Minutes for MPJC Meeting of December 5, 2012

Present: Peter, Ellyn, Glenda Rae, Jenny, Rey

Old business

    1.  Approval of Minutes for November 8: The minutes were approved as presented.

    2. Progress Reports

        a. Topic of the Month: Violence Prevention - No one picked up on this. We decided that our statement relating to gun control would not have any effect since the State of Indiana has legislated that no city or county can have stricter gun control laws than those enacted by the state. This is part of a move by the NRA to get all states to enact such laws. There will be a meeting at the Charles Martin Center on local violence prevention, but it will focus on how religion can influence our youth. They need to be listened to. A question was raised as to whether the state laws on gun control were being enforced, but we did not know the answer to this. The business near the Center for the Homeless which had tried unsuccessfully to get a license to sell guns is gone.

        b. Getting mayor to endorse Violence Prevention resolution: The mayor has some antiviolence initiatives on the table. We decided to wait and see how these turn out before revisiting the resolution. Ellyn will prepare a list of gun safety information for the next meeting. When is it helpful and when is it harmful to have guns in the home? How do you teach your kids about gun safety? Often, kids are drawn to play with guns no matter how well they are taught. It is not only guns in their own homes they have to avoid, but guns in their friend's houses as well. Legislation has been passed in Florida forbidding doctors from asking their patients if they have guns in the home. Ellyn asks this question so she can counsel her patients about gun safety. Will this type of legislation extend to other states. It sounds like an NRA initiative.

        c. Library photo contest: Lois saw a young black child looking at a magazine illustrating guns and asked his father if she could take his picture. She submitted it to the library contest with the title, "Thinking About Guns." The boy said that he only liked toy guns; that his friend had been shot to death. Lois hoped that the picture would help raise concern about guns. Others were afraid it would trigger racial prejudice; that black kids are more likely to have and use guns. The exhibit opened with a reception on December 6.

        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 on September 21. Ms. Dunn was not interested in these photos. We decided to wait until after MLK day to further pursue this project

        e. MLK Day tabling: Glenda Rae submitted our application and paid for a table at Century Center on January 21. Ellyn, Pam, Ron, Wanda and Galen will staff the table in the morning, and Peter and Glenda Rae will work the afternoon. We got permission to put the bean poll on wheels and move around the area asking folks to distribute 10 beans in jars representing a number of different budget priorities. Lois thought we could mount the exhibit on her walker. We were not sure how we would hold it up. She will bring the walker to one of the vigils so we can look at it. Rey thought we could mount the exhibit on a sandwich board. We will provide copies of the Cost of War brochures, and WRL Pie Charts. Lois has other MLK posters that we can use at the table.

        f. Taste of Peace: This will be held on Saturday evening, January 19, at Rhema Word church on York Rd. Glenda Rae was not sure how to get round tables and enough chairs for everyone. We suggested trying Crest Manor Church of the Brethren(Rey & Glenda Rae) and Kern Road Mennonite(Jenny). We know the latter has round tables. If these fall through, Peter can ask at St. Augustine's. They need 11 tables and 120 chairs.

    3. Treasurer's Report: Our bank total is $77.43 with $5.56 in petty cash. We spent $40 for table space at MLK day. Rey said that the video "Alhelm MLK on Palestine," is not yet finished, but will be soon. We noted that our funds are running low and Peter will put out a request for donations on the list serve

New Business

    1. What do we (can we) do next? We ran out of time and had to pass over this topic. We have plenty on our plate through January.

    2. Topic of the Month: We decided to take up the topic of climate change and the environment. Rey and Glenda Rae went to Chicago on November 28 to attend the "Do the Math" event sponsored by 350.org at the Athenaeum theater. This program talked about steps to provide a livable future for our planet. They learned that the global temperature has risen one degree Celsius and can only rise two more degrees before climate change becomes irreversible. The U.S. has already stockpiled five times the amount of fossil fuels to effect this rise in temperature. A major initiative mentioned in Chicago is to get college campuses to divest from fossil fuel companies. There was a student from ND there and also one from IUSB. Rey gave the ND student his card and offered to coordinate our plans with any actions by students. Rey will post a draft statement on climate change for us to respond to. Glenda Rae noted that the Canadian Corporation pushing the Excel pipeline has now convinced Texas communities to take land by eminent domain so they can build the pipeline from south to north. They figure that by the time they get the pipeline to the disputed land near the border, the State Department will give them a permit.

    3. Other Topics and Issues: Glenda Rae had a letter from the Department of Labor which responded to her concerns about the firing of GM workers in Colombia who were injured on the job. The letter actually spoke to her concerns and said the department was watching the situation closely. A federal mediation process has been started and some progress has been made.

Last Saturday's (Dec 1) paper had a good story with pictures about the prayer ministry.

Jobs with Justice is sponsoring a Human Rights Day session at the main library, 2-4 on Saturday, December 8. The focus this year is the right to social security. There will be a vigil outside of Donnelly's office 4-6 on Monday, December 10, the actual Human Rights Day. The focus is protection of medicare, medicaid, and social security from budget cuts. We suggested that folks from MPJC could attend the first hour and then move down to the corner of Main and Jefferson for our regular vigil. Peter made a Human Rights Day sign for that vigil.

    5. Next meeting: Tuesday, January 15 at 7pm. Place to be determined.