Minutes for MPJC meeting for June 6

Present: Lois, Peter, Glenda Rae, Rey, Dustin, Mary Jo, Caroline

Old Business

1. Approval of Minutes for both March 28th and May 25th: The minutes were approved as written.

2. Progress Reports
a. Town Hall Meeting to showcase alternatives to Bush ideas (Ellyn): Ellyn had to work but had indicated that this event should be in the fall closer to the elections. We agreed and will discuss it at a later meeting.

b. MPJC statement on Immigration Reform (Caroline): There was much discussion about this statement. Caroline asked to revise the proposed statement in several places: The first paragraph needs clarification concerning the timeline -- the drafters had taken the long view of the effects of U.S. military intervention over several centuries. Many current refugees are leaving their countries for economic reasons, but the cause of the economic problems is rooted in war and its destruction.

Caroline said that there does not seem to exist a statistical balance sheet that explains what immigrants contribute to the economy vs what it costs to support them. One source states that it costs an average of $24K per immigrant in public support, but this cost is bourne by local governments, whereas much more than that is collected in Social Security and withholding taxes, but these payments go to the federal government. We should demand a more just revenue sharing system between federal and local governments.

Caroline asked that we endorse the FLOC statement on immigration which she outlined and had sent to the MPJC listserv. Essentially, FLOC demands that any solution include a path to permanent residency, reunification of separated families, process where all residents of free trade agreement countries can pass freely from one to another, and other rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. FLOC criticized both the House and Senate bills saying they do not protect workers' rights and are based on the lowest standard of human rights.

We agreed to endorse the FLOC statement and link to it from our immigration statement. Glenda Rae mentioned a statement by the Mexican Solidarity Group stating why folks immigrate to the U.S. She will fax it to Peter who will transcribe it for distribution and possible inclusion in the MPJC ststement.

c. CLAP project (Carol): Carol was not feeing well and could not attend. She reported that Fr. Jenkins had not responded to our letter. It is not worth seeking his response any longer. One of the student members of CLAP, Kamaria, will be living close to our meeting site for the sum,mer and can be invited to the next meeting. In addition to supporting CLAP, we also support unionizing efforts at Notre Dame and we encourage CLAP members to ensure that they are working in harmony--not at cross purposes--with such efforts.

3. Treasurer's Report: We have $202.26 in the bank and $16.52 cash on hand.

New Business

1. Literature Table at the Artist Festival: We have not been able to track down the details on this, but Lois knew the director, Ann Binder, and where to contact her. The event is called Art Faire. Peter will find out the details and post them to the list. We discussed coordinating the table with the Brown Bag project sponsored by a Brethern group. Folks purchase brown bags the size of larger Mcdonalds bags and transfer cartoon-like anti-recruitment messages to the outside. We can deliver the bags to independently owned shops like Farmer's Market, Chicory Cafe, Higher Ground, Garden Patch, Lola's, Sam's Market, etc. Lois will find out how to transfer the cartoon images. We could ask young people st the art faire to draw peace drawings on the other side and sgn the bags,

Lois suggested having two petitions at the table: Beyond Iraq declaration put out by Faith Voices, and a petition of ask the UN to sponsor the 5th Women's World Conference in the next 5 years.

2. Fall Elections - What can we do to influence the candidates (Ellyn): Rey suggested forming a team of "bird dogs" to ask the candidates focused questions with yes or no answers. We would bird dog Chocola everywhere he appeared in public and ask the same questions. We will didcuss this issue at greater lengths in the next meeting.

3. Move-on Press Conference (Peter): This will be held at noon on Wednesday, June 7, outside Chocola's office. Peter will be one of the speakers. Folks are asked to handwrite a short letter which will be delivered to Chocola's aides at the conclusion of the event. Chocola is funding attack ads against Donnelly in response but is not disputing the facts in the Move-on ads.

4. Topic of the Month: We will stick with the immigration issue for the time being.

5. Other topics and issues: Lois asked if we could approve a project where Ron would make a stand to hold a roll of paper with a sheet that passers-by could write a message to Bush and Chocola. We would try this at a spot downtown a couple of times and also have it at the Art Faire. She also recommended two books.

6. Next meeting: We will meet on July 11 at 1036 N. Niles Ave.