VP Maine Chapter 001

Minutes – August 27, 2020 – Virtual Meeting

This was virtual zoom meeting at 7:02 pm hosted by Doug Rawlings, president

Attendees: Doug Rawlings, Peter Wright,  Richard Clement,  Dan Ellis,  John Morris, Herb Hoffman, Martha Morrison, Eric Herter, Ken Mayers, Dud Hendrick, Peggy Akers, Peter Morgan, Dave Larsen, Peter Woodruff, Martha Spiess, Paul Cox

Inspirational message – poem (read by Doug)

Secretary’s report for July – accepted as written

Treasurer’s report – current balance is $5837.69

Membership report – Peggy has sent letters to all members and there are currently sixty paid up members.

Peter Morgan reported that he and other members stood with BIW strikers for nine weeks on the picket line and that there is currently a tentative contract agreement in place.Our chapter, together with Peace Action Maine,Peace Works,and several individuals contributed a total of $1000 to the BIW workers strike fund

Doug reported that he has copies of the latest issue of Peace and Planet News (featuring Black Lives Matter topics) for distribution.

Doug will inform members when he receives the new VFP-BLM tee shirts.

Peggy reported that there will be a Black Lives Matter rally at Deering Oaks Park in Portland on Saturday,Aug. 29 at 5pm.

Peter Morgan brought up the possibility of joining with Moms Demand Action to take part in poll watching during the November elections.No decision was reached.

Martha Spiess reported on her observations of several of the VFP convention on line workshops.She had a favorable opinion of all the presentations.

Doug reported on the upcoming Virtual Common Ground Fair. Suggestions for our chapter presentation included the following: a series of informational documents on topics relevant to VFP, videos (which could include Eric’s Vietnam videos,one on Agent Orange, and one on the connection between climate change and the military), and articles from Peace and Planet News.Contact Doug if you have any ideas as to what we might include.He will list these on the

Doug reported that Tarak Kauff has been reinstated as a member of VFP by the Board of Directors. The Board agreed to make public a statement by Tarak in which he outlined his views on how his situation was handled and his intention to deal with the issues that resulted in his expulsion, but did not follow through with its release.Doug read the letter and will send it out to the membership. Other chapters may also release the letter.

Ken Mayers (New Mexico chapter) spoke about his candidacy for election to the VFP National Board as a triumvirate with long time members Susan Schnall (New York) and Paul Cox (California).These three (along with many others) feel that the Board is in need of a new direction and Ken read his statement in which he outlined his platform and addressed his concerns and his ideas on improving the Board. He, along with Paul Cox, who joined the meeting while it was in progress, are emphatic in that the three are running as a single block and would not agree to become Board members unless they all win election. It must be emphasized that in order to vote in the election, members must have paid their dues ($40) to the National.

Ken extended an invitation to attend the on line meeting of the Santa Fe (NM) chapter next Tuesday, Sept.1st. A link to the meeting will be posted on line.

Ken and Paul discussed the fact that VFP membership across the country is aging and that a younger generation of veterans is vital to the continued life of the organization. They both addressed the tensions that exist between Vietnam era vets and those of the Iraq and Afghanistan generation.Paul mentioned that most of the younger veterans do not remain active and that more effort must be directed to retain their interest.Currently about ten percent of the national membership is composed of post 9/11 veterans.Ken feels that VFP must form alliances with other organizations that are relevant to these younger veterans in order to entice them to join VFP.

Meeting adjourned at 8:48 pm. Next meeting will be Thursday, September 24th at 7 pm (via Zoom)