Veterans for Peace
William Ladd Chapter 001
Minutes from Business Meeting
September 16, 2009
Brunswick, Maine

PRESENT: Dud Hendrick, Doug Rawlings, Rita Clement, Richard Clement, Dan Ellis, Kristina Wolff, Jack Bussell, Dave Crowley, Rob Pfeiffer, Tom Whitney, Bruce Gagnon, Stan Lofchie, Peggy Akers, Victor Skorapa, Michael Uhl, and Tom Sturtevant

The meeting began at 7:08 pm.

  • Minutes from previous meeting accepted (Bussell motion, Wolfe second) with one amendment – the meeting took place in Lewiston, not Augusta. The secretary was appropriately chastised for his mistake although he claims that he was in both places at once.
  • Treasurer’s report: Tim and Kristina have met to discuss transitioning the treasurer’s position from Tim to Kristina in the near future. Dud reports that he has not received a bill from Chewonki yet for last January’s retreat. He’ll pursue that. Jack will track down the deposit return from USM after our last PTSD Symposium was cancelled. Tim’s report was accepted as presented (Bussell motion; Wolff second).
  • Tom Sturtevant thanked all members for their attendance at the MaineShare celebration (our chapter was well represented). Dud thanked Tom for continuing his liaison with MaineShare.
  • Dud mentioned that the nominating committee has yet to find a candidate for the vice-presidency that Kristina is vacating. Dud noted that his term as president is not a lifetime commitment (hint, hint).
  • Dan reported 176 members (5 honorary; 28 associate; and 143 regular membership). Dues paying members: 104. Volunteers from around the table have agreed to call non-dues-paying members.
  • On-Going Business:
    • Common Ground Fair: Bob, Richard, and Dan need some more people to volunteer to staff the table. The fair takes place on September 25th, 26th, and 27th. The literature/theme of the presentation will focus on the “no bases” movement, economic conversion, and Rob Shetterly’s work.
    • Bob moved that we spend no more than $275 to purchase Afghanistan/Vietnam bumper stickers to sell at the fair. Bussell second.
    • The books that Chris Hedges donated will be sold for $5.00 per copy.
    • Rob Pfeiffer’s Veterans Helping Veterans material will also be displayed.
  • Bruce Gagnon gave us a brief summary of his speaking tour (30 days in Korea and Japan). He presented a VFP banner to the South Koreans. He’ll return in October. He remarked that the visit was exhilarating. Although many U.S. mayors were invited, the only mayor to attend was from Akron, Ohio.
  • Jack reported that 30 people attended the Aegis destroyer demonstration at BIW the first of August. The next launching will take place in June – a good opportunity for the national board to attend? Bruce mentioned that Obama’s much ballyhooed missile defense withdrawal is really smoke and mirrors since he intends on expanding the use of Aegis destroyers throughout the Mediterranean and setting up mobile launchers throughout Europe.
  • Herb Hoffman attended the Martha’s Vineyard action promoted by Cindy Sheehan, using our VFP banner. It was a disappointing demo since only 30 people were there. The highlight of the day was a press conference that was covered well. Our chapter had a prominent presence there – the banner and Dud’s remarks.
  • Dud thanked all who attended Art Whitman’s appreciation party and thanked Tom for his wonderful remarks honoring Art. According to Art’s daughter, both Art and Marianne were very appreciative of the party. It was good seeing them both.
  • Richard reminded folks of the major October 17th rally in Boston. He’ll be attending and encouraged others to do so as well.
  • Jack reported on the 2009 Convention:
    • About 150 people paid.
    • 300 were at the banquet.
    • MFSO and IVAW were well-represented.
    • About 35 workshops were presented through Thursday and into Friday morning. Six workshops were presented simultaneously.
    • Jack Bussell was honored at the convention for his numerous quality contributions to VFP.
  • The 2010 Convention:
    • Michael mentioned that there were 12 speakers at the 2009 convention: some at the opening ceremony; some at the Friday night event; and some at the Saturday banquet.
    • Bruce mentioned that the workshops traditionally are built around a particular theme. This ties together the entire conference and is crucial. Bruce suggests that we use two plenaries to hammer home the theme, giving the whole convention a sense of purpose and harmony.
    • We estimate that we’ll need 300 attendees to break even financially. We still need to discuss financial assistance from the national and any possibilities of subsidies.
    • We agreed that Chris Hedges, Martin Sheen, and Jerry Genesio be considered as key note speakers. Jack suggested that we also consider Kathy Kelly and two other activists from the Jonah House in Baltimore.
    • We agreed to put ads in the NATION magazine ($210/week for two weeks) and possibly consider THE PROGRESSIVE and Z Magazine as well. Dan Ellis will design the ads. Bruce Gagnon suggested that we put ads in local groups’ newsletters (many of them will not cost us anything). Bruce agreed to take care of that. We’ll put the ads in during mid-July.
    • We agreed to honor Jerry Genesio and all charter members listed in Jerry’s book.
    • Jack suggested that we consider Westbrook College on Stevens Avenue as a possible “overflow” venue or a cheaper alternative to the Eastland. The cost would be $35/night for a single ($70 for a double). We should also consider listing area motels for people to contact and make their own arrangements.
    • Michael urged us to start considering a convention brochure, program booklets, and t-shirt designs. Rand Printing would charge around $750 for 300 brochures (4 color covers).
    • Dan Ellis volunteered to work on the layout of brochures and programs. Bruce Gagnon volunteered to work on selling advertisements and helping Dan out. Bruce will coordinate placement of ads and solicitations. Dan will be the “lay out man.”
    • Dan Ellis reported that a few possible themes were submitted.
    • Jack brought up the possibility of a poker tournament fundraiser and Michael suggested house parties as another way to raise money.
    • Peggy Akers agreed to hunt down the original members of VFP to see if they could attend. She would invite them to be honored at the banquet. Doug agreed to contact Jerry Genesio to see if we could invite any of the Children of War project children to attend the banquet.
    • Jack pointed out that all 33 workshops at the 2009 Convention were well attended (20 to 30 people in each one).
    • Bob Lezer made the following motion: Accept the proposed National Convention structure as presented by the Convention Committee prior to the October visit. Peggy seconded. Approved.
    • Bruce Gagnon made the following motion: The chapter authorize Jack Bussell to begin organizing fundraising activities. Herb Hoffman seconded. Approved.
  • Stan Lofchie moved that we donate $200 to MaineShare to help them defray the costs of their upcoming November Symposium: “The Vietnam Experience – Implications for the End of Life Care.” Kristina second. Approved.
  • Dud mentioned that Harold Burbank was seeking VFP assistance and endorsement for an upcoming speaking tour for Robert Bowman. We agreed that we couldn’t do this for logistical reasons.

The Meeting Adjourned at 9:12 pm.

NEXT MEETING: OCTOBER 29TH IN AUGUSTA AT THE BUKER SCHOOL IN MEETING ROOM A (on Armory Street, just across from the National Guard Armory on Western Ave.)