January 2018 – Minutes

CLJP Minutes January 9, 2018
Blue Ridge Room, Westminster Canterbury

15 Present: Taylor Beard, Carroll Houle, Hal Horan, Dave Warren, Pete Weatherly, Bob McAdams, Chip Sanders, Bill Gray, Eugene Locke, John Peale, Chris Murray, Matthew Crane, B.R. Catron, Burnie Davis, Jack Townsend

Peale opened with prayer and  Sanders presided.

The Minutes of December 12 prepared by Horan, were approved.

Treasurer’s Report: Since the December balance of 2, 536.85, Beard reported an income of 60.00, consisting of dues paid by Beard. The expenses consisted of 20.00 for speakers luncheons, donations of 50.00 each to Charlottesville Works and the Charlottesville chapter of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, and a donation to the Jefferson Area Food Bank in memory of Rod Sinclair, resulting in a balance for January 9 of  2,376.85, noting that the two 50.00 checks had not yet been cashed.

This being January, Beard also presented the annual budget marking our organization’s 13th year, noting that the beginning balance for 2017 was 2,071.52.  The annual budget is available upon request.

McAdams presented two community announcements:

The Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Vigil and Advocacy Day will take place on Monday, January 15, in Richmond. The purpose: to remember and honor the lives of all Virginians killed by gun violence.  “We will also stand against the pro-gun, racist activists who carried assault rifles at the rally in our own city of Charlottesville.”  Following the rally, members will present their case in visits with General Assembly representatives and senators.  The bus ride is sponsored by the Charlottesville Coalition for Gun Violence Prevention, the League of Women Voters, Charlottesville’s Peace and Justice Committee, Westminster Presbyterian Church and the Presbytery of the James.

On Sunday, January 21st, from 2:00 – 3:30 PM, the League of Women Voters will host Andrew Goddard and Lori Haas who will provide an update on bills regarding gun safety introduced in the General Assembly this session.  Both have been lobbying for public safety gun issues in Richmond for several years and both have personal experience with gun violence.  As the death toll from guns continues to rise, the League of Women Voters asks, “When will there be action?”  Join members of the League for their Sunday Seminar, which will provide some answers.  The League holds Sunday Seminars at City Space on the Downtown Mall and the events are free and open to the public.  That’s Sunday, January 21st, 2:00 PM, for a seminar on gun safety legislation.  For more information visit the League website at lwv-cva.org, or e-mail lwv@lwv-cva.org, or call 434-970-1707.

As a follow up to the December 12 meeting, the chairs felt the need to have both Christ Murray of Charlottesville Works and Kim Crater of the Charlottesville Chapter of the VICPP back to share further their work with Affordable Housing and a Living Wage.  Crater was not free for this meeting, so the discussion centered around Murray’s sharing both the problems and possibilities for affordable housing, one of the essentials for work and, in the case of ownership, often the only means of accumulating wealth.

Murray reviewed the means of getting to an affordable house, including home ownership putting families on the way to creating wealth and away from living from paycheck to paycheck and Everyday Loans.

The goal is a system where faith groups and individuals may contribute to a fund that can make returns of 3 or 4%, more than a bank’s CD, to attract investors to make the system work.

Several problems, pointed out by Murray, were the shrinking land possibilities in the Charlottesville-Albemarle area, the attractiveness of the area to high income workers and retirees,

and what Murray described as “Gaming the System,” land speculators, developers and real estate companies looking for those loop holes in laws and regulations that add to the complexities facing non profits as they venture into such a system. We’re not in Bedford Falls anymore.

One thing we could do is to involve faith communities by expanding their budgets to include monies for, what shall we call it?  A nonprofit savings and loan company?  One of our members thought we, ourselves, could be approached for donations!  That is my take on the talk and the discussions that followed, as one who is so financially naïve, my church treasurer in one of the churches I served, suggested that I keep my figuring to chapter and verse.

The meeting adjourned at  1:56 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Hal Horan, Recording Secretary