October 2016 – Minutes

CLJP Minutes October 11, 2016
Monticello Room, Westminster Canterbury

Present: Chip Sanders, Hal Horan, Bob McAdams, Dave Warren, Peter Weatherly, Betty Kerner, Bill Kerner, Jean Hammond, Bernie Davis, Melissa Elliott, David McFarlane

Guests: Jack Townsend, Burnie Davis, Nathan Gilmore, Melissa Elliott

McAdams opened the meeting with prayer with Chip Sanders presiding.

Horan got in touch with Racheal Norment who thanked CLJP for their memorial gift in honor of Owen and said that the family would be pleased that the 100.00 be sent to either the SPCA or the American Friends Service Committee.  Horan then notified Beard that the full amount be sent to the AMSC.

The Minutes of September 13, prepared by Horan, were approved.

Treasurer’s Report: Since Taylor Beard had an appointment for Physical Therapy for his leg injury, Weatherly gave the report, prepared by Beard, again listing all the activity since the beginning of the year.  And again, there being no income or expenses since the May 10 meeting, the balance still stands at 4, 971.52.

Old and New Business: The 2017 Virginia Festival of the Book will be held on March 22 through March 26. The Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, author of “The Great Divide and The Price of Inequality”, will headline a three-part series on economic inequality, to be held as part of the Festival

McAdams and Sanders affirmed Murray’s insistence that NOW is the time to act. It’s time for members to spread news of the series. It’s time for us to invite other like-minded organizations to do their part in promoting the event, seeing that the series is well attended, organizing gatherings, possibly in cooperation with some of these same organizations. It’s time to discuss practical ways to influence local, state and federal policies. Again, the point is for all of us to THINK and then to DO! See Festival of the Book update http://clujp.org/?page_id=270

Announcements of Community Events: McAdams was pleased to announce that all available seats at the International Refugee Relief Dinner scheduled for October 30 have been filled.

Program: Raj Chetty and the Equality of Opportunity Project –
Weatherly began by giving an impressive bio of the one who heads the project:
Dr. Chetty is currently a professor of economics at Stanford University. He previously taught at Harvard University, where he was tenured at the age of 29, becoming one of the youngest tenured faculty in the history of Harvard’s economics department. He received his B.A. from Harvard University in 2000, followed by a Ph.D. in 2003. Today, at the ripe age of 37, he is considered internationally as one of the top leaders in the field of public economics.

He then gave a detailed account of which the following summary:
An exploration of the factors correlated with upward mobility. High mobility areas have (1) less residential segregation, (2) less income inequality, (3) better primary schools, (4) greater social capital, and (5) greater family stability.

Although the percentage of children achieving the American Dream varies state to state, region to region, Utah scoring the highest and the southeastern states the lowest, overall the United States ranks very low among the advanced nations.

The chances of a child born in Canada in the bottom fifth of income distribution and achieving a place in the top fifth is twice as likely to happen than a child born in the bottom fifth in the United States in.  For a full account of Dr. Chetty’s presentation link on to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6Q7nXUDhTQ

Weatherly also went into some detail regarding President Obama’s use of these findings for government agencies to find was to apply the findings.  In areas where legislation can be most helpful, the administration has found little or no cooperation from Congress.

Weatherly handed out a four-page outline called IMPROVING EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY IN AMERICA (PDF). Included is a chart titled What a Childhood in Albemarle County Does to Future Income.  The outline is attached for those who missed the meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 2:00 p.m.

When next we meet: November 8, 2016:

A discussion of the book, A Just and Generous Nation: Abraham Lincoln and the Fight for American Opportunity by Harold Holzer, one of the foremost authorities on Lincoln and Norton Garfinkle, an economist, chair of The Future of American Democracy Foundation and author of The American Dream vs. The Gospel of Wealth.

Respectfully Submitted
Hal Horan