Minutes for MPJC Meeting of June 9, 2009


Present: Peter, Ellyn, Glenda Rae, Lois

Old business
    1.  Approval of Minutes for May 6: The minutes were approved with some typos corrected

    2. Progress Reports
        a. Homeward Bound Walk: Peter and Ellyn walked and Glenda Rae worked at the table for this event. The day was drizzly and windy so we did not carry the MPJC banner. We were disappointed that there was not more participation from URC folks, but over $600 was collected for this cause. The route was very interesting, passing by many of the organizations that support the homeless. The garden at the Center for the homeless was especially attractive.

        b. ND graduation - Obama support: None of us went out to Lincolnway by the airport to greet him but the paper said there was a good turnout. Ellyn, Pam, Ron, and Kathy decided to counterprotest the anti-abortion folks down at Notre Dame Avenue. They found a bunch of pro-choice supporters there as well. They had some interaction with the protesters, some of whom were quite young and did not know what "family planning" was and thought birth control was "yucky." They heard that there was a group of Vets for Obama at the east entrance.

        c. Gun Buyback: This will be held on June 13, 10-3, at three sites in the county - fire stations on LWW and McKinley, and St. Paul's Episcopal in downtown Mishawaka. The police will take possession of the guns and destroy them after checking serial numbers. Folks who turn in guns will get vouchers worth $25 each - 3 vouchers for the first functioning gun, 2 for the 2nd and 1 for the 3-5th gun. For nonfunctioning guns they get 2 vouchers for the first and 1 for the second. MPJC did donate $75 to this effort.

        d. Campaign against Violence: We decided to try to get some flyers about ASK day and leaflet against child access to guns in the home on Friday, June 19, at 11:30 near the corner of Jefferson and Michigan. Lois is coordinating this effort. She has some large cardbord images of children climbing on counters reaching for guns in cupboards which we will try to bring.

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

        f. Topic of the Month: Support for Conscientious Objectors: We asked Rey to make contact with the Catholic Peace Fellowship and see how we could help. Lois mentioned visiting the Courage to Resist website which keeps track of soldiers refusing to deploy. We noted that more troops committed suicide in January than were killed in combat.

        g. Healthcare not Warfare: We decided to hand out leaflets on publicly-funded universal healthcare in front of the Morris on Friday, June 12, during the concert starting at 11:30am. These have been prepared by the Progressive Democrats for America.

        h. Hiroshima/Nagasaki protest: We decided to hold our protest at noon on Friday, August 7, in front of Red Table Plaza at Jefferson and Michigan. Lois will coordinate.

3. Treasurer's Report: We received a $25 donation towards our contribution to the gun buyback and a $5 donation later, so our bank total is $157.95 with $1.76 in petty cash.

New Business

    1. What do we (can we) do next? Ellyn sent faxes to set up appointments with Donnelly and Bayh representatives to talk about health care not warfare. We decided to focus more on ending the warfare. She will send prospective dates to the list when she gets them to see when folks can make the meetings.

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

    3. International Day of Prayer for Peace: There is new URC program committee which may be receptive to taking on this project. Glenda Rae is contacting the URC president to try to get Lois a hearing either with the president or before the committee. Their next meeting is June 18th On Earth Peace has a plan for celebrating this day consisting of vigils, a religious observance, and a listening initiative. We thought Buetter Park in Mishawaka with the fountains and Japanese Peace Gardens would make a good setting.

    4. Other Topics and Issues: Lois mentioned that the coalition on human needs is hosting a webinar on Wednesday, June 10. She is having trouble contacting them.

    4. The meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:30pm.

    7. Next meeting: The next meeting will be at Pam and Ron's on Tuesday, July 14, at 7pm.