent Deeter from winning. The final elections will be in the Fall, but it is expected that most of the democratic primary election winners will be elected to office.

        c. Tax Day/Earth Day/Arbor Day table: We did not actually have a table as there was no room in the Howard Park warming room when we were ready to set up. But we did set our materials on a bench and this worked out OK with Peter and Lois staffing it from 10 to 2. The bean poll was pretty popular. Lois talked to a lot of people passing by. We did not distribute much literature. The Frack-free Michiana table was nearby and lots of people looked at it. At the meeting we got to talking about Monarch Butterflies and how they migrate from Canada to Mexico and back every four generations. Some of their resting places are disappearing due to logging and eradication of milkweed.

       d. Citations to Students who Misbehave: We don't know any more on this topic than we talked about at the last meeting. Glenda Rae has been sick and not attending meetings.

       e. Equal Pay Day Rally: This was well attended and the organizers did a nice job. Tom Price, who was running for City Council, was there and spoke. It seems that we have been fighting for equal pay forever.

    3. Treasurer's Report: Our bank total is now $33.72 with $9.11 in petty cash.

New Business

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

    2. Signing MPJC onto the TPP Letter: Rey signed MPJC onto a letter opposing TPP sponsored by Jobs with Justice. We all approved this action. This fast track legislation is secret. If congressmembers want to read it, they have to go to a secret room in the Capitol. They cannot take any pictures or notes while there. It is probably thousands of pages long. If passed, the President would have complete authority to negotiate and sign the Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement, which is supposed to be much worse than NAFTA. This agreement will allow big drug companies to renew expiring drug patents and continue charging exorbitant amounts for vaccines and other drugs for diseases such as AIDS and Cancer. Doctors without Borders are warning about what a disaster for the third world this will be. The Senate is expected to approve Fast Track this week. It will take the House much longer.

    3. Citizen's Climate Lobby: Rey forwarded an email from this group hoping to start a branch in South Bend. Rey and Ellyn responded that we cannot support another group but perhaps MPJC and Frack-free Michiana can support some of CCL's issues. This seemed to be agreeable to them. They are holding a march and rally in D.C. on June 21-23, and would like someone from the area to lobby Representative Walorski.

    4. Topic of the Month: Rey suggested that we shift our focus from War to Climate Change. We have withdrawn from Iraq and are in the process of withdrawing from Afghanistan. Resistance movements are evolving because people's lands are being threatened. This is especially true of those who live on islands. Rey had recently read a book by Naomi Klein, "This Changes Everything." This book lays out the frightening dimensions of the climate change problem and what we are up against. Climate Change is definitely a justice issue. Peter was against completely changing our focus from war since we are the only anti-war group in the Michiana area. Glenda Rae suggested that we could use only Climate Change signs one week a month at our weekly vigil. Rey can live with that and we agreed to do this on the first Monday of the month. Peter will make new signs and asked all to send him ideas for climate change slogans.

    5. Other Topics and Issues: None were mentioned

    4. Next meeting: Monday, July 6th, at 2:30pm at Peter and Ellyn's.