MEETING NOTES FOR PEOPLE FOR PEACE, JUSTICE, AND HEALING
People for Peace, Justice, and Healing
November 15, 2008
People for Peace, Justice and Healing met on November 15, 2008, at 10:00 a.m. at Associated Ministries in Tacoma, WA. Present for check-in: Sallie S., Mark, Louisa, Colleen, Rob, Nancy, Terry, and Jan.
1. PROJECT HOMELESS CONNECT (Colleen)
Discussion of Project Homeless Connect, at which, on Oct. 15, 2008, about 600 volunteers staffed tables and examining rooms in the Exhibition Hall of the Tacoma Dome, offering flu shots, eye checks and glasses, general medical care, foot care, HIV testing, mental health counseling, Social Security cards, replacement identifications, and voter registration. According to a newspaper account by Mike Archbold that appeared on Oct. 16 in the *News Tribune* (Tacoma, WA), "Last year's event [in October 2007] was the first such Project Homeless Connect in the state. Last year it was for adults only and served 500 people. This year the event was open to homeless families, too. Organizers also provided transportation to the Dome from a number of sites out in the county. -- Ellie Ottey, the development director for the Pierce County Housing Authority, attributed this year's turnout to greater awareness of the event and the addition of families. -- The event is part of the Road Home 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness effort started by the Tacoma Pierce County Homeless Coalition three years ago. -- In January, Ottey said, the homeless count in Pierce County estimated the number at 1,800, including those in transition housing. The number actually on the street has declined, she said." The paper said that 938 homeless attended, 350 received dental services, 300 got haircuts, 250 pairs of eyeglasses were dispensed, and 150 people received medical care, and 100 children received immunizations. For photos of Project Homeless Connect, see here.
2. COLORADO (Sallie)
Sallie shared thoughts about her work on the Obama campaign in Pueblo, Colorado, a city of about 100,000 about 100 miles south of Denver, on the Arkansas River (and hometown to Damon Runyon). Sallie said it's sunny about 300 days a year in Pueblo; she saw only two rainy days while there. There were more than 2,000 out-of-state Obama volunteers working in Colorado. Many came from California and Texas. On the weekends, many came from Utah to help. Sallie is glad she went. Pueblo is 4,692 feet above sea level; some people had difficulty with the elevation, but Sallie didn't. She got tired only once, when canvassing a bit apartment complex and she had to sit down in a stairwell to rest. Many Hispanics live in Pueblo; almost all speak English. The focus of the campaign was on sporadic voters, because organizers knew that if all voters registered Democratic voted, Obama would win. A lot of people were focusing on Pueblo, because a lot of Democrats in Pueblo don't always vote. Probably because people work hard, often have several jobs. Sallie worked long hours, ususally till 11:00 p.m. or midnight. Her boss, Ben Tyson, was twenty years old. A lot of bright young college kids were field organizers (the only paid staff). It was interesting what a wide range of political perspectives existed among Obama supporters, though there was little discussion of this among volunteers. Sallie met interesting people. For example, David, a psychologist who works with torture victims from other countries; Joseph, an architect from San Francisco; Katherine, on an Obama advance team, who took six months off from her career as pediatrician to work on the campaign. Compared to Pennsylvania, where Sallie worked on the Kerry campaign in 2004, there were fewer party hacks and people involved in the campaign because they were psychologically needy. It is a small world: at one point, Sallie found herself working with a young man who turned out to be Susan Dobkins's godson.
3. INAUGURAL BALL (Sallie)
The Disclaimers are up for peforming at an inaugural celebration if we organize it. If we do it at Jazzbones, all we'd have to do is get the word out. Sallie will call to see if it's doable.
4. CAMP DINNER (Sallie)
At 5:30 p.m., on Tues., Nov. 25, First United Methodist Church at 621 Tacoma Ave. S. will host the annual reunion dinner for participants at the Puget Sound Interfaith Youth Camp (http://www.soundinterfaithcamp.org/) and their families, before the church's annual interfaith Thanksgiving service. PPJH has agreed to provide cookies for dinner's dessert, so we need to make cookies and/or be at First United Methodist at 4:00 p.m. to help set up. If you'd like to make cookies or want to volunteer to help out, e-mail Sallie at SallieS@associatedministries.org at your earliest convenience or call her at 383-3056 (ext. 105). Cookies could be brought by Associated Ministries any time during the day on Nov. 25, or delivered to First United Methodist between 4:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on that day. NOTE: Remember that as it wraps up its very successful third season, the Puget Sound Interfaith Youth Camp still needs some help in paying a few bills. Please consider sending much appreciated donation checks for this purpose, made out to Associated Ministries (memo line: Interfaith Camp), to Sallie Shawl, c/o Associated Ministries, 1224 South "I" St., Tacoma, WA 98405.
5. ACTIVISM (Louisa)
Time permitted only a brief follow-up discussion of Louisa's ideas about what is needed in the aftermath of Obama's election to reinvigorate progressive activism, in terms of organizations and communications among organizations and individuals. To be continued.
1. URBAN GRACE FAIR TRADE CRAFT SALE (Nancy)
On Sun., Nov. 16, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Urban Grace and Trinity Presbyterian Church are presenting a Fair Trade International Craft Sale at 902 Market St., Tacoma, WA 98402. There will be free chocolate and coffee tasting @ 2:00 p.m. "Invest in your world. Shop Fair Trade. Featured items include hand loomed textiles, pottery, chocolates, baskets, toys and a variety of holiday items from Ten Thousand Villages, Jubilee Traders, SERRV, and Blue Note Coffee."
2. DIGGING DEEPER LXII: Dealing with Iran (Mark)
After a wrap-up of a discussion of books on the 2000 and 2004 elections on Mon., Nov. 17, UFPPC's Monday night book discussion group meeting at the Mandolin Café (3923 S. 12th St., Tacoma) from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. will discuss on Nov. 24 Robert Baer's new book, The Devil We Know: Dealing with the New Iranian Superpower (Crown, 2008). Robert Baer spent most of his 21-year career with the CIA in the Middle East, which he has called "a place wired to obscure the truth." He was a case officer in the CIA’s Directorate of Operations from 1976 to 1997, and according to ace investigative reporter Seymour Hersh of the New Yorker was “considered perhaps the best on-the-ground field officer in the Middle East,” handling agents who infiltrated Hezbollah PFLP-GC, PSF, Libyan intelligence, Fatah-Hawari, and al-Qaeda. Baer’s latest book has been called by Thomas Powers “most important and original book on the Middle East to appear in many years,” and which Kirkus Reviews says it is “studded with keen insights into a nation about which America remains dangerously misinformed.” In July 2006, Digging Deeper spent two weeks on Robert Baer’s earlier books, See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA’s War on Terrorism (2002), the memoir that inspired the film “Syriana,” and Sleeping with the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Crude (2003). Participation is free and all who are interested are welcome. For more information contact Mark Jensen (firstname.lastname@example.org).