Minutes for MPJC Meeting of June 19, 2017

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

Old business

    1.  Approval of Minutes for May 8: The minutes were approved as corrected.

    2. Progress Reports:

        a. Topic of the Month: Racial Justice. Ellyn and Peter have written their paragraphs. Rey is making progress on his. He does not agree with some of the statements in the paragraphs already written, but we will need to edit the document before publishing it and differences can be negotiated then. Wanda and Glenda Rae have a lot on their plates which will prevent them from working on the document for the next few weeks. We decided to continue working.

        b. Hiroshima/Nagasaki Days: August 6 is on a Sunday and August 9 is a Wednesday. It is possible to do something at the first Friday celebration by Morris Civic on August 4th, but Peter and Ellyn will not be in town. Lois may make a presence anyway. She will let folks know her plans so others can join her and we can put it on the website and on the listserv. We decided to focus the August 7 vigil on this anniversary and make signs opposing the buildup of nuclear weapons in North Korea (and also in the U.S.)

        c. Book of the Month report: Ellyn passed out some excerpts from Thomas Jefferson's memoirs and some jokes from Sunbeam. She pointed out a couple of jokes for our notice. One was how many of our troubles arose from a misguided Native American immigration policy. To this, Glenda Rae commented that the Native Americans had no choice about who they let in. Another joke from Steven Colbert gave a long string of reasons for immigrating and ending with the fact that his grandfather came for none of these reasons, but because he had killed a man in Ireland and was fleeing prosecution.

In the Jefferson excerpt, she pointed to a paragraph in a letter to an acquaintance in France where Jefferson warns that openly stating his opposition to slavery might drive people to oppose emancipation and refuse to endorse the new constitution. People are not ready to make structural change today, either.

       d. Memorial Day Parade: We were well received with many waves and some peace fingers. Lois mentioned how important it was for us to have a peace presence in the parade. It was disappointing that only five of us showed up, when we had commitments from eight, but we were able to carry our banners. If we do it again, we need to plan to spot a car at the end of the parade to transport us back to our cars. It was a long walk.

        e. Sam Koplinka-Loehr's visit and May 9th talk: His May 8th talk at the SURJ meeting was very well received. There were lots of questions and he explained the hows and whys of war tax resistance from the perspective of redirecting our tax dollars to black and brown led organizations. There were more than 20 folks at St. Augustines to hear him and Darryl Heller speak. This talk lacked the specificity of the SURJ talk, but seemed to go well. It seemed that this audience was not ready to hear how to engage in war tax resistance, but were interested in racial justice and redirection. Sam had to cut off some older folks at the end after he had said that only those who had not spoken before could comment. He confided to me that he found that his youth caused some folks to disrespect him.

        f. Immigration Coalition Report: There have been no real decisions lately. The focus is on supporting immigrant-favorable legislation. The coalition is meeting on the second Wednesday of the month at the Human Rights Commission offices at Madison and Niles. Ellyn asked Sam if he had the capacity to issue ID cards to a wide spectrum of people but has not heard back as of this meeting. Glenda Rae said Joe Carbone told her that they are not publicizing the cards so as not to make ICE aware of this source of names of undocumented immigrants. She mentioned that they are not being public about the difference between detaining someone (South Bend police and St. Joe County sheriffs will not do this to immigrants) and serving arrest warrants (which they will do). Ellyn looked at Sam's facebook page after the meeting and saw they were openly issuing ID cards and using this ID card promulgation as a model for other cities to follow. Rey is interested in the local sanctuary movement which John Pinter and Jan Jenkins are coordinating. It appears that at least one church has committed to this program, but there is no formal list of sanctuary churches.

We discussed the role of Indivisible-SB. It appears to be serving the progressive community in much the role that Kathy advocated a few months ago. It is definitely closely tied to the Democratic party.

3. Treasurer's Report: $18.72 with a $5.11 in petty cash.

New Business

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

    2. Topic of the Month: We will continue to work on racial justice. See above

    3. The Peace Ed Fund board met at Southfield village on June 14th. Judy Lane joined the Board as Secretary. She represents Study Circles. Glenda Rae remained as Treasurer and Wanda as President. Wanda represents the Nicaragua Project. Lois joined the Board as the MPJC representative. By default she becomes Vice President. The board examined the income statement prepared by Peter. Glenda Rae thought the Study Circles had taken in more than $50 income from July 1, 2016 to May 31, 2017. She will check the checkbook. They also approved transferring the Peace Ed Fund Bank Account from Wells Fargo to Teachers Credit Union. This will happen after Judy diseminates the minutes since TCU requires a copy of Board minutes authorizing the opening of an account. Ellyn requested that Glenda Rae leave the Nicaragua money in Wells Fargo until TCU has issued debit cards so we will have access to the money to send to Nicaragua.

Rey and Ellyn are volunteering to help folks prepare for the citizenship test. This program is sponsored by Casa de Amistad and the classes are held on the third floor of the Marycrest building. Rey is helping folks who will take the test in Spanish and Ellyn is working with those to take the test in English. The classes go through August 10, but we don't know how often the swearing in of those who pass the test occurs. The test consists of 10 questions randomly chosen from a list of 100 questions provided to the applicants ahead of time. They have to get 6 right to pass. Ellyn found the questions somewhat complex.

Rey attended a "Know your Rights" meeting which had very low attendance. The presenter was an outreach worker from the Mexican Consulate. He said that anyone from Mexico who has been notified of deportation by ICE whether or not they have already been detained, should contact the consulate in Chicago. It is possible that the consulates from other countries have similar programs.

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    5. Next meeting: Monday, July 17th, at 2:30pm at Lois' assisted living center. We will send the directions in the meeting announcement.