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Committee Meeting, October 4, 2008

St Petersburg, FL, Meetinghouse

Present: Eduardo Diaz, Miami; Ed Hotchkiss, St Pete; Jack Braden, Palm Beach; Herb Snitzer St Pete; Cecilia Yocum, Tampa, Bill Rapp, Lake Wales; Carol Dameron, St Pete


  1. Homeless Issues: St. Pete Meeting distributes food on Friday nights at Williams Park. The homeless population is growing. They are also seeing newly homeless people/ families coming into the area. Facilities are filled up and resources are tight. More people have been volunteering to help.
  2. St Pete has been making up “ditty bags” that supply personal products for people in need. Ellie Caldwell may be a resource.
  3. Miami Meeting is working on this issue, particularly ex inmates who were accused of sexual offenses.
  4. Miami AVP is active in the federal and state system. Community workshops have been few. They are holding a Spanish basic workshop. A local representative from the Department of Corrections has taken a basic and will take an advanced in the near future.
  5. AVPUSA national gathering will be over Memorial Day weekend in New York.
  6. Friends Peace Teams has been active with AVP in Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador as well as Colombia. We have worked with youth who are ex-combatants.
  7. Friends Peace Teams held two sample trauma-healing workshops in Colombia- one in the northern coast where there are a large number of displaced people and in Bogotá. Cece hopes to return in February to help with facilitator training for these workshops.
  8. The hurricanes in Cuba hit a number of Quaker meetinghouses as well as individual homes. The government will not help with reconstruction of churches.
  9. Eduardo Diaz is President elect of the Peace Psychology Division of the American Psychological Assn. APA recently passed a referendum to prohibit psychologists from working in situations of illegal interrogations. Now APA must work on implementing the policy.
  10. Palm Beach Meeting is working on helping people with food issues in their area. The meeting is buying food wholesale and Javier is helping distributing the food in needed communities.
  11. A question was brought up about whether the MMs or YM should look into grants to help with homeless people.
  12. Counter recruiting: St Pete has been working with Veterans for Peace to provide educational materials in the high schools. They set up a table in the schools and answer questions when asked by students. Palm Beach Meeting has given over this project to the Truth Project and they are providing educational materials in the schools in Palm Beach.
  13. We discussed a concern of possible reinstatement of the draft. As Quakers we need to be prepared in case the draft is reinstated. Good resources are Warren Hoskins in Miami and Dana Putney in Tampa.
  14. We discussed about media issues and lack of good information in the media. SEYM newsletter and website are good places for us.
  15. We briefly discussed the general problems in the country and quality of life issues. As Quakers, our testimonies are something that Americans need.

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