December 2016 – Minutes

Clergy and Laity United for Justice and Peace
December 12, 2016   12-2pm

 The meeting opened with a prayer by Chip Sanders

Attendance was recorded.  Those attending included: Taylor Beard, Burnie Davis, Melissa Elliott, Warren Grupe, Jean Hammond, Carroll Houle, William and Elizabeth Kerner, Bob McAdams, Jim McDonald, David McFarlane, Carol Muntz, Ed and Dianne Murray, Jean Newsom, John Peale, Chip Sanders, David Warren, Peter Weatherly, and David Shreve

Peter Weatherly introduced Mark Weatherly who was invited to speak on the impact of federal government policies upon economic inequality. Mark had over thirty years’ experience working at the federal level, acting as Deputy Associate Director on Housing, Treasury, and Commerce at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), spanning 5 presidential administrations.

The highlights of his presentation:

  • There’s lots of anger in the Rust Belt; jobs are gone and aren’t coming back
  • The zip code where kids grow up is a significant factor in their future financial success.
  • Raj Chetty- Kids born after 1982 will not make more than their parents.
  • There are fewer “air bags” available for folks in need
  • The term, “Our kids” is becoming more personal rather than communal. We’re concerned about our own but so much the greater group of children nationally
  • In America, like-minded people tend to settle near each other as observed by deTouqueville.
  • Historically, there is a reflexive response to elections. The country reaches for new and different than the last leader of our nation.
  • We need to address the question: whose responsibility is it to address economic equality?
  • One size does not fit all
  • Federal government should be examining “equality of opportunity”
  • Obama focused on “promise zones” coordinating transportation, housing, education and health care; each community had to come up with a plan
  • Going forward in the new administration: there will be a scaling back of the federal government; the federal government will not be stepping in therefore more grassroots organizing will be needed and carried out.
  • The challenge is to be examining economic inequality vs. opportunity inequality

Questions from the members and guests were addressed by the speaker.

The secretary’s report was deferred but minutes were approved as read by the members prior to the meeting.

The treasurer’s report was read; balance of $5,111.52.

Bob McAdams announced a memorial for the victims of Sandy Hook to be held on Dec.14 at 12 noon at the free speech wall.

Ed Murray gave an update on the Festival of the Book’s featured speaker, Joseph Stiglitz and the panel of authors moderated by Frank Sesno – all taking place on March 24. Tickets are available for $5.00 on the Festival website. If unable to pay, a CLUJP member can obtain tickets at no charge.

Respectfully submitted,

Dianne Murray