April meeting minutes from meeting on April 25, 2019

Meeting opened by President Rawlings at 7PM

Members present: Doug Rawlings, Rita Clement, Richard Clement, Robin Spencer, Peter Morgan, John Morris, Eric Herter, Dan Ellis, Don Kimball

Opening statement of inspiration: poem “River Drowning” by Don Kimball

March meeting minutes amended to show that while attendance by New Mainers at the New Mainers event in Brunswick was not as good as hoped, it should not have been characterized as disappointing since it was certainly a success as evidenced by the fact that everyone who did attend thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

Treasurer’s report: net worth as of 4/24/2019 is $3,018.86

The projected budget for 2019 is as follows: Income of $8,100 mainly from Maineshare, dues, and donations. Expenses of $7,145 for Maineshare dues, donations, travel, outreach, events, web maintenance, meeting space rental, and supplies and postage.

The “christening” of the third (and final) Zumwalt destroyer will be held at Bath Iron Works at 10AM on Saturday, April 27th. VFP members are strongly encouraged to take part in protesting this event and are also invited to participate in a planned civil resistance action. Protest will begin at 8:30AM.

Richard reported that Maineshare has designated May 22nd as its annual “Day of Giving”. He will post a reminder and additional information on the listserv.

Membership report: 91 total, 65 currently paid up

Dan indicated that he would like to share some of his duties with other members of the chapter. After some discussion Doug Rawlings agreed to take over operation of the listserv and Don Kimball will handle membership duties. Dan will continue as Treasurer.

Discussion was held on the use of the sound system. Dan presented several options and it was finally decided to continue the status quo, that is to keep the current system and use it wherever appropriate.

Memorial Day actions:

Topsham-Brunswick parade: see info on listserv email.

Washington DC Mall: total of $500 to be divided among those who go. Send your Letter to the Wall to Doug at rawlings@maine.edu

Application for table at the Common Ground Fair due in mid-May. Fee is $150. Request will be for our usual corner spot in the social justice tent.

Dan will write a letter of thanks to Cathie Cyrus for her efforts in coordinating the New Mainers event at the UU Church in Brunswick.

Eric reported on his trip to Vietnam to do more interviews for his film about Vietnamese recollections of what they call “the American War”.

Eric encouraged help for Tulsi Gabbard’s Presidential campaign by contributing as little as $1 to ensure that she will be included in the upcoming round of candidate debates. She is a strong critic of the ongoing wars in the middle east as well as U S militarism in general, probably more so than any other Democrat in the race.

Recent actions by Chapter members:

Peter Morgan and Doug represented VFP at the public hearing for a bill (LD1312) to restrict firearms from individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others. Doug provided testimony in favor of the bill.

Doug reported on the delivery of the statement of solidarity with the Russian Veterans Peace Group.

Upcoming events:

Talk by Colonel Larry Wilkerson on U S militarism and imperialism in Portland on May 4th.

Gun turn in at all Maine municipal police stations on May 11th from 10AM to 2Pm. Call 200-7179 for more info.

Pete Seeger celebration in Portland on May 19th. 861-2330 or dianedicranian@gmail.com for more info.

Robin will be traveling to Puerto Rico this summer and will explore possibility of starting a new VFP chapter there.

Dan has a Hewlitt Packard computer to give away someone in need of one.

Meeting adjourned at 8:55PM. Next meeting in Portland on May 30th.