Minutes for MPJC Meeting of May 22, 2012

Present: Peter, Glenda Rae, Rey, Carol, Wanda, Galen, Bernie, Lois (by phone)

Old business

    1.  Approval of Minutes for April 3: The minutes were approved as corrected.

    2. Progress Reports

        a. Topic of the Month: Response to the War on Women - Ellyn had prepared a draft which we looked over. We were appalled by how the drastic cuts proposed in the Ryan bill would affect the poor and women. All we have to do is reduce the military budget and the overall budget will be balanced without making any cuts in social programs. We made a couple of spelling corrections and Peter will send the statement out to the listserv for comments. We will finalize the draft at the next meeting. (Ellyn decided to rework the draft before it went to the list serv.)

        b. Tax Day Action: It was a good day weatherwise. We had enough participants to cover all four corners of Jefferson and Michigan with 1 or two leafletters. We handed out all 100 copies of the leaflet Ellyn had prepared and all of the ones prepared by Rey. Lois got into some conversations, but mostly people just took the leaflets and walked on. We used the sandwich board with an abbreviated list of spending priorities from the leaflet. This led to a few questions especially about the size of the jobs category. These were answered by looking at the leaflet.

        c. Memorial Day Parade: We have to be at the parade launch spot near the Burger King past the old Krogers on Western Ave by 7:00am. Once there we will decorate the truck and hook up the sound system and be ready to step off at 8:15. Lois has the bunting and flags. David James will supply the sound equipment. Ellyn will provide the music. Lois will ride in the back of the truck and hold one of the flags. Rey will have seating for a few more and hopefully others will ride. Peter, Pam, Kathy, and Scott will walk with the MPJC banner. Rey will contact David to get the sound equipment.

        d. Jobs with Justice training and action: Lois, Galen, Wanda, and Rey attended the training. The organizers had good material but tried to do too much in a short time. There was a vigil at the AT&T building on the next Friday wth a fairly good turnout by MPJC, Jobs with Justice and a few Occupy folks. Move-On had an action at Leighton Center on May 9, but no one held signs along the street. The Peace Ed Fund Board met at the main library at 6:00 that evening to discuss the request by John Goodson to allow the anti-slavery group to use the fund. This was agreed as long as they only made one transaction a month.

        e. Election Results: None of these were particularly important to our group, except possibly the Probate Judge race. The person who won, Andre Gammage, was well thought of.

        f. NWTRCC meeting and the NATO protest march: Peter, Rey, and Glenda Rae attended the May 18-20 weekend meeting of the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee in Chicago and participated in the march from Grant Park to a spot on 22nd St and Michigan which is as close to the NATO meeting as the police would let us come (about 4 blocks). It was very hot and we walked 30 long blocks. We had a long banner which stetched across 4 lanes and read, "We Support Acts of Conscience and not Taxes for War." It is visible about half way through the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUSEHOtD_LU&feature=endscreen A number of veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan tried to give their medals back to a NATO representative but no one came to take them so they threw them in the direction of McCormick Place. There were tens of thousands of participants in the march. It was very noisy and colorful, and for the most part peaceful. After we left there was a scuffle between black dressed demonstrators and police as the latter tried to clear Michigan Street. Five people were arrested early in the week and charged with making molotov cocktails, which was news to the five. Rey shared the poem he had given at the NWTRCC meeting.

3. Treasurer's Report: Our bank total is $174.57 with $5.56 in petty cash.

New Business

    1. What do we (can we) do next? We skipped over this as time was running out.

    2. Topic of the Month: We decided to keep working on the War on Women topic.

    3. August 6, Hiroshima Day: We decided to coordinate with the August 3 First Friday event in front of the Morris. We wondered if the Japanese teacher at Notre Dame would want to make peace cranes. We later learned that she had been harassed at ND and had taken a job in Ohio. Hers was one of the apartments that burned in the recent fire at Hurwich Farms. Lois wondered if we could interest the churches in making peace cranes, but some of us wondered how we would organize such a large effort. We will make further plans at the next meeting.

    5. Other Topics and Issues: The URC is celebrating 40 years at a gathering at 2pm on June 3 at St. Pius Church. Tom Broden will be honored at that event as he was one of the founders of the URC. He has retired from Notre Dame to care for his wife who has macular degeneration. Wanda has to take shots on a regular basis for that problem, but she has regained the ability to read.

    6. Next meeting: Tuesday, July 10 at 7pm. Probably at Peter and Ellyn's.