Minutes for MPJC Meeting of July 8, 2008


Present: Carol, Ellyn, Lee, Pam, Ron, Peter, Tom, Herbie

Old business
    1.  Approval of Minutes for June 13: The minutes were approved.

    2. Progress Reports
        a. Separate Meeting Day for Letter-Writing: Someone needs to call this meeting, specifying a time and place. The intention is to write letters to the editor, to our Congessional Representatives, for posting on blogs, etc. Carol indicated that it is so easy to call the White House and Congress that she has stopped writing. Calling is probably just as effective. We discussed how much of a disappointment Donnelly has been, but the person running against him is much worse. Hopefully a better candidate can be found for the 2010 elections.

        b. IPJN report: No one had any recent news re IPJN.

       c. Preparation of canvassing literature: Kathy is working on this, but was not able to attend the meeting. We will need a lot of people to go door to door handing out anti-war literature.

       d. Work with progressive groups: Lee had no further info on this. He has been working hard on the Obama campaign. We were asked to support the Human Rights initiative of the Michiana Social Forum. More on this under Other Topics and Issues.

     3. Treasurer's Report: The treasurer was out of town but said there was no change from the prior meeting. (Balance: $274.86 in checking and $10.01 in cash.)

New Business

    1. What do we/can we do next? Ellyn presented information on two events coming up nationally. UFPJ is asking folks to visit their congressional offices July 19-21, and a new group is calling for a national action in New York on August 2. We decided to incorporate visits and vigils at Donnelly and Bayh's offices on July 21 unless either of them will be there personally over the weekend. Carol and Pam are the co-managers for this event. They will visit the offices this coming Friday to try to set up appontments for the 21st. Some folks will go in and others will hold the banner with the U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq outside. We thought to be at Donnelly's office from 4-5 and at Bayh's from 5-6 in conjunction with our regular vigil. Ellyn will contact the media and also ask Kathy to update the banner. We need to get a lot of people out. Tom volunteered to call and/or email people. The offices do not want the media inside but we can get them to cover the vigils, perhaps. If we don't have enough people to hold the whole banner we can just unroll some of it.

    2. Tribune Donnelly Ad: Steve had suggested writing an open letter identifying the policies and issues that Donnelly supports but MPJC does not, collect signatures and then publish it in the Tribune as an advertisement. By doing this we hope to gain anti-war support in the community and convince Donnelly to change his stand on the war. It was pointed out how expensive this will be - probably over $1,000. We first thought Steve was volunteering to pay for the ad, but this is not the case. We decided to word the letter as a Michiana Point of View. We want to avoid negativity in the letter. We are looking for someone to prepare a first draft of the letter and put it out for discussion. Ellyn will follow up with Steve on this.

    3. Butte 4th of July Parade: Frank Kromkowski moved from South Bend to Butte, Montana, in 1972 but still is on the listserv. He suggested that South Bend copy Butte's example and put a peace and justice float in the 4th of July parade. It was too late to do anything this year. We need to start early for next year since it will be hard to get permission to have such an entry in the parade. We suggested getting CPNV to sponsor the float as church groups may be better received by the organizers. Carol was surprised that St. A's is a member of CPNV. Perhaps Nora B. could be approached to become a St. A's representative to CPNV.

    4. South Bend Equality Petition: Bernie was not able to make the meeting. He will bring the petitions to the next meeting.

    5. Topic of the Month: Ellyn suggested we take up environmental issues, such as drilling for oil in Alaska, use of windmills and other alternative energy sources, etc. She will email the list asking people to comment on this topic. Carol and Pam were concerned with saving Social Security and that we should take a stand against privatization. Teresa Guilarducci has written a book "When I'm 64," discussing a way to save SS.

    6. Other Topics and Issues: Jackie emailed to ask us to support the human rights initiative that Karl is spearheading. They are printing thousands of copies of pocket-sized and Michiana-customized versions of the Declaration of Human Rights in preparation for celebrating the 60th aniversary of the UDHR on December 10. They are developing a speaker's bureau and a group of op-ed letter writers. They are hoping that this human rights initiative can lay the foundation for future collaboration on peace and justice work. The next meeting is on July 17 at 7pm at the South Bend Human Rights Commission building on St. Louis just south of Howard Park. All are welcome to attend. For more info contact Karl at karl_j_hardy@yahoo.com

Lois asked that we plan a vigil for the Hiroshima/Nagasaki anniversary on August 6-9. We decided to dedicate the Monday (Aug. 4) and Saturday (Aug. 9) regular vigils to commemorate these tragic events. Lois will act as manager for this event.

    7. Next meeting: August 12 at 7pm at Pam and Ron's.