Minutes for MPJC meeting for September 6.

Present: Lee, Mary Jo, Dustin, Ed C, Lois, Pam, Rey, Glenda Rae, Zae

Old Business

  1. Approval of Minutes: The minutes for the August 16th meeting were approved.

  2. Progress Reports

    1. MPJC-sponsored presentation "Why Does the U.S. need the United Nations?" with panelists Ana Garcia Rodicio, George A. Lopez, Paul Mishler; Thursday, Sept. 9, 7-9 PM, South Bend Public Library. Zae read an email from Jackie Smith about the upcoming talk and distributed copies of a poster Jackie had attached to the email.

    2. MPJC Statement of Voting Dustin read a summary statement about the proposed MPJC Statement on Voting, which had been put out to the list for discussion early in the summer. We agreed that the statement should include general support for increased access and opportunity to voting, with specific support for 1) a national holiday for the national election, 2) instant run-off voting, and 3) national standards for voting eligibility. Dustin will now send the proposed final version to the list and members are invited to "fine tune" it, keeping in mind that the substance has already been discussed and we are putting it in final form.

    3. Sept. 24-26 National Iraq War Protest Lee reported that there was not enough interest in this area to charter a bus to Washington and we agreed that it made sense to proceed to plan a local observation for Saturday, Sept. 24. Lee will look into the possibility of a rally in downtown South Bend in the middle of the afternoon on the 24th. If that is not possible we will expand our regular Grape and Cleveland vigil, along the lines of the recent Cindy Sheehan vigil, inviting general participation and the media. Lee will let us know soon what the specific plan is.

    4. Sign-making party Saturday's sign-making party at Zae's yielded about 15 new signs, including such gems as Honk for an Exit Strategy, National Guard for National Security, and a sign for the niche market: Bush is Sauron---Save the Shire.

  3. Treasurer's Report Glenda Rae reported a balance of $301.93. The two most recent expenditures were for dues to Jobs for Justice ($50) and reimbursing Peter for printing of brochures ($16). As a corollary to the budget discussion, Lee asked that MPJC once again purchase a $50 ad for the upcoming Jobs for Justice banquet. A lively discussion ensued about striking a balance between justifiable networking and the limits of the MPJC bank account. A compromise was reached, with MPJC pledging $25 and Mary Jo providing matching funds, bringing the total contribution to $50.

New Business

  1. No Child Left Behind We expressed our ongoing support for local efforts to inform high school students about opting out of draft lists, but were unable to act further on this item because the appropriate contact people were not able to attend the meeting. Information about upcoming opt-out meetings can be posted directly to the list. (See copy of email following the minutes)

  2. New Topic of the Month We agreed that the next Topic of the Month should concern our position on outsourcing (and, possibly, insourcing). Ed volunteered to formulate the issue for discussion and post it to the list for responses.

  3. Lee brought a DVD about the Miami Five (a case which earned the U.S. condemnation by the World Court) and suggested it might merit a showing by MPJC. Several members will review it and advise us at the next meeting (Lee, Paul, Ed,Dustin, Mary Jo, Lois).

  4. We picked up on the fund-raising thread raised during the Treasurer's Report. Ed will call the police department to see if there are any legal issues involved if we have a "Peace Pot" on display at vigils, with donations going into our Peace Education Fund. We agreed to solicit funds from the MPJC membership only after a year had passed since the last solicitation (March).

  5. Next Meeting Tuesday, October 4, 7-8:30 PM, location to be announced.
Message from Brenna re No Child Left Behind

Hi everyone...

I wanted to send everyone an update from our August 18th "Let Me Decide" high school event...

David Hendricks of Prince of Peace Church provided an amazing set up at his parish, and "recruited" lots of help to set out pizza and ice cream sundaes.

About 50 people attended, 35 or so of which were high school students. WOW!!!

We explained the "No Child Left Behind" info, and Mike Griffin gave an inspiring talk on peace and the importance of students taking action. The group watched clips of a DVD about the military and talked in small groups.

We decided to hold another event on TUESDAY, SEPTMEBER 20TH. So if any kids missed the last event, they can come to the next one! I registered our event on the "Leave My Child Alone" website so we could get a free DVD featuring Cindy Sheehan. You can find info on

The South Bend Tribune wants to do a story and some students and myself are meeting with a reporter tonight.

We have also started a listserv so students can communicate with each other. If you wish to join, go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/let_me_decide/

Please email me at brennacussen@yahoo.com if you have gotten in touch with principals or guidance counselors from any high schools. If not, start working on it, but let us know who you plan to meet with!