Minutes for MPJC Meeting of September 20, 2012

Present: Peter, Ellyn, Pam, Glenda Rae, Wanda, Galen, Lois

Old business

    1.  Approval of Minutes for August 30: The minutes were approved as presented.

    2. Progress Reports

        a. Topic of the Month: Faithful Budget- Everyone had completed their synopses of this document. Wanda and Galen approved Peter's edit of their section. Everyone approved the Creation section which Rey had written in Glenda Rae's behalf. We decided to post the final document in the issues section of the website and also send it out to the listserve embedded in an email message. We asked how we could get people to read and take to heart this document since it has so much detail. One suggestion was to try to make an appointment with Donnelly, but it is doubtful this could happen before the election, after which he will be a lame duck. Ellyn suggested sending in pertinent questions for the Donnelly-Murdock debates (October 15th and 23rd). There will also be three gubernatorial debates (October 10, 17, and 25th - The 17th debate is at Debartelo Center at ND. Tickets are free but must be reserved). The first presidential debate is October 3 from 9 to 10:30pm. There will be a talk starting at 7:30pm on "Rebuilding the American Dream:  The Economic Issues at Stake in the Presidential Election" by Jared Bernstein at Hesburgh Library Auditorium on October 3. The Vice-Presidential debate is October 11. Rey emailed after the meeting to confirm that all these debates as well as the presidential debates on October 16th and 22nd will be broadcast on WNIT, Channel 34 or Comcast 10.

        b. September 15 - Community Forum on Economic Development: This was deemed to be very good by the three in our group who were able to attend. There were over 100 who preregistered and others registered at the door. There was not enough time for discussion groups since the speakers gave good information but ran over time. They did have a Q&A session.

        c. September 16 - URC Violence Prevention program: This was poorly attended, although the Sikh community was very well represented. The mayor did an excellent job revising his proclamation identifying this the week of prayer for peace. The Tribune used this idea for its headline. September 21 is the International Day of Prayer for Peace and folks are encouraged to offer a prayer at
noon GMT. There will be a candlelight vigil on that day in commemoration of the Libyan ambassador at 7:00pm in front of the Mosque, 310 Heppler St. Folks are welcome to join in the prayer service afterwards but need to remove shoes and women must cover their heads for this service in the Mosque.

        d. Center for History project: Lois had talked to Kristi Dunn, the person organizing this photo exhibit on the history of South Bend, about including photos of important peace and justice events and organizations in South Bend. She agreed to meet with Lois at 2pm on September 21. Lois will find out what kind of photos are needed and what the limit is. Anyone having good photos of past events should contact Lois at 574-231-8971. Ellyn has lots of pictures and suggested using a photo of an issue of Around the Bend as a centerpiece for our exhibit. Peter suggested using the photos we have submitted to the Library photo contest.

    3. Treasurer's Report: Our bank total is $117.43 with $5.56 in petty cash. Glenda Rae had donated the $50 we authorized to obtain the video "Alhelm MLK on Palestine."

New Business

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

    2. Getting Mayor to Endorse Violence Prevention resolution - Lois passed around a copy of the resolution approved at the Mayors' Convention in June. We all agreed to read it on line at http://usmayors.org/resolutions/80th_Conference/csj08.asp and decide by the next meeting how we should present it to our mayor. Lois will contact Dale Gibson who is very interested in gun violence reduction. This is very hard to control as the gun lobby spearheaded by the NRA is very powerful. Folks have noticed signs advertizing free handgun training, especially for women.

    3. October 6-13 Keep Space for Peace week - We decided to develop a sign to this effect to use at our Monday vigil on October 8th. Glenda Rae also suggested a sign showing our concern that Israel may drag us into war with Iran.

    4. Coalition on Human Needs signon - Glenda Rae had asked that MPJC sign on to this letter to Congress asking them to strengthen America's values and economy for all, opposing the Ryan budget and cuts in social services which sequestration will bring about. We tried before the Wednesday deadline but could not figure out how to do it on their website. Ellyn suggested just printing the letter and sending it to the local offices of our Senators and Representative and she will do this.

   5. Library Photo Contest - Lois checked on this and it will be held in November. The applications were not quite available, but Lois will check back. We need to take a photo or retrieve one taken over the past year. Lois asked what the subject of the photo should be, but we were not able to answer this question. We will take it up again at the next meeting.

   6. Randall Shea potluck - He was a long-term Witness For Peace worker in Nicaragua when Peter went in 1990. Since then he worked with the Guatemalan refugees in Mexico and went back with them when they returned to Santa Maria Tzeja. He helped start a school there and still acts as principal. They have expanded through high school and have been able to send several graduates to university. He and two of his daughters will be here on November 7 and MPJC agreed to sponsor a potluck to help him spread the word and collect donations. Peter will work on finding a location. He suggested St. A's and Pam suggested First United Methodist. We may well need to unwind from the election results on November 6.

    7. Topic of the Month: Ellyn suggested we investigate why the U.S. has such a problem with gun violence and other countries such as Canada and Britain do not. Pam wondered if we should look into the problems of women in Afghanistan, but we thought that the solution to that problem lay with the women themselves. Lois had found an issue of Saturday Evening Post in her Doctor's office with an article "America's Painful Divide: How do we heal" - saturdayeveningpost.com/haidt/ - and Bill Moyers had the author on last Sunday. We decided to work on the topic Ellyn suggested for next Month.

    8. Other Topics and Issues: There will be a LWV session featuring the Probate Judge candidates on Thursday, September 27 at 6pm at the Grill on IUSB campus. Glenda Rae pointed out that the three county commissioners act as the executive branch for the county and the nine County Council members act as the legislative branch.

    9. Next meeting: Tuesday, October 30 at 7pm at Pam and Ron's.