PRESENT: Dan Ellis, Peter Morgan, Peter Woodruff, Sally Chapelle, Herb Hoffman, Richard Clement, Barbara Arsenault (Guest),  Peggy Akers, Martha Spiess, Dave Larsen, and Doug Rawlings. NOTE: DUE TO JOHN MORRIS’S ABSENCE, DOUG RAWLINGS TOOK THE MINUTES.  PREPARE YOURSELVES….

This meeting was held via Zoom. We think we’ll hold Zoom meetings through the summer and start with live meetings in September. I think it was Peter Morgan who suggested that we work a Zoom meeting into our regular schedule — I.E., meet in person in Portland, then Brunswick, and then Augusta, but then hold a Zoom meeting before we rotate back to Portland.

OPENING STATEMENT TO INSPIRE US ALL: in honor of the upcoming Memorial Day, we watched and listened to a video clip of Iris Dement singing “There’a A Wall in Washington.”

  • TREASURER’S REPORT:  We have a balance of $6,734 ($4,130 in savings and $2,604 in checking). As reported by our treasurer, Dan Ellis.
  • MEMBERSHIP REPORT: We received ten dues payments in the last couple of weeks.  Please send in your dues to VFP Chapter One before June 30th (Marjorie Taylor Greene has until the 31st), if you can (suggested dues: $30.00 for the year or whatever you can afford). Checks can be made out to Maine VFP and sent to VFP, PO Box 927, Brunswick ME 04011
  • Barbara Arsenault of  Maine Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America joined us this evening again to share her organization’s progress in controlling the epidemic of gun violence surging in our country. She discussed their “Tools for Guns” program (police stations are encouraged to receive guns in exchange for gardening tools). Only 2 of 11 police stations considered using the program. Barbara asked us if we could help her work within the Second Congressional district.  We agreed to help out. Thanks to Peter Morgan for arranging Barbara’s visit.  A few pictures were taken of this meeting’s attendees wearing orange in support of MOMS DEMAND ACTION.i>
  • MAY 17TH WAR TAX ACTION REVIEW:  It was great fun meeting up with the Poor People’s Campaign folks out of Bangor — great statements and wonderful singing.  I would say they were the best singers until John Morris stepped up to the mic and sang two great country/western songs capturing the spirit of the day. Martha Spiess and Rosie Paul are to be thanked a thousand times over for setting this up and bringing great banners. Dan Ellis did a superb job with the sound system (the maiden voyage for our VFP system).  Bruce Gagnon delivered a wonderful speech as did the gentleman from a school board up north (apologies for forgetting his name). Unfortunately, not many people showed up except for the organizers and close supporters; the Poor People’s Campaign solution to that problem was to gather us on the gazebo and capture the event on film.  Martha also filed the event. This was our first “live” event for over a year, so we are setting the groundwork for future events.  Thanks to all!
  • MEMORIAL DAY: There was no parade in Brunswick this year. There was one marcher in Portland, and I believe three or four VFP members (Peggy, Peter, and Dave).  Peggy and I were on a Zoom commemoration out of NYC that brought in about 150 people.  We did not do a Letters to The Wall campaign this year. Maybe next year….
  • TIME FOR PERSONAL REFLECTIONS: We shared thoughts about the past, present, and future. If anyone listens to us, we will have a world of peace and love.