Minutes for MPJC Meeting of June 25, 2007


Present: Caroline, Pam, Lois, Peter, Ellyn, Caitlin, Bernie

Old business
    1.  Approval of Minutes for May 29: The minutes were approved as written.

    2. Progress Reports
        a. Donnelly Meetings (Caitlin): Kathy has had no luck scheduling a June meeting with Donnelly. She will keep trying. She had a meeting scheduled with Bayh but it was canceled.

        b. Tabling at Summer Events (Lois): Lois has approval from Ann Binder for MPJC to have a table at the art festival across from Charles Martin center on LWW on July 14-15. We discussed whether it is worth doing, since last year very few showed up. Our target audience is young people who are being actively recruited to join the military and not many of them are attracted to an art festival. Lois will inquire whether there are conflicting events that weekend and decide whether to go ahead since the parents of the recruitees may attend the festival. She will ask for help as needed.

Glenda Rae had MPJC literature on her Study Circles table at Juneteenth, but she was not at the meeting to tell us how much interest there was. Pam was to inquire about our participation in the September Art Fest on Colfax St. She thought it was too early to do this, but will make the inquiries in mid-summer.

        c. Universal Health Care Topic of the Month (Caroline): Peter read Caroline's email message about her reluctance for MPJC to endorse the AAFP plan which Ellyn presented when she kicked off email discussion of this topic. Caroline said that while the AAFP plan addresses some important issues and would undoubtedly be a great improvement over the present dismal situation, it is my view that for-profit health care and health insurance are the problem and should not be included in any purported solution. I believe that the simplest, most effective and equitable solution is universal single-payer health insurance. For that reason I propose that MPJC should support HR 676. See http://www.healthcare-now.org/ for a summary of this proposed legislation. Caroline agreed to develop a summary statement that we can consider as a position statement. Ellyn will send Caroline the original wording of her proposal. We noted that administrative costs would go down drastically with a single payer plan and that every industrialized nation except the U.S. has this type of health coverage

        d. Situation of Janco workers and their families(Caroline): No new word on this situation.

        e. IPJN report (Kathy): Kathy could not attend so we have no information on this topic.

        f. Cure gun buy-back (Glenda Rae): No further word on this.

        g. Donnelly petition to support the troops (Lois): Rey had sent final wording for the petition by email: "We, the undersigned, residents of the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, do petition Congress to BRING THE TROOPS HOME from Iraq in order to provide for a proper HOMELAND DEFENSE, and end the waste of life and resources on an INEFFECTIVE WAR." Peter will prepare the petition form and have 50 copies to pass out to folks at the rally on the 27th for them to pass among their constituents. He will make sure the forms have a return address. Kathy and Lois also suggested being on all four corners of Colfax and Michigan during the Fridays at the Fountain celebration 11:30-1:30 on July 6. Lois will prepare a large sign and each of the corner people will have petitions on a clipboard to get signatures. Once all the signatures are collected (the goal is 300), we will make copies for Donnelly, Lugar, and Bayh.

        h. Supporting the marchers from Chicago (Ellyn): It turns out that there is only one marcher, Mario Penalver. He had walked as far as New Carlisle Monday and will arrive in South Bend Tuesday evening. Kathy has planned a rally in front of Morris Civic on Wednesday 7-8pm. She will host Mario and others who want to meet with him at a simple supper at 5pm on Wednesday. Diana's son Clifford will sing a song he composed at the rally and there will be music by local musicians.

    3. Treasurer's Report: Glenda Rae reported that we have $433.76 in the bank and $11.61 in cash for a total of $445.37.

New Business

    1. Website poll (Kay): Kay had been away and both Caroline and Peter forgot to ask her about setting up an on-line process for signing the petition. Caroline will do so and Peter will send Caroline the wording for the petition.

    2. Vigils at Donnelly's office (Peter): Peter will not be able to work on this project until late summer.

    3. Review where we have been and where we are going re war refusal (Ellyn): This topic was motivated by the ANSWER model of the last few days. ANSWER looked back over and assessed past actions and decided to do something really new and exciting - sponsor a march in DC bigger than any in recent memory. We thought that that wasn't very innovative. We wondered if we, too, were doing the same old thing. We thought that what we have done is worthwhile, and we have to keep putting out the facts, but perhaps we should try to talk directly to young people at malls where the recruiters are out in force. We wondered about an action at the recruiting centers, but Caitlan said recruitees do not go to the centers until they are ready to sign the papers and that is too late. She has had experience with recruiters at her high school. She suggested getting young people like herself, Ben, Wes, Sierra, etc. to approach kids at the mall right after they talk to the recruiters. Hearing from young people would be much more effective than being preached at by us old foggies. The rest of us encouraged her to organize this. Peter will prepare some literature to hand out and leave it for Caitlin at Democratic headquarters. We also suggested writing to the Voice of the People to encourage young people to not sign up and if they do sign up for the National Guard, refuse to go if called up. USA Today had a story on Guard readiness - less than 70%. We also should get out information on the lack of funds to take care of service men and women after they come back from Iraq.

    4. Topic of the Month: Develop a position about the ties between Domestic Abuse and war, especially the lack of funds to help Iraq war veterans resolve their marital problems without violence. Caitlin agreed to send a proposal on this topic to the list serve.

    5. Other topics and issues: Bayh's staff will be available at the Chapin Health clinic on Tuesday 10-12. Some of us should go to talk about the war.

    6. Next meeting: Tuesday, July 31.