Minutes for MPJC meeting for December 6.

Present: Lois, Peter, Dustin, Zae, Ellyn, Paul, Carol

Old Business

  1. Approval of Minutes: The minutes for the November 8th meeting were approved as corrected.

  2. Progress Reports

    1. No Child Left Behind Issue - Let Me Decide High School Project: Brenna had emailed to say that she had talked with the principal at Marian High School and he said that because of the article that came out in September about the opt-out campaign (remember it was on the front page with a picture of military recruiters at Marian having kids doing push-ups), they got a number of calls from parents. SOOOO..... Now, Marian no longer allows recruiters in the hallways or cafeterias! Recruiters go straight to the office, an announcement is made, and if kids want to meet and make an appointment, they can.

      Also, Lois heard from a social worker at Washington High school that she is unhappy with the way the military is pressuring kids. She tells the students to call the opt-out hotline.

    2. MPJC Statement on Outsourcing: Other than an offer by Jackie to work on this issue, there has been no response from the list after we reposted Ed C.'s lead-in. We decided to ask Jackie if she would post her thoughts to the list and if there is no further response, ask her to compose an MPJC position on this issue.

    3. Local "Camp Casey" Jan. 7-22: There have been two meetings of the committee to work on South Bend's Camp Casey. This follows on a successful Camp Casey in Fort Wayne in October and one currently taking place in Elkhart (Nov. 26 - Dec. 10). At the first meeting, Cliff from CPT described the logistics of the Fort Wayne Camp Casey and recommended we do a Camp Casey in December. After discussion we decided not to do our Camp Casey in December since several folks could not participate until January. We brainstormed about sites and after the meeting several of us looked at some proposed sites, not liking any of them. In the second meeting, Cliff and some folks from Elkhart described the Elkhart Camp Casey which they pulled together in less than a week. A highlight for them were house meetings where up to 10 friends or neighbors are invited for discussion about the war. They also planted 2050 crosses and had an action where they visited the recruiting offices and asked probing questions.

      We decided to hold our Camp Casey, Jan. 7-22 to include a week of ND/SMC classes and also the MLK celebration festivities. We decided to set up close to downtown so there would be folks walking by. We would like a place in view of the street and sidewalk to set up tents and also a room in the sponsoring church to meet with folks dropping by and also to sponsor talks and video documentaries. We also wanted to put signs in Rey's truck to create a mobile Camp Casey to bring to Sunday church services, and other remote locations to stimulate discussion about the war and hand out anti-war material. We discussed the pros and cons of 5 downtown sites. Ellyn and Lois agreed to contact these to discuss their willingness and ability to host a Camp Casey. Carol will try to get information into church bulletins. Brother Sage wants to include campers on his Sunday evening program on 960, and WUBS will probably help publicize it. MPJC endorsed this effort and ask our members to support it as best they can.

    4. CLAP project: This a ND student group working to improve wages and working conditions for ND service workers. Carol talked about their efforts to start a dialog with the ND adminstration about paying their workers a living wage without success. This is especially disturbing since Catholic social teaching advocates the payment of a living wage. After much discussion we decided to support the students, but wait until they have specific recommendations for our participation. ND is the largest employer in the area, so concessions on their part are likely to have broad repercussions.

    5. Anti-war letters to the editor: Zae had put out a plea to the list serv asking folks to write letters to the voice of the people and send these letters to the list. A few present wrote letters but only sent them to the Tribune. There are lots of letters published about time zones and euthanizing dogs, but not enough on the war tragedy. We decided to again encourage folks to write and publish their letters. The email address is vop@sbtinfo.com. Some topics are: number of deaths, cost of war, poll numbers, fixing facts, etc. We asked Ellyn to send the weekly letter to the senators and reps also to the tribune.

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

New Business

  1. CPT plans for local nonviolent training center: CPTer Tom B. is interested in bringing a CPT delegation to South Bend every 6 weeks or so, to put on a Camp Casey and become trained to do the same in their home areas. We decided to wait for a formal proposal on this suggestion. We are concerned that there will be only a very few participants in future Camp Caseys and this will reflect poorly on us and drain energy from other efforts.

  2. Topic of the Month: How and When should the troops withdraw from Iraq. Zae will ask Ed C. to review our current position on withdrawal of troops from Iraq in view of the change in poll results with respect to withdrawal. Once he posts a position it is our responsibility to respond. A clear position on this issue will help the campers respond to questions in January.

  3. Other topics and issues:
    1. Our presence has been requested at Chocola's office on December 14. We decided to ask Andre and the CPNV to organize this. The issue is the budget proposals that cut off funding for the poor. For more information go to www.sojo.net.

    2. CPT has put out a request for a Thursday fast in solidarity with the CPT team members who were captured and may be beheaded on Thursday. There are several prayer vigils scheduled. Information on these was sent out to the list.

  4. The meeting was adjourned at 8:40 pm. Next meeting will be Tuesday, January 3, at Peter and Ellyn's.

Peter Smith