April 2017 – Minutes

CLJP Minutes April 11, 2017
Monticello Room, Westminster Canterbury

Present: Taylor Beard, Jack Townsend, Carroll Houle, Hal Horan, Dave Warren, Sally Telford, Peter Weatherly, Ed Murray, Diane Murray, John Peale, Bill (Bayard) Catron, Burnie Davis, Gene Locke, Bob McAdams, Warren Grupe, Chris Murray, Jim MacDonald, Jean Hammond, Melissa Elliott, Carol Muntz, Chip Sanders, David Shreve, Bill Kerner, Betty Kerner, Eugene Locke, Ken Henry, Jane McReynolds

Betty Kerner offered pray and Chip Sanders presided.

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

Treasurer’s Report: Since the March 14 balance of 2,281.52, Beard reported an income of 1,600.00 consisting of 180.00 in dues paid by Newsom, Grupe, and Michel, and contributions consisting of 200.00 from Jane Dittmar and Chris Murray, 300. 00 from Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice, 500.00 Home Instead Senior Care; expenses of 1,364.90 consisting of 4.90 for postage stamps 10 @ 0.49, memorial donation of 100.00 paid to the Ivy Creek Fund in memory of Paul Saunier, 1,000.00 for the reception expenses for the Stiglitz event of 03/24, and 150.00 for the rental of The Haven for the sanctuary to be used 04/25, resulting in a balance as of April 11 of  1,306.62.

Old and New Business:

McAdams announced the first follow-up from the Festival of the Book event of March 24: a series of dialogs on Economic Inequality [EI], the first one to take place on Thursday, April 27, at 6:30 pm, at The Haven, 112 West Market St.  Hand-outs are available which also states the following:

“The purpose. . . to learn from each other and to develop proposals to address EI in our area.  Two basic principles will guide the dialog: it will be inclusive of all segments of our community and it will be collaborative, not adversarial.  We regard EI as one of the most important problems of our time, because it results not only in poor economic performance, but also in persistent social and health dysfunctions for all members of our community, both haves and have nots.”

The dialog is sponsored by CLJP with support from Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice, Virginia Organizing, Charlottesville Albemarle Chapter, and Casa Alma, Charlottesville Catholic Worker.

McAdams also hopes to include many other organizations and persons to develop effective policies that will contribute much needed solutions. Ed Murray later emphasized just how inclusive this effort must become, involving folks at the economic top, such as bankers and heads of foundations.

A motion was passed authorizing Sanders and Weatherly to sign a letter inviting other organizations, affiliates and those who did not even attend the March 24 FB event to join the dialogs.

Another motion carried authorizing the expenditure of up to 500.00 to secure The Haven sanctuary for future dialogs.

Announcement—also from McAdams:

“On Tuesday, April 25th, the 26 congregations of IMPACT will hold their annual Nehemiah Action at the Martin Luther King Performing Arts Center.  The doors will open at 6:00 and the program will begin at 6:30.  At the Nehemiah Action this year IMPACT members will celebrate the imminent construction of Region Ten’s  residential treatment center for women suffering from drug or alcohol abuse.  They will also learn about plans to address the problems which seniors face who choose to remain in their homes, but cannot afford the costs.  By simply attending the Nehemiah Action, each of us can help women suffering from substance abuse and senior citizens trying to stay in their homes.”

McAdams also expressed the hope that Westminster-Canterbury would provide transportation to the event for its residents as it has done in the past.

Program:

Sanders asked all gathered to share reflections on what each had gleaned from the months of months of studying Income Inequality.

Hammond raised the possible necessity of raising more money for the specific tasks ahead by accepting charitable donations.  Beard responded that for various reasons we had decided that we would not organize as a 501C body. Hammond replied that she would look into the matter and report her findings at the May meeting.

Both Diane and Ed Murray had nothing but praise for the organizational talent and personal care of Jane Kulow, the Festival of the Book Director, a factor that would encourage our future involvement with the Festival should we choose to do so.

Two new and one older book were mentioned.

Horan shared one just off the press is by a physician who also writes for the New York Times, An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back By Elisabeth Rosenthal.  Rosenthal shows how vested interests in the open market keeps medical costs high. The American health care system lacks a cap on expenses that    European market systems enjoy, making affordable care for the many impossible.

David Shreve offered one that won this year’s Pulitzer prize, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond which shows “how mass evictions after the 2008 economic crash were less a consequence than a cause of poverty.”

Shreve then reminded the group of an older book, first published in 1953 but still in print in a 7th edition (1997), is Robert L. Heilbroner’s The Worldly Philosophers: The lives, times and Ideas of the Great Economic Thinkers. In the chapter on the 18th Century Scot Adam Smith, Heilbroner reminds the readers that Smith’s concept of the “invisible hand” did not save the economy by limiting the selfish effects of a capitalistic economy all by itself. Other “hands” were also needed.  Shreve also pointed out that a very important 5th chapter is often omitted in many editions of The Wealth of Nations.

In Adam’s first book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, “he investigated the flip side of economic self-interest—the greater good, advancing ideas about benevolence, justice and sympathy that have taken on renewed importance in business and politics. . .” as the blurb on the back of a reprint edition puts it.  One wonders if the curriculum of business schools does, in fact, appreciate that importance.

The discussion then embraced a very important conclusion: “A budget is a moral document.”

The meeting adjourned at 2:00 pm.

Respectfully Submitted
Hal Horan, Recording Secretary