Minutes for MPJC Meeting of July 15, 2019

Present: Peter, Ellyn, Glenda Rae, Rey, Lois, Wanda, Ronda.

Old business

    1.  Approval of Minutes for June 3: The minutes were approved as corrected.

    2. Progress Reports:

        a. Topic of the Month: Nuclear weapon tension is ongoing. Lois showed us the Trimtab picture with the proliferation of weapons since WWII. All of WWII used 3 kilotons of weapons. Russia and the U.S. now have over 18,000 kilotons aimed at each other. With Trump goading us and our European allies to war, the Union of Concerned Scientists' disaster clock remains at 2 minutes to midnight. We decided to continue this discussion under section d. Lois feels strongly that we should talk about what to do about this problem every meeting.

        b. Book of the Month report: Wanda had just started reading "Amity and Prosperity" by Eliza Griswold about oil drilling and its effect on a Pennsylvania family. Lois had started reading "Prisoner" by Jason Rezaian about a Times reporter held in captivity in Iran for 544 days. They will report more about this next meeting.

       c. Immigration Coalition Report: There was a gathering on Friday, July 12, 7-9pm outside the Federal Building to protest the degrading conditions for asylum seekers at the border, especially the children. There were over 150 in attendance to hear speakers and stories of imprisoned children and families. The program ended with a candlelight ceremony in solidarity with protests all across the world. It was hard to get advance information about this protest. Ellyn agreed to send folks information about how to subscribe to Indivisible. Most organizing is on social media rather than email these days.

There was a rally by BlackTavists at Jon Hunt Plaza Saturday, July 13, 2-4pm, at which black activists from South Bend, Gary, Chicago, and elsewhere gathered to protest police brutality, especially the killing of Eric Logan. Regina Preston-Williams spoke eloquently about the need to support one another even when we do not agree on everything. She supports Mayor Pete because he is willing to listen and hopefully take action on a Civilian Review Board.

There was a "Know your rights" program at Harrison School 6-8pm Saturday to help migrants cope with the ICE raids scheduled to begin on Sunday. This was sponsored by Casa de Amistad, which is the center for reporting ICE activity. They encouraged everyone to get a South Bend ID card and use it if asked for ID when being taken into custody. The police chief was there and reiterated that South Bend police would not assist ICE.

We discussed the gateway center situation. The Salvation Army store site was withdrawn due to opposition by neighbors and the Salvation Army need to get more for the property. There is a site owned by the city on West Washington across from St. Augustine's church where South Bend Heritage was going to build low cost housing for the homeless. The rezoning decision has been postponed a month so the neighborhood center can vote on whether it wants it. There is a real shortage of decent low income rental property in South Bend. If the property is decent the rent is unaffordable. If the rent is affordable, the property is substandard. The Miami Hills property keep passing inspection because there is no place for the residents to go if it is condemned.

The Immigration coalition will meet on August 14th at 10am. Nanci Flores has been attending as Casa representative.

       d. Hiroshima/Nagasaki Remembrance: We decided to dedicate the August 5 vigil to tie together the planet destroying evils of nuclear war and climate change, especially the money going to nuclear weapons that should be going to protect the environment. We want to say yes to renewable energy, and no to nuclear, coal, and gas powered forms of energy. We need to make a couple of signs bridging nuclear war and the environment. We have enough signs about each issue individually. We need folks to hold the signs. Ellyn will prepare a notice for Indivisible in the next few days and get it to them. Lois wondered if the URC could be mobilized. Peter has the nuclear war signs and whatever he was able to rescue from Lois' Southfield stash.

Activists had hoped the government would convert the Oak Ridge site to dismantle nuclear weapons, but instead it has been converted to modernize them. In addition, a new plant built in 2014 in a former soybean field near Kansas City, named "National Security Campus" makes the mechanical guts of U.S. atomic warheads and modernizes the aging weapons the U.S, can fire from missiles, bombers, and submarines.

3. Treasurer's Report: $124.52 with $10 in petty cash. We had to take out Lois' $25 check since the bank would not accept it. She wrote another one to replace it.

New Business

    1. What do we (can we) do next? We incorporated this topic into other discussion

    2. Topic of the Month: We did not choose a new topic.

    3. Other Topics and Issues: We ran out of time for this topic.

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    4. Next meeting: Monday, September 9, at 2:15pm at Lois' facility. We will send the directions in the meeting announcement.