March 2017 – Minutes

CLJP Minutes March 14, 2017
Monticello Room, Westminster Canterbury

Present: Taylor Beard, Jack Townsend, Carroll Houle, Hal Horan, Dave Warren, David McFarlane, Peter Weatherly, Ed Murray, Diane Murray, John Peale, Bill (Bayard) Catron, Burnie Davis, Gene Locke, Bob McAdams, Chris Murray, Jim MacDonald, Jean Hammond, Melissa Elliott, Carol Muntz,   Guest: Louise Sinclair

Sanders being absent, Ed Murray presided, offering pray, and having everyone re-introduce themselves, since there has been the happy problem of  quite a few new members over the past several meetings.

The Minutes of February 14, prepared by Horan, were approved.

Treasurer’s Report: Since the February 14 balance of 2,071.52, Beard reported an income of 60.00 paid by Peale, resulting in a balance as of March14 of 2,131.52.

Old and New Business:

Diane Murray again reminded the group of the two events on Friday, March 24:

  1. “Economic Inequality: Who Profits? What’s at Stake?” 4:00-5:50 PM
     Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, 233 4th St., NW.
    A panel featuring Daniel Hatcher (The Poverty Industry), Thomas Shapiro
    (Toxic Inequality), and Jennifer Silva (Coming Up Short) Frank Sesno (Ask More) will moderate
  1. An Evening with Joseph Stiglitz: Economic Inequality 7:00 -8:30 PM

MLK, Jr. Performing Arts Center, 1400 Melbourne Road
      The Nobel Laureate, author of The Great Divide and The Price of Inequality,
will examine why inequality has increased in the Western world and what we can do about it.
      Frank Sesno (Ask More) will join Stiglitz on stage for  discussion and questions. Invitations for a reception for Stiglitz at the Omni,
following the event the Hotel Omni have been sent with an RSV included.

Again, members were encouraged to invite friends and others to the event(s).

And, again: “If you know someone who would like to attend but needs a comp. ticket, please contact a member of the planning committee: Chip, Peter, Bob McAdams, John, Ed or Diane and arrangements will be made.”  The tickets are available at 5.00 each.

McDonald proposed that we add our name to a petition endorsed by such groups as Charlottesville Veterans For Peace, Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice, and Together Cville, “resolved that the City Council. . . urges the U.S. Congress to move our tax dollars in exactly the opposite direction proposed by the President, from militarism to human and environmental needs.”

Members may attend the City Council meeting at 7:00 pm, Monday, March 20, in support of the petition. The proposal favorably received and our name was added to the petition.   For more information, link onto https://sites.google.com/site/charlottesvillepeacecenter/home/petitionproposedtocitycouncil

Another motion was approved granting a memorial gift of $100.00 to be given to the Ivy Creek Foundation (ivycreekfoundation.org) in honor of CLPJ member Paul P. Saunier, Jr. who was also the Foundation’s founding president.  Paul also served as a trustee of the Virginia Nature Conservancy, as a director of the Piedmont Environmental Council.

Announcements:

McAdams shared an upcoming VFB event on Saturday, March 25, 12:00-1:30 pm in the City Council Chambers, Nuclear War: Survivors, Resistors, and Current Peril, featuring 3 authors—Sudan Southard (Nagaski: Life After Nuclear War), Caren Stelson (Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story), and Dan Zak (Almighty: Courage, Resistance, and Existential Peril in the Nuclear Age) The event is Co-hosted by Amnesty International and C’ville Center for Peace and Justice.  McAdams will moderate.

Program: As part of our preparation for the Festival of the Book on Friday, March 24, John Peale gave a stimulating summary of Joseph Stiglitz’s book – Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy – An Agenda for Growth and Shared Prosperity.

An abbreviated 115-page version of the book Stiglitz gave as a report the following link, courtesy of the Roosevelt Institute: http://community-wealth.org/sites/clone.community-wealth.org/files/downloads/report-stiglitz.pdf

The following is a summary by Joseph Stiglitz, himself:

“Inequality is not inevitable: it is a choice we make with the rules we create to structure our economy.

Over the last 35 years, America’s policy choices have been grounded in false assumptions, and the result is a weakened economy in which most Americans struggle to achieve or maintain a middle-class lifestyle while a small percentage enjoy an increasingly large share of the nation’s wealth.

Though these lived experiences and personal challenges are important, they are only the tip of the iceberg that is the crisis of slow income growth and rising inequality.

To fully understand the scope of the problem, we must also examine the array of laws and policies that lie beneath the surface—the rules that determine the balance of power between public and private, employers and workers, innovation and shared growth, and all the other interests that make up the modern economy.”

In discussing income inequality at the local level, Houle, who is working with refugee families from the Congo and Afghanistan, made the point that they have little or no money left for other necessities once the rent is paid.

We will have a lot to think about and do about, once the book festival is over, working with other like-minded organizations, finding ways to make our community not only more affordable (no small task) but also a place where the American dream can again take root.

The meeting adjourned at 2:00 pm.

Respectfully Submitted

Hal Horan, Recording Secretary