MEETING NOTES FOR PEOPLE FOR PEACE, JUSTICE, AND HEALING
People for Peace, Justice, and Healing
April 26, 2008
People for Peace, Justice, and Healing met at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 26, 2008, at Associated Ministries. Present for check-in: Terry, Mark J., Louisa, Rob, Nancy, Colleen, Sallie S., and Mark B.
1. BOOKS FOR DETAINEES AT THE NORTHWEST DETENTION CENTER (Nancy)
If you can donate books in Cambodian, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese (these are the languages most heavily represented at the Northwest Detention Center; however, books in other languages, including English, would also be appreciated), please call Lori at 253-383-3951. Lori is working with Tacoma Community House (TCH), a nonprofit organization involved in educational, immigration, employment, and social services for immigrants, refugees, and low-income residents of Pierce County. The Northwest Detention Center is an immigration jail built on a Tacoma Tideflats Superfund site. In 2002, the *News Tribune* told its readers it would be "a 500-bed detention facility." In 2003 and 2004, AP and the Seattle Times said the facility would have 700 beds. Later, it was sometimes reported that the facility would be able to "expand" to hold 800 prisoners. In 2007, Tacomans learned that “no construction” would be needed for a 200-bed expansion to 1,000-prisoner capacity. The prison is privately owned by the Geo Group, Inc. Tacoma’s hometown paper, the News Tribune, has never had much to say about the Northwest Detention Center, and many Pierce County residents do not even know it exists.
2. CONOR BROWNE (Sallie S.)
Conor Browne, from Northern Ireland, is an M.A. graduate from Queens University in Belfast specializing in peace and national security studies. He will be in Tacoma June 14-30 and is willing to give a talk on his own personal story, on the N. Ireland peace process, and on future prospects for peace in other global hot spots. PPJH decided to sponsor the talk. Sallie will contact King's Books for a date, preferably a Thursday.
3. PUBLIC FORUM ON VOTER-OWNED ELECTIONS IN TACOMA ON SAT. MORNING, MAY 3 (Mark B.)
A public forum on voter-owned elections for cities and counties will be held on Sat., May 3, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Tahoma Unitarian Universalist Church (TUUC) at 1115 S. 56th St., Tacoma ("L" St. and S. 56th). Appearing will be Marilyn Strickland (Tacoma City Council), Nick Licata (Seattle City Council), Craig Salins (director, Washington Public Campaigns), and Julio Quan (former director, Centro Latino). -- Why is this event important? Because the electoral process is crucial to any sociopolitical change, and making it more responsive can be achieved by using a new Washington State law allowing local jurisdictions to create programs that offer public funds for local political campaigns. More information on the forum is available from the League of Women Voters of Tacoma-Pierce County, 702 Broadway, Suite 105, Tacoma, WA 98402 (253-272-1495).
4. MAY 3 MEETING (Group)
PPJH's meeting on Sat., May 3, will not be held -- or, if you prefer, will be merged with the public forum described above.
5. BED IN A BAG (Sallie S.)
Sallie has purchased sets of items needed by soldiers from Iraq (sheets, pillow cases, a comforter, towels, wash cloths, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc.), and PPJH endorsed paying for two of the sets (about $200).
6. COMMITTEE FAILS TO RECOMMEND TACOMA HOMELESS SHELTER GRANT (Nancy)
The Human Services Commission of the Tacoma City Council has refused to approve a grant of about $135,000 to the city's homeless shelter. A movement is afoot to appeal to the City Council at its meeting on May 6 to reverse this decision. Supporters of the reversal should attend the meeting, at 5:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers, first floor of the Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market Street. -- UPDATE FROM NANCY (Sat., Apr. 26): "Spoke to Bix, and there is one more planning meeting at Guadalupe House (G Street and 15th) at 3:30 p.m. to prepare for presentation at City Hall at City Council meeting on May 6. The subject will of course involve the Martin Luther King Shelter on Pacific Avenue." -- BACKGROUND: The News Tribune's account, published on Apr. 18, can be read here. It states: "After 39 years -- 10 years in its current location -- the fate of the shelter is uncertain following a recommendation from a citizens commission to not award crucial grant funding to its operator, Martin Luther King Housing Development Association. Combined, the grant requests totaled $135,000 of the shelter’s roughly $300,000 operating budget. -- The City Council is expected to make a final decision on the distribution of funds at its May 6 meeting. Councilman Mike Lonergan said he wants to use a council contingency fund to distribute $10,000 each to MLKHDA, Centro Latino, and the Salvation Army to soften the blow for three agencies that have previously received funding. -- Felix Flannigan, executive director of MLKHDA said he and his staff feel blind-sided by the grant recommendations. One of the grant requests received a score of 80 from the city’s Human Services Commission, one point shy of the cut to receive funding. A second grant seeking money to extend the shelter’s hours during bad weather months missed the cut by only two points. -- Commission members criticized the MLKHDA grant applications, saying one of the applications didn’t answer a question and it showed a 'confusing budget.' . . . Even before the failure of the two grant requests, Flannigan was pondering potential changes in the shelter’s operations. Downtown is gentrifying, Flannigan said, and he believes property developers no longer want a homeless shelter in the middle of the city. That sentiment is what’s behind a lawsuit, he said. -- A downtown property owner is suing the nonprofit association, claiming the organization has not done enough to stop the homeless who congregate outside from harassing people who use a nearby parking lot. The plaintiff, BRC Associates, also blames people drawn to the shelter for vandalism, trafficking drugs, and urinating and defecating in a parking lot. -- A trial was scheduled to start Monday, [Apr. 14,] but was postponed at the last moment. . . . Flannigan has come to believe the shelter is too large to operate efficiently in the city’s urban core and should be split up into five smaller shelters, one in each City Council district. Churches could operate the smaller shelters, he suggested. -- Flannigan and Brian Ebersole, the former Tacoma mayor who now lobbies for MLKHDA, met with City Manager Eric Anderson last week to discuss the shelter’s future. Anderson said afterward that he doesn’t have a solution. . . . David Curry, executive director of the Tacoma Rescue Mission, said his organization can take in more people during an emergency, but could not pick up the slack for an extended period of time without expanding, Curry said. The Tacoma Rescue Mission has 75 beds at its men’s shelter, and 450 beds total. . . . Amid the criticism and uncertainty, Flannigan is angry. He notes that MLKHDA is primarily a real estate development organization that only runs the shelter because the previous organization, the King Center, fell into money problems." -- MORE BACKGROUND: The Human Services Commission has 15 members appointed by the mayor and City Council and serving 3-year terms. Its membership is mandated to "reflect the diversity of our community as to race/culture, gender, age, socioeconomics, geography and interest." The liaison city department is Human Rights and Human Services, and the staff liaison is Debbie Bergthold (253-591-5042).
1. LA VIE EN ROSE (Mark J.).
On Mon., Apr. 28, at 7:00 p.m. in Xavier 201 (the Philip A. Nordquist Lecture Hall) on the campus of Pacific Lutheran University, the French Program of PLU will screen "La Vie en Rose" (orig. title "La Môme") (2007), the film about the life of Édith Piaf. In February, Marion Cotillard won the 2007 Academy Award for Best Actress. An informal discussion following the film will feature French major Lindsay May, currently writing her senior capstone on "The Sickness of Love: The Words That Made Édith Piaf Famous."
2. MAY 2 FORUM ON WAR AND RIGHTS AT PLU (Mark J.)
Paul Richmond, who is challenging Rep. Norm Dicks (D-WA 6th) on a civil-rights, antiwar platform, will participate with two PLU faculty members in a "Forum on the War, the Economy, and Our Rights" on the PLU campus from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Fri., May 2. Professor of History Robert P. Ericksen and Professor of Political Science Sid Olufs will join Richmond in Xavier 150, near the library on the campus of Pacific Lutheran University from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Fri., May 2. More information available here.
3. MAY 2 PAUL RICHMOND APPEARANCE AT KING'S BOOKS, WITH SCREENING OF 'URBAN WARRIOR' (Mark J.)
Paul Richmond will discuss his challenge to Rep. Norm Dicks (D-WA 6th) after a screening of RIchmond's documentary film, "Urban Warrior," at King's Books (218 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma) at 7:00 p.m. on Fri., May 2. -- Richmond is taking a stand against Dicks' co-sponsorship of the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007, saying it expands the list of actions that could be considered terrorism. -- "URBAN WARRIOR" is a documentary film produced by Paul Richmond on the growing collaboration between the U.S. military and domestic law enforcement. The film charts this trend over the last three decades, and showcases in-depth case studies of militarized policing, from the Seattle WTO protests to the Elian Gonzales raid. -- For more information on Richmond's challenge to Dicks, see here.
4. LUC SMIRALDO'S 'VOICE OF THE AMERICAS' ON MAY 2 @ 7:30 P.M. (Sally S.)
At 7:30 p.m. on Fri., May 2, at Tacoma's Theater on the Square, an ensemble performance led by local poet and playwright Lucas Smiraldo and local composer Wrick Wolff will present American perspectives in the wake of the 9/11 attack. Entitled “Voice of the Americas,” the performance melds music and spoken word with multiple perspectives from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., President George Bush, Che Guevera, and more. Tickets cost $15.00. -- From the Broadway Center: "A recipient of the 2007 Tacoma Artist Initiative Program, 'Voice of the Americas' shifts into multiple perspectives, beginning just in advance of the Twin Towers attack and features the voicing of prominent American identities including JFK, Dr. Martin Luther King, Che Guevara, Colin Powell, President George Bush, Angela Davis, Malcolm X, The Tuskegee Airmen, and Tacoma personas including a homeless guest at Nativity House and the Chief Engineer of the new Narrows Bridge. Voice of the Americas is unsettling and provocative; presenting an unforgettable exploration of a nation in profound political, moral and social turmoil." -- Directions: From I-5, take the City Center exit to Highway 705; follow Highway 705 to the "A" Street exit; from "A" Street, turn left onto S. 11th Street; for Park Plaza North Garage, turn right on Commerce; parking is to your right; for the Pantages and Rialto Theaters and Theatre on the Square, continue west on S. 11th Street and turn right on Broadway.
5. UFPPC'S BOOK DISCUSSION GROUP READS 'BAD MONEY' AND 'THE TRILLION DOLLAR MELTDOWN' (Mark J.)
On the first two Mondays in May, United for Peace of Pierce County's Monday night book discussion group, Digging Deeper, will examine two books on the current crisis of financial capitalism: Kevin Phillips's *Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism* (Viking, April 2008), and Charles R. Morgan's *The Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Credit, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash* (PublicAffairs, March 2008). -- Digging Deeper meets from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Mandolin Café (3923 S. 12th St., Tacoma). There is no charge for participation and all interested are welcome. -- Some copies of the books are available for purchase or loan.
6. WORLD RHYTHM FESTIVAL IN SEATTLE (Sallie S.)
The World Rhythm Festival is being held at the Seattle Center on Apr. 25-27. Particularly recommended: Keith Terry. (For a YouTube video of Keith Terry's "body music," see here.)