Minutes for MPJC Meeting of July 7, 2014

Present: Peter, Ellyn, Glenda Rae, Rey

Old business

    1.  Approval of Minutes for June 2: The minutes were approved as corrected. There were a couple of typos and a major revision to the second sentence of Progress Report e. It now reads as follows: The Vote Center committee is coming up with a plan to recommend to the three-person board which is empowered to vote on changes to the voting process.

    2. Progress Reports

        a. Topic of the Month: Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Rey had submitted a revised version to the one promulgated after the last meeting. We discussed it extensively and decided to approve it pending a two week comment period during which we will accept suggestions from the list serv membership before putting it on the website. (The latest version is appended to these minutes.) We noted that the people with direct experience in the South Africa and Central America truth and reconciliation processes would be a lot more effective brokers in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than the U.S.

        b. Dr. Rebecca Dali visit: Dr. Dali, the wife of the president of the Church of the Brethren Conference in Nigeria, attended the June 30 regular Monday 5-6pm MPJC vigil. There was a good turnout; approximately 10 folks participated. Dr. Dali brought some long banners which needed 3 people to hold. No press came in spite of the press release sent out by Ellyn. Lois was very disappointed, given the good press coverage Dr. Dali has enjoyed in Ohio. No one arrived early to the vigil to greet press who may have come and not stayed. Dr. Dali will speak at Crest Manor Church of the Brethren on Tuesday, July 8. Ellyn sent out another press release for this event at the meeting. Given the escape of the 63 girls from captivity in Nigeria on the 7th, we hope some press will find it worthwhile to attend.

        c. Helping Mamas Against Violence: The June 7 march and post march gathering drew a huge crowd. There were speakers from the city, the Chief of Police, and other folks impacted by violence. There will be a workshop aimed at young people in August at Bethel College. We will post the details on the list serv when they become available.

       d. Concern about Voting Restrictions: Glenda Rae was able to attend one of the Vote Center committee meetings since our last meeting. We were concerned that moving to vote centers from the current precinct voting model would further reduce the percentage of poor and minority voters in the election. We are also concerned that the vote centers will use machines that do not save paper copies of each vote, and thus will not allow for recounts. The current touch screen machines do record the vote on standard voting forms. John Hagen, a retired statistician, has evidence that moving to Vote Centers will not attract new voters and will not save money. We are not sure how far out he projected the savings vs start-up vote center costs to arrive at a break point. We encouraged Rey to ask him for his report so these questions could be answered.

    3. Treasurer's Report: Our bank total is $81.04 with $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 postponed coming up with a new topic until the next meeting due to time constraints.

    3. Other Topics and Issues: On May 20, Frack Free Michiana met with representatives from Senator Donnelly's office. On June 29, the local group, with the help of Move On, viewed a video expose' of the Koch brothers followed by a strategy session to think of ways to educate local voters about the Koch influence.

On July 1st, the Coalition for Immigration Reform went to Representative Walorski's office and presented petitions asking her to sign the discharge petition which would bring the Senate immigration bill to the floor of the House so it can be voted on. She was not available to meet with them but said she would arrange a meeting during the August recess.

Frack Free Michiana is planning a presence at the August 16 South Bend Art Beat and also at the Labor Day weekend Potawatomi powwow in Dowagiac.

    4. Next meeting: Monday, September 15th, at 3pm at Peter and Ellyn's.