MEETING NOTES FOR PEOPLE FOR PEACE, JUSTICE, AND HEALING
People for Peace, Justice and Healing met on Saturday, November 8, 2008, at Associated Ministries at 10 a.m. Present for check-in were Colleen, Nancy, Louisa, Rob, Mark, Karen, and Sol. Discussion of general election results and the numbers. Question for the Agenda: Can we really?
1. DINNER (Nancy)
Considerable discussion about our commitment to the Puget Sound Interfaith Camp Reunion Dinner and pre-Thanksgiving service at First United Methodist Church on Tues., Nov. 25. The dinner is to honor and celebrate our Interfaith Campers prior to the traditional Ecumenical Service at (I believe) 7:00 p.m. Dinner at 5:30 p.m. After a cell phone call to Sallie in transit to Washington from Colorado, we determined that we've made a commitment to help out Kevin in the kitchen, making cookies for one thing, at First Methodist on the afternoon of the 25th. More information and instructions to follow from Sallie when she's back in Tacoma at the beginning of the week.
2. RANKED-CHOICE VOTING (Colleen)
Observations of possible (intentional?) snafus and complications of initiating this voting process. Pierce County is the first county in the nation to give ranked choice voting a try. Colleen predicts that the major parties will continue to try to stop this effort to make third-party participation more meaningful and significant. A UPS professor, Richard Anderson-Connolly, will be holding a meeting to discuss what happened, what that means and what steps can and should be taken to support this effort. If not vigorously defended, supporters fear the process will be defeated.
3. DEATH WITH DIGNITY INITIATIVE PASSES (Colleen)
Colleen, a strong supporter of this campaign, principally sponsored by Booth Gardner, expressed her delight that the initiative received such resounding support from the voters despite well financed opposition.
4. THIRD BOAT TO GAZA (Nancy)
Nancy told a delightful story about a successful maneuvering by the crew of the third boat to enter Gaza. Questioned by an opposition patrol, they told them that they knew they were in open, international waters, that their mission was a humanitarian one, that they meant no harm and to contact their website for more information or if they wished to contribute to the effort. After their third "command" was answered in this way, the Israelites gave up and let the boat enter the harbor with medical supplies. Discussion of the blackout by national media of what is going on in Palestine and of the 14 persons who have died there while fishing in the last couple of years.
5. THE ELECTION: WHERE ARE WE NOW AND WHERE ARE WE GOING? (All)
Discussion of our group choosing various areas of interest we'd like to concentrate on and then share our information and work within the group. Louisa suggested that we might create a "think tank." Various areas of interest that were suggested: Palestine, war in Iraq/Afghanistan, civil rights, the environment, the economy. Louisa showed three books to the group she found helpful in organizing her thoughts about how to be a more effective "activist." The books are Move On.Org's FIFTY WAYS TO LOVE YOUR COUNTRY, subtitled "How to Find Your Political Voice and Become A Catalyst For Change; THE ONE HOUR ACTIVIST by Christopher Rush and THE ACTIVIST'S HANDBOOK: A PRIMER by Randy Shaw.
Various ideas on how to work out the "think tank" included meeting with lap tops and using our email list serve to work out direct action ideas. Several members expressed strong desires to "keep the fight going." Colleen expressed an interest in "learning more," Sol in "connecting communities."
A discussion of the "symbolic" importance of this election and the significance of the triumph of Obama forces was informed by a group sense that we must press forward and make sure the Obama administration doesn't forget we're here.