Minutes for MPJC Meeting of July 10, 2012

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

Old business

    1.  Approval of Minutes for May 22: The minutes were approved.

    2. Progress Reports

        a. Topic of the Month: Response to the War on Women - Ellyn had updated her statement including an additional paragraph near the end noting the high occurrence of sexual assaults on women in the military and the difficulty they have if they get pregnant as a result. We decided to accept this statement and put it out on the web in the issues area.

        b. August 6 - Hiroshima Day: We had thought to gather for the first Friday by the fountain on August 3, but Rey and Glenda Rae pointed out the there was no gathering by the Morris that day. There is one from 11:45 -1:15 on Friday, August 10, which is one day after Nagasaki day. Lois was away at the Brethren conference, so we decided to wait until she returned to make plans for the 10th, if any. Peter, Ellyn, Wanda, Galen, and probably Pam and Ron will be away on that day. Since August 6 is a Monday, Peter will make an appropriate sign to be displayed that day at our regular vigil.

        c. Memorial Day Parade: Ellyn made up a couple of CD's which we played over David James' amplifier and speakers. Wanda, Lois, and Alfreda rode on the back of Rey's truck holding American and UN flags. We had decorated the truck with banners left over from two years ago. Galen handled the music in the truck cab and Rey drove. Kathy, Pam, and Peter walked with the MPJC banner. As we pulled out of the staging area, a veteran with his rifle climbed onto the back of the truck. He had missed his unit and was told to ride with us. We were a bit skeptical about the rifle, but Lois thought his presence was in keeping with our "Bring them home" theme. Our float was mostly well received with occasional loud cheers. Next time we should exchange cell phone numbers since it was hard for Rey to communicate with the walkers and those on the back of the truck. We actually left one person behind at the end of the march when she went to the rest room. We had to circle back to pick her up.

        d. Nuns on the Bus: Wanda and Galen were able to attend this event at the Montessori School at Jefferson and Eddy. There were more than 400 people in attendance and Wanda/Galen had to sit so far back that they could not hear the speakers. Rey had contacted Donnelly's office and they planned to send a representative. The nuns were scheduled to meet with his staffers the next morning. From the publicity we saw, the nuns were pretty impressive. We lamented that the Catholic church is trying to sanction them and other sisters for being too outspoken. All in all, the nuns seemed to capture the imaginations of folks in the area. Ellyn mentioned that their budget proposals are worth reading - See below in Topic of the Month.

3. Treasurer's Report: Our bank total is $167.43 with $5.56 in petty cash. We spent 7.14 to renew our non-profit status with the State of Indiana.

New Business

    1. What do we (can we) do next? We skipped over this as time was running out.

    2. Topic of the Month: We looked back in the minutes to find the topic we thought of when we decided to go with the War on Women. It was a position on Syria. We also wondered if we should examine the positions of the canditates up for election this Fall, but decided that it would be hard to avoid the appearance of endorsing candidates, although it may come down to the lesser of two evils. We all agreed that it was important that we encourage everyone to attend candidates nights and to vote. We finally decided to look at the Faithful Budget prepared by the nuns on the bus. Each of us would choose one of the six sections and summarize it for the next meeting and to put in the issues section.

    3. Other Topics and Issues: At noon on August 4th there is a worldwide vigil titled "Hands Across the Sands." There is no local venue for this event as yet. The focus is combating the production and use of dirty fossil fuels. We talked about the shipment of dirty oil from Canada to New Orleans where it will probably be shipped to China. Why can't Canada ship it to its own Pacific Coast - perhaps because it is difficult to build and maintain a pipeline over the mountains.

We mentioned that the Indy electric company will no longer be paying for electricity that customers with renewable energy production are sending back to the grid. In our area, one of Wanda and Galen's neighbors built a $31,000 windmill, only to discover that NIPSCO would only pay for 50% of the electricity they fed back into the grid.

Senator Coats admits that he does not read every bill he votes for. They are so complex that it would be very difficult to do so. Staffers read the bills and lobbyists write them. The public has to be alert and contact representatives and senators about flaws in pending bills.

    4. Next meeting: Thursday, August 30 at 7pm. Probably at Peter and Ellyn's.