January 27, 2022 meeting opened by Pres. Rawlings at 7:32pm
Attendees: Doug Rawlings, Dan Ellis, Peggy Akers, Don Kimball, John Morris, Peter Morgan, Richard Clement, Dave Larsen, Sally Chappell, Martha Spiess, Eric Herter, Ed Jurenas, Dud Hendrick, Garrett Repenhagen, Larry Gilbert, Tarak Kauff, Ellen Davidson, Perry O’Brien, Christopher Spicer (MAPA), Herb Hoffman
Moment of Inspiration: Don read a passage from the Talmud in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day
Perry O’Brien, Afghanistan veteran and labor, veterans, and anti-Trump organizer presented an overview of his activism, in particular his work as Climate Justice Director of Common Defense (commondefense.us), a progressive veterans organization dedicated to social, racial, and environmental justice and an end to forever wars by the the U S Military. He covered several topics, among them the impact of the U S Military on climate change and the concern with veterans joining radical right wing groups and Christian nationalism in the Military. He has written a novel soon to be published called “Fire in the Blood”. A discussion followed as to possible collaboration between Common Defense and VFP.
Secretary’s Report: December minutes accepted as written.
Treasurer’s Report: savings account balance is $2,632.23, checking account balance is $4,592.65, total is $7,224.88.
MaineShare: Richard reported that the chapter will receive an allotment check shortly.
Don reported that he assisted a disabled veteran in Augusta with snow removal at the man’s residence.
Herb again offered a $2000 grant to the chapter with the only stipulation being that whatever action is decided on should contain an active component. It was suggested that a collaboration with Common Defense would be a possibility and a committee consisting of Doug, Peggy and Dud was formed to explore ideas for implementation of the grant.
Peter reported on gun issues and will give a detailed account of upcoming actions by Moms Demand Action and pending sessions in the Maine legislature in an email to everyone on the listserv.
Don reported on the number of homeless people in Portland.
Dud will contact Rob Shetterly as to dates and times for the showing of the movie Truth Tellers.
Upcoming vigils and events will be posted via email on the listserv.
Meeting adjourned at 9:15pm. Next meeting 3/3/22.