Rochester, New York
VETERANS FOR PEACE, Chapter 23, MEETING MINUTES 11-20-19
Present: James Swarts, Marybeth Knowles, Bruce Pease, Mick Cole, Jack Spula, Bruce Freeman, Michael Wells (by phone)
Treasurer’s report by Marybeth Knowles. Current balance, including dues paid at the meeting, $1015.02; up to $200 approved for the chapter 23 website; $200 donation to Gandhi Institute/House approved.
RECLAIM ARMISTICE DAY
Members of Veterans for Peace, Chapter 23, displayed the VFP banner and an American flag while standing on the new pedestrian/bike overpass at the Veterans Bridge (Route 104 near Maplewood Park) on Monday morning November 11, 2019. Pictures of the event have been posted on the chapter Facebook page.
SAVE OUR VA WORKING GROUP CONFERENCE CALL---November 17, 2019; Bruce Pease, James Swarts and Marybeth Knowles participated.
Topics raised in the call or raised at our meeting in the discussion of the call:
50 to 60,000 open jobs, the VA is far from fully staffed. What does this mean for long-term care? Women’s care? Not everyone is getting the care they deserve.
Two pending bills relating to mental health services provided by the VA---HR 3495 and S 1906.
Should partner with the AFGE (American Federation of Government Employees) but locally they may be reluctant to work with VFP. Perhaps VFP could work with the Union Veterans Council? Part of “Save Our VA” is saving the unions.
National is sending 10 to 15 VFP members to the AFGE Annual Grass Roots and Legislative Conference in Washington DC, workshops, legislative appointments and lobbying, February 9-13. There will be housing available. James S will tell national that chapter 23 wants to send a member to the conference.
POOR PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN (PPC) UPDATE---Marybeth Knowles
In October Marybeth attended the Second Assembly in Painted Post, New York, focused on health care, housing. Three full days of workshops. Veterans’ health care came up. “Evils” to fight: poverty, racism, militarism, ecological destruction, and religious nationalism. All the VFP pamphlets on the environmental impact of the military were picked up by assembly participants.
There are monthly local meetings of the PPC. Rev. Barber is coming to Rochester in February (7-8) as part of the M.O.R.E Tour (mobilizing, organizing, registering and educating). They are looking for a venue in Rochester, probably a church. There will be a rally in Washington in June 2020. Rev. Barber suggested chartering a bus, perhaps in combination with Vicki Ryder and the Raging Grannies. Jack suggested the local SEIU (Service Employees International Union) might help out with a bus. The trip could be funded by selling tickets.
UPDATE ON “WAR SCHOOL: THE BATTLE FOR BRITAIN’S CHILDREN”---Bruce Pease
Waiting for responses from the Little and the Cinema about whether the “War School …” film can be shown in one of those two theaters.
BATH PEACE GROUP PRESENTATION BY CHAPTER 23 IN MARCH---Jack Spula
Lew Montemaggi will not be able to make the March 4, 2020, presentation, so his “2020 Mexican-Border-Trip” talk is off. Chapter 23 will still make a presentation on March 4, content to be determined.
GANDHI INSTITUTE DONATION
$200 donation voted on and approved.
VFP TABLING MATERIAL—DONATION FOR SUPPLIES?
Action postponed for another meeting.
CHAPTER WEBSITE AND FACEBOOK PAGE---Bruce Freeman, Michael Wells
Members decided to go ahead with the creation of the website (by Bruce Freeman) which will cost approximately $156.00 for 2020. The domain name is free for the first year but will subsequently cost in the neighborhood of $15 - $20 per year. The members voted to provide up to $200 for the website to cover the cost for one year.
Michael Wells has already started posting new material, including photos and movie trailers, on the Chapter 23 Facebook page. He suggested the members should discuss what to post on the Facebook page (music, videos?).
“S WORD DOCUMENTARY”—Bruce Pease
The film shows the effects of suicide in diverse communities, including veterans. To purchase the film for showing at a library will cost $129.00. There was no decision whether to purchase the film and show it as an outreach event.
ALTERNATIVE FAIR---Marybeth Knowles
VFP will not participate this year.
NATIONAL OFFICE INFORMATION UPDATE (11/18/19 email)
Fire Drill Friday---impeach Trump group took over---VFP’s hoped-for antiwar presence was usurped by the impeach Trumpers.
Chapter 23 is well-represented in the VFP monthly newsletter.
KENT "KEN" LEE HOWLAND PASSED AWAY IN MAY---Bruce Pease
Obituary was provided to members. Perhaps post remembrance on the chapter Facebook page?
Next meeting: December 18, 2019---usual time and place.