Minutes for MPJC Meeting of November 18, 2019

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

Old business

    1.  Approval of Minutes for October 21: The minutes were approved as written.

    2. Progress Reports:

        a. Topic of the Month: No one sent ideas how to save paper. We will try again.

        b. Book of the Month report: Lois has finished "Water Dancer," by Ta-Nehisi Coates about the underground railroad. Rey mentioned that there was a musical performance about the underground railroad at Debartalo. Ellyn is reading "Leadership," about 4 presidents: Lincoln, the two Roosevelts, and Johnson. She is finding it well worth reading.

       c. Immigration Coalition Report: The coalition is focusing on the December 10 Human Rights Day program. This is set for December 10, 5-8pm at the UAW hall on South Main St. again this year. This will be the 20th year of South Bend celebrating this day and so the organizers are trying to gather some of the speakers at earlier celebrations to come back and say a few words. As far as anyone at the meeting could tell, the demonstration outside of Braun's office (Donnelly's old office) on Nov 7 did not take place.

We mentioned that the government is taking comments on setting our asylum policy. One proposal is to make successful seekers wait a year after being granted asylum before being issued work permits. How are they supposed to support themselves? Also, Frontline had a piece on the origin of Trump's immigrant policy. It seems that his staffers told him that being tough on immigrants was a winning strategy in the election.

       d. Armistice Day: There were only two of us at the vigil, but we had good signs and received a number of honks.

       e. MLK table and LTOP: There is a planning meeting next Monday. Glenda Rae is having trouble getting her team together to plan for the Little Taste of Peace, which will be held on January 18 at Saint Mary's College. Peter and Ellyn will be in Nicaragua for both LTOP and MLK day.

       f. Human Rights Day: See above. John Broden is the main speaker. Ellyn will give a brief talk.

3. Treasurer's Report: $133.50 with $10 in petty cash.

New Business

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

    2. Topic of the Month: Lois wanted us to focus on Gun Violence. Rey mentioned that Moms Demand Action seems to be the key advocate for reducing gun violence in South Bend. They met the previous Sunday and talked about gun safety, dispelling gun violence myths, and how to excel in the year to come! In America, more than 100 people are shot and killed by guns every day, and more than 200 people are injured by gunshots every day. EveryStat is a tool to see how different states compare in gun violence data. This will be helpful when engaging with Indiana legislators to show how our lax gun safety laws are damaging lives when compared to states with common sense solutions. They are not anti-gun but pro-gun-safety. Keep guns in locked cabinet and separate bullets from gun storage. They will have a fundraiser selling jewelry made from bullet casings on November 23rd 2-6pm Bullets 4 Life Indiana Pop & Heal, Transformation Center, 1519 Portage Ave, South Bend. On January 13th there will be an Advocacy Day on gun violence at Indiana State House, Indianapolis.

Lois mentioned that when Everett Coop was surgeon general, he wanted to encourage doctors to ask patients if there was a gun in their house or in the houses their children played in. The NRA got him replaced and many states now have laws preventing doctors from mentioning guns. Congress will not let government agencies participate in gun violence studies.It is hard to get red flag laws passed (police can take guns away from people they deem a danger to themselves or others and keep them for a month until a court hearing). We decided to see if anyone felt moved to develop a position paper on gun violence during the next month.

    4. Other Topics and Issues: There is a referendum planned during the May elections that would increase property taxes to pay for expenses incurred by public school improvement efforts. If it fails then closed schools and increased class size would follow. Charter schools are set to take over these closed schools for $1 per year. These schools can pick which students they take and have been implicated in racial segregation efforts. We applauded Isaac Hunt who works for the school corporation but uses his car as his office as he visits people in their homes to try to help troubled students. The topic "Why Children Fail in Public Schools" is another possibility for Topic of the Month.

Indivisible publicized a vigil outside the County City building on 11/18/19 to push for the green new deal to combat climate change. Sunrise also has a petition to Mayor Pete to hold polluting companies accountable and strengthen South Bend's plans to combat climate change.

The Peace Ed Fund needs to hold its annual meeting as soon as Peter finishes the financial report. We still have not regained our Indiana corporate status. Glenda Rae and Peter will look into the possibility of registering a new corporation doing business as the Peace Education Fund of Indiana.

Peter briefly described the NWTRCC meeting he attended in Oregon during the first weekend in November. This meeting was dedicated to making connections between climate change and militarism.

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    6. Next meeting: Monday, December 16, at 2:30pm near Lois' facility. We will send the directions in the meeting announcement.