Minutes for MPJC meeting for July 11

Present: Peter, Glenda Rae, Rey, Dustin, Lee, Caroline, Ellyn, Bernie, Matt, Ron

Old Business

  1. Approval of Minutes for June 6: The minutes were approved as written.

  2. Progress Reports
    1. . Town Hall Meeting to showcase alternatives to Bush ideas (Ellyn): We reviewed the forum which Francis and Zirkle attended. Both candidates liked the format of this event. The League has found Chocola hard to work with. He does not like any kind of forum that he does not have complete control of. It is unlikely that the South Bend League would be interested in sponsoring a town hall meeting. If MPJC sponsors a forum, it will be very hard to get Chocola to participate. If we can set up a town hall meeting, we should wait until Chocola begins campaigning in earnest so we can record his positions and makes sure he sticks to them. Rey suggested at the last meeting that we set up a bird dogging team to follow Chocola and ask hard yes/no questions at each campaign appearance. We should get together in advance to set up the questions and to practice. Once the questions are developed, we can put them out on the list serve for feedback. We thought about doing the same with Donnelly. His campaign manager is Katie Nee. We should be able to discover where the candidates will appear from their websites.

    2. MPJC statement on Immigration Reform (Caroline): Caroline had been on vacation until just recently and was not able to pull together the statement for examination via the list serv. She and Lee will get together soon, draft the statement and put it on the listserv for response. Paul has taken a job as director of on-line labor studies at IUSB, but has moved back to New York. He will be making frequent visits to Michiana, but will not be moving back. We will approve the statement at our next meeting.

    3. CLAP project (Carol): Carol had another meeting and could not attend. There was nothing new to report.

    4. Move-on Press Conference (Peter): This was held at noon on Wednesday, June 7, outside Chocola's office. Peter was one of the speakers, and Matt was treated badly by the Move-on folks. The South Bend event garnered more publicity than any of the other Move-on campaign events have produced. It is hard to say how effective it was, but several folks mentioned they had seen the ads and there is a large bulletin board showing Chocola caught red handed on Rt. 23. We decided to encourage folks coming to the weekly vigils to wear a red glove on one hand so they could wave to the cars and remind them of the commercials.

    5. Literature Table at the Artist Festival: The West Side Art Faire will be held on Saturday afternoon, August 12. Lois will be in charge. Matt and Bernie volunteered to help. Anyone else who can help between noon and 6pm should contact phoebe22_98@yahoo.com We will have counter recruitment literature. Rey suggested some good comic book material and other provocative literature designed to grab young people. We will see how much it costs to order or copy this material. We also reviewed the suggestion of preparing lunch bags with counterrecruitment info on one side and have kids color the other side. Lois will continue to look into this. Ellyn suggested we add the store Just Goods to the list of independent stores we would offer the bags to. Ellyn will also contact Brenna to see if CPF and/or CPNV would be interested in providing literature and helping to staff the table.

      We also suggested having updated voting information at the table, especially the necessity for bringing official ID when coming to vote and the process, including cost, for obtaining the ID. We should put a link to this info on our website.

  3. Treasurer's Report: We have $197.30 in the bank and $16.52 cash on hand. The bank is charging $3/month fee for the savings account. Glenda Rae will ask how much we need in the account to avoid the fee. If it is too high, we authorized her to change banks if she could find one without the fee.

New Business

  1. Fall Elections - What can we do to influence the candidates (Caroline): Caroline suggested we get a group together to visit with Donnelly to ask him to clarify his position about certain issues. The group would make clear the MPJC position on each issue and ask him to state his own position even it it conflicts with our's. Dustin mentioned being in the south part of the district and finding many people who are opposed to withdrawal from Iraq even though they think we never should have fought over there. Rey mentioned that peace folks will support Donnelly in the fall because everyone wants to defeat Chocola, but once Joe has won, the gloves are off. We will be there to hold his feet to the fire. We set up a subcommittee of Ellyn, Caroline, Lee, Dustin, Mary Jo. If other folks on the list wish to be involved, the first meeting will be held at 7pm on Thursday, July 20th, at 1036 N. Niles Ave. At that meeting the group will try to come up with a list of topics and questions and set a date for the meeting with Donnelly perhaps at Denise's house. Raising the minimum wage and ensuring health care for all are two topics we share with organized labor. The group will ask Donnelly if we can post the questions and answers on the website.

  2. Plans for Hiroshima/ Nagasaki days events: We decided to try to get more people to attend the vigil on Monday, August 7, by contacting WAND and folks in Elkhart, as well as CPF and CPNV. We will need more and different signs. We also decided to have a presence in the Key Bank Plaza noon-1pm on August 7, 8, 9. Lois will coordinate. We need to ask some of the other women who vigil on Mondays to help. To volunteer email phoebe22_98@yahoo.com It was suggested that we get someone to dress up as Uncle Sam or else put on a large sign a statement that Rey brought back from the Brethren conference to the effect that Uncle Sam asks all other countries to destroy their nuclear weapons while the US continues to build and upgrade nuclear weapons. We also approved having a stand with wide paper on a roll that passersby could use to write messages to Chocola and Bush at the noon gathering, and bring it to the art faire that Saturday. Ron agreed to prepare the stand. He mentioned that Lois has some sandwich boards that would be useful for this event.

  3. Topic of the Month: We decided to ask the subscribers to the listserv to send in questions that will help the candidates refine their positions. The collection of these questions will outline an MPJC platform. Peter agreed to put out the call for questions.

  4. Other topics and issues: There were none.

  5. Next meeting: We will meet on August 1 at 1036 N. Niles Ave.