Minutes for MPJC Meeting of November 11, 2010

Present: Peter, Glenda Rae, Rey, Lois

Old business
    1.  Approval of Minutes for October 7: The minutes were approved as written

    2. Progress Reports
        a. Topic of the Month: End War, Reduce the Deficit - Is It Possible?: Peter reviewed the policy statement he had sent to the listserv from a meeting of 32 peace and justice organization who met in DC on October 3, the day after the March on Washington. Among the organizations represented were AFSC, FCNL, Code Pink, WRL, UFPJ. Network, Pax Christi, Iraq Veterans against the War, and several unions. WAND and NPP were not able to attend but expressed interest. The thrust of the group who met in DC is to coordinate work on cutting military spending and funding local services and jobs. Peter will call or email the coordinator and find out what it takes to join the group and inquire about a promised November conference call.

        b. October 16 Chicago Rally against the War: No one from the group attended this rally nor had anyone seen any report on its success.

        c. LaSalle Library Update: This branch will remain open at least until state and county funding for the library is set in the spring.

        d. IPJN News: No one had heard about a conference call since the last meeting.

        e. MoveOn campaign against Washington corruption: We have not heard anything more on this.

        f. Martin Luther King Day table and workshop: Glenda Rae will send in the $40 for a table. We will have information on counter recruitment and highlight the "bean poll," perhaps revising the categories to tie in with the topic of the month. We noted that the theme this year focuses on MLK's Dream. A significant part of that dream was to end the Vietnam War and prevent future wars. We also decided to sponsor a 90 minute workshop titled: "What does Dr. King's Dream and a Drama about a Roman Soldier have to do with conscience and choices you will have to make?" Margie Davis agreed to put on the play about a Christian Roman soldier who dies after refusing to fight that was performed at the St Marcellus Day remembrance (see below). We will try to get Mike Griffin to make the connection between the play and decisions that young folks have to make today whether or not to join the military in this stagnant economy. Perhaps the actors can participate in this discussion. Lois has a poster board listing hundreds of church-related alternative service projects. We will have a person who is active training young people for the work force. We wanted to ask Roger Parent if he could share stories of the peace corps and hold it up as a possibility for young people as an alternative to the military. We noted that the "Dream Act" has an amendment which would require immigrant youth to either attend college or join the military. The name is ironic given MLK's Dream.

        g. St Marcellus Day Activities: There was no rain this year and the walk went well. The play was well received as well. The worship service, keynote address, and conference were well attended. Bill Cavanaugh is a top notch scholar and communicator.

3. Treasurer's Report: Our bank total is $165.02 with $30 in petty cash.

New Business

    1. What do we (can we) do next? We did not have time to pursue this item

    2. Colombian priest potluck and talk (November 12): Ellyn has done a great job planning and publicizing this talk which will be held at 7pm on Friday, November 12, preceded by a potluck at 6pm at Prince of Peace Church of the Brethern at Ironwood and Cleveland. She will call Glenda Rae after 1pm on Friday to check on when she should arrive at the church. Father Jesús Alberto Franco is a renowned leader in the Colombian human rights movement. He is a Colombian missionary priest, as well as the executive secretary of Inter-church Justice and Peace Commission, a 22 year-old Colombian human rights and community organizing group. For over 20 years, Fr. Alberto has worked for human rights and accompanying the resistance processes of Afro-Colombian, indigenous and mixed race farmers.

    3. Topic of the Month: We decided to continue work on the "End War, Reduce the Deficit," topic for next time.

    4. Other Topics and Issues: On the last Monday in October, there was a presentation of posters prepared by the LGBT community to the council members who supported the human rights ordinance amendment which recently failed to pass.

    5. Next meeting: The next meeting will be on Thursday, December 16, at 7pm at Peter and Ellyn's.