Minutes for MPJC meeting for October 4.

Present: Lois, Carol, Lee, Dustin, Mary Jo, Pam, Ellyn

Old Business

  1. Approval of Minutes: The minutes for the September 6th meeting were approved.

  2. Progress Reports

    1. No Child Left Behind: a project spearheaded by members of the Center for Peace and Non-Violence has had two sessions with high school students so far. They are focusing on getting the word out about the "opt-out" option re military recruiting and having some success in two schools. There is another meeting scheduled per Brennan and Liz on October 20th at ll02 E. Thomas (westside Catholic Worker House) re more planning.

      Pam asked if we could support the students by leafleting. Three of our members leafleted against the war several years ago, with one being arrested. Pam will check with her son, a high school teacher, about ways to support students without getting arrested.

      There was a recent SB Trib article about the program.

    2. MPJC Statement on Voting Fraud: Dustin has been working compiling a synopsis of Coalition members re voting fraud and access. The members present agreed to his rendition with a few modifications. Here is the current statement that will go on the website:

      The MPJC feels that the basic right to vote, while still strong in this country, is being faced with numerous challenges. After the controversy in Florida during the 2000 presidential vote and in Ohio during the 2004 presidential vote many new regulations were implemented to help prevent voter fraud and other irregularities. We must ensure that any steps taken to protect the integrity of the voting system do not infringe on the rights of the poor, of minorities, and for anyone who does not have a photo id. We must also ensure that our elections are not influenced by the party in power, corporate interests, and intimidation by poll workers. While the new voter I.D. laws both in Indiana and the ones proposed on a national basis do provide some protection against fraud, they cause a larger problem by instituting a "poll tax" in the form of a charge for an acceptable form of I.D. We must work to make the polls accessible to all who wish to participate on Election Day without undue complications or discouraging measures. The voting system must be accountable for all votes cast. Steps that could encourage greater turnout would be the institution of Election Day as a national holiday, which would give everyone ample opportunity to go to the polls; a longer election period; and instant runoff voting.

      The group thanked Dustin for his work on this.

    3. September 24-6th rallies: This rally was coordinated by Lee, Caroline, Glenda, and other members of the "Dean" group. Approximately 75 people attended despite competition from a ND game and the fact that approximately 50 students went to DC and other local members attended rallies in Goshen, Indy and Bloomington. There was no press coverage despite being contacted twice by Lee and also by Pam. Members of local labor groups, Center for Peace and Non Violence and MPJC participated among others. The group discussed working more intensely to get media coverage. They also discussed email comments from Andre about more coordinated planning. The group indicated that they were in favor of any help available in planning such events.

    4. Ed and Jackie were not able to attend to update the group on the UN talk and MPJC statement on Outsourcing and a Peace Pot. Members will be checking to see if it is legal to solicit donations on the street…..the group is opposed to actively soliciting in traffic.

      The UN talk was poorly attended despite a great panel and discussion. It was competing with a crucial Tondu project discussion by the Greens.

  3. Treasurer’s Report: The treasurer was absent.

New Business

  1. Lois reported on her extensive ground work in exploring the idea of a local "Camp Casey", i.e., setting up locally a spot where information about the war in Iraq could be provided to the public. The most ideal plan is thought to be a quickly assembled mobile display that we could use for 1-2 hour time spots. Cliff Kindy and Tom Benevento from Christian Peacemaker Teams have been promoting the idea and a Ft Wayne group has already established one. We would need more people able to work at such a spot. Needed would be coordination with Goshen, ND, SMC, etc. It was decided that Lois would go with Pam to a gathering on Wednesday where potential helpers would be and they would also contact Brenna and Liz about helping. Handouts and sidewalk cutouts would be considered. They will report back.

  2. Carol Dillon asked the support of the group for the service workers organizing on the ND campus. A group called College Labor Action Project or CLAP has called for this on campus. Call to Action will be involved. Carol will serve as our liaison for this effort.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:35 pm. Next meeting to be announced.

Ellyn Stecker