The Social Justice committee meets at noon after the Sunday service on the first Sunday of each month. Occasionally when a special event is held at that time, the meeting is held the following Sunday. All meetings are open to MUUF members and guests. Notifications of meetings, agendas, and minutes may be emailed upon request. Through regular participation in the meetings, in activities of the Committee or by request, any member or friend of MUUF may become a member of the committee.
SOCIAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE
Manatee Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
Agenda November 3, 2019
Call to order:
Present: Chair pro tem – Carol Bartz
1) Acceptance of Minutes of October Meeting:
2) Writers for Social Justice articles:
Carol Bartz – Contact person for December special collection for UPDATE/Bulletin
Bill Hayes – Report to the December Update
Randall – Minutes of November meeting to Board of Directors November meeting
Bernita – November Social Justice meeting highlights report for November Update and website
3) Special Collections—Bill Hayes – Guidelines Board approval. 2020 List
September 15 – Downtown Ministry – Barb
October 20 – Manatee Operation Troop Support – Barb
November 27 – UUSC Guest at Table – Chris
December 15 – Turning Points – Carol Bartz
4) Issue of the Quarter: on hold.
5) Share-a-Dish January 2020 – Bernita
6) On-going Business:
Craft Fair with LWRUU – Carol Alt, AJ
Fair Food Sponsorship – postcard mailing –Bernita
Transgender Inclusion – Rev. Fred
Our Daily Bread – John
DART news – Rev. Fred
Climate Crisis: MCEA Carolyn and Bill Denison, Dec 6 Nationwide Climate Strike, Nov.12 6:30pm Fogartyville Green New Deal
7) New Business
MLK Jr Day of Service Award – Pat
“Undoing Racism” workshop at PeaceCenter, Sarasota in Spring 2020- Bernita
Gay Pride March 2020 – AJ
Ending Money Bail Bond System BLUU/Love Resists – Bill
Hot Topic 10/14 Immigration is on line at http://www.lwvmanatee.org/immigration.pdf
Hot Topic 11/11 US Census
Child Marriage in the US 11/21 6pm Motorworks
UUJustice Florida Legislative Days January 2020
Green New Deal Fogartyville Nov. 12 6:30pm
Next Meeting: December 1 Next Coffee Hour: Dec. 29 Next Share-a-Dish: January 10
SOCIAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE
Highlights of Meeting on October 6, 2019
The Special Collection on October 20 will be Manasota Operation Troop Support with Barb McCrea as point person. November will be UUSC with Chris MacCormack. The Special Collection committee will meet to discuss the January-June 2020 possibilities.
Our Daily Bread – John Isham reported that so far 20 names are on the list to be called for volunteering to serve meals on our designated day, 3rd Thursday of each month. About 8 or 9 are needed for this 2-hour camaraderie of serving the disadvantaged of our community. Team t-shirts were discussed. Thanks to all who signed up.
At the Share-a-Dish on September 13 Bill and Carolyn Denison collected about 80 letters which will be sent to our local officials over the next few weeks. The October Share-a-Dish program will be the showing and discussion of the DVD “Paris to Pittsburgh” about our climate crisis. The LWV petition will be circulated for signatures.
Transgender Inclusion online workshops will continue with third session on October 12. New participants are welcome to start and catch up by contacting Rev. Fred for the password to view the online material. The next meetings are on the second and fourth Saturday mornings of Oct. and Nov.
DART (Direct Action and Research Training), a new Interfaith social justice organization starting in Manatee County of Manatee congregations, continues to expand with new members. A project will be adopted. The Manatee second meeting worked on organizational necessities, ie by-laws, budgets, etc. MUUF’s financial contribution will be matched by UUA up to $1500.
NAACP Freedom Fund event on Oct. 12. MUUF will have a full table thanks to Susan Thomson.
Craft Fair. Carol Alt encourages all to prepare items for the Nov. 16 craft sale at the Bradenton Farmers Market. Our joint effort with LWRUU will be to benefit Turning Points. We will also have MUUF information to give out.
MLK Day of Service Awards. Pat Neary-Hayward, Barb McCrea and Bernita Franzel will meet to discuss possible application.
OCCUPY has suspended meetings but is welcome at our Social Justice meetings.
A 10-minute speaker on a social justice issue was discussed.
Legislative Issues noted at the meeting:
Ex-felons voting rights in Florida were granted by citizens votes. The Florida legislature has proposed restrictions on voting until all debts – court costs and fines -are paid. The ACLU has filed objection to this legislation.
- Supreme Court case from Louisiana re: access to abortion is similar to the Texas case that the Supreme Court previously dismissed 3 years ago. By granting review in this case, the Supreme Court is agreeing to reconsider its own landmark decision — and if the court allows this Louisiana law to stand, it will be breaking with its own precedent and dismantling constitutional protections to abortion access. This case could decide the future of abortion access in this country.
- The annual trip to Tallahassee with UUJF to lobby our legislators will be January 23-27. A poster of the UUJF legislative agenda is posted on the bulletin board.
- Florida constitution re LGBTQ rights
- 10/8 decision if business can fire LGBTQ
a. Once a month we address the injustices in our local community by inviting leaders of local charities to tell us about their work. These speakers discuss their program, services and needs on Sunday either by presenting the main address or presenting a thumbnail description of their program. On these Sundays a special collection is taken for that local charity.
b. Frequently the social justice committee will sponsor a program for the monthly Share-A-Dish meals which are held the second Friday evening of each month. These programs educate and inform about timely topics.
c. Each quarter a member writes a thorough paper about an issue chosen in the Social Justice meeting. These Issues of the Quarter are distributed to members and friends and are on the website under ISSUES. Issues in 2016 were: Income Inequality, Move to Amend, Voting Rights, Ballot legislation. Issues in 2015 were: Water, Decreasing Carbon Use, Black Lives Matter/Mass Incarceration, Inequality.
d. The Social Justice Bulletin Board helps to inform our members about what the committee is doing, and has information about issues.
e. The monthly newsletter, UPDATE, gives commentaries about current issues.
f. Once a month we sponsor the Monday evening meeting with Manatee Clean Energy Alliance.
1. MUUF sponsors Manatee Clean Energy Alliance. MCEA meets the third Monday each month at 6:30 pm to discuss ways to support Sierra Club’s “Ready for 100” program to change Manatee County government to activate clean energy programs.
2. MUUF supports Move to Amend. Corporations are not People and Money is not Speech. MUUF was the first UU congregation to put a resolution on the Move to Amend website.
3. MUUF supported the right to vote for ex-felons in Amendment 4 and now support efforts to enable their voting.
4. MUUF supports the Medicaid for Senior Citizens petition for constitutional amendment to the Florida constitution.
5. MUUF supports the Charter Resolution for Manatee County.
6. MUUF supports the Ban Assault Weapons movement.
7. MUUF supports Indivisible-Progressives in Bradenton.
Pictures are from Move to Amend demonstration at Rt 41 at Bahia Vista in Sarasota with UUs from Manatee, Sarasota and Venice observing the 5th anniversary of “Citizens United”
MUUF PARTNERS with many organizations for improving social justice.
A. We support Unitarian Universalist Association social justice groups:
UU Ministry of the Earth – uuministryforearth.org
UU Justice Florida – uujusticefl.org
UU Service Committee – uusc.org
Standing on the Side of Love – standingonthesideoflove.org
B: We support LOCAL AND NATIONAL charitable groups.
Our Daily Bread – odb.org
Volunteers from MUUF serve lunch to Bradenton’s needy at Our Daily Bread, one of many programs at the One Stop Center at 900 17th Avenue West in Bradenton. Over 200 meals are served every day. The staff prepares meals accepting food donations from local grocery stores and monetary donations from churches, individuals and many organizations. Manatee Unitarian Universalist Fellowship has been contributing time for 16 years. Besides volunteering at lunch, we also have a special collection for Our Daily Bread each January.
PRISM – prismyouth.org We support Prism in the Annual Gay Pride event in March.
Coalition of Immokalee Workers – ciw-online.org We support the annual observances of the Immokalee Workers each March to earn Fair Pay and Fair Food Program for the workers at Immokalee and other areas of the United States.
Planned Parenthood – plannedparenthood.org We support Planned Parenthood by participating in the volunteer activities and fund raising.
Turning Points – Jobs for Vets – tpmanatee.org We support Turning Point programs by donating food, clothing; by volunteering, by applyng for grants for their support, such as the 2016 MLK Jr Day of Service grants for two job search computers and 4 dental program computers.
Southwest Florida Coalition for Peace and Justice – sarasotapeacenter.org
NAACP, especially for voting rights – manateenaacp.org Many MUUF members are also Members of NAACP and cooperate in chapter functions, with collecting petitions for restoring the right to vote for ex-felons, with support in police relationship programs on MLK Day.
League of Women Voters with issues of conservation and voting rights – lwvmanatee.org
Unidos Now in support of Immigration Reform and Latino affairs – unidosnow.org
Staff speakers and student leadership latinos present programs for our Share-A Dish events. We support efforts to register voters and securing volunteers for the High School-On to College mentor education program.
350.org We support and participate in annual Climate Change activities sponsored by 350.org.
ManaSota-88 has spent over 30 years fighting to protect our environment. It is a 501.c3 non-profit organization, incorporated in the State of Florida. We are dedicated to protecting the public’s health and preservation of the environment. Created in 1968, ManaSota-88 evolved from a major environmental health study sponsored by the U.S. Public Health Service, Florida State University, the University of Florida and the Sarasota and Manatee County Commissions. Our commitment to safeguard the air, land and water quality is aggressive and uncompromising. Speakers from Manasota-88 are frequent presenters on Sunday morning and Share A Dish programs. Their spokespeople are dependable presenters at County Commissioner hearings where we applaud their efforts. http://www.manasota 88.org
Action: Special Collections Organized by Bill Hayes
Each month the Fellowship has a Special Collection to benefit a social justice organization. The schedule for July 2019 to June 2020 includes:
July – Hope Family Services. This organization helps those subjected to domestic abuse.
August -Feeding Empty Little Tummies (F.E.L.T.) which provides weekend meals for needy children.
September – Downtown Ministries provides food and health kits to needy citizens
October 20 – Manatee Operation Troop Support (MOTS) provides care packages to military overseas.
November – Unitarian Universalist Service Corps (UUSC)
December – Turning Points
Action: Saving the Rural Hospital
RURAL HOSPITAL PROJECT CAN GO FORWARD
by Joan Butcher
In late January Dr. Allen Weiss, President and CEO of Naples Community Hospital (NCH) and Kevin Cooper, the hospital Chief of Staff, were given the opportunity to resign and they did.
They had been the primary leaders of a lawsuit to prevent the construction of a small rural hospital in eastern Collier County near Immokalee which they claimed would take away patients and revenue from NCH.
Once they resigned, the new interim CEO, Dr. Leon Dutcher, made the decision to drop the lawsuit.
He considered it a public relations hassle creating an image problem in the community. Between the June 2018 initiation of the lawsuit and the January 2019 resignations there had been mounting negative public pressure via letters to the editor, billboards, testimony at legal depositions, demonstrations and other activities. The case has been dropped from the legal dockets. Once final approval steps are completed the original goal of constructing the new rural hospital can move forward!
After putting so much time and money into this worthy project Dr. Beau Braden, director of the Braden Health Clinic, along with his business manager and board of directors welcome this victory and view it as a complete repudiation. Switching from working on legal issues and returning to building design and construction issues has kept them very busy. In addition, they have been left with a $200,000 legal bill even without the anticipated February trial in Tallahassee.
Along with sharing the good news they sincerely and profusely thanked us for our efforts. How much impact did we have? While one can never know the specific influence of each activity, the sum of the various efforts and public pressure ultimately made a huge difference. Extending his heartfelt thanks, the business manager promised to keep us informed as they move forward.
I want to add my personal thanks to our Social Justice Committee members and everyone who signed letters and postcards. I believe we helped “win one for the little guy!”
ACTION – Giving all through the year
Turning Points mission is to provide, coordinate and facilitate services to the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless in Manatee County. It’s One Stop Service Center served over 6900 persons with 125,570 services in the past year.
Their Needs List consists of: Food and Baby Formula, Bicycles, Bungee Cords, Drop Cloths, Games, Jeans, Mosquito Repellant, Paperback Books, Reading Glasses, Shoes, Sleeping Bags, Socks, Toiletries, Tool Belts, Tools, Toothbrushes, Towels, Underwear, Washcloths, and Work Boots.
Cash is much needed for: Carpet Steam Cleaner, Folding Tables, Furnishings for the Family Waiting Area, Children’s Furniture, Industrial Vacuum, Office Supplies, Paper Shredder, Pressure Washer, Rubbermaid Bins, Security Camera, and Telephones.
Items can be put in the blue bin at MUUF, in the rear of the sanctuary. Mail checks directly to: Turning Points, 701 17th Ave. West, Bradenton, FL 34205
ACTION: Wish List Giving.
Organized by Barb McRea, the Wish List is focused on collecting in-kind (new or gently used) items for local organizations according to their “wish list” needs. Below is a descriptive list of the past Wish List Giving campaigns. Due to health reasons of one of the Wish List project team members, the monthly project has been suspended except for the continuing Giving to Turning Points.
• January 2019 campaign — Bishop Animal Shelter promotes the compassionate treatment of companion animals in Manatee County and surrounding areas from its adoption facility. As of January 20th, MUUF donated 26.1 lbs. of dog food and treats, 15.7 lbs. of cat food and treats, 2 blankets, 10 towels, 2 rugs, 2 sheets, 1 cat scratch board and 2 grocery bags of newspapers.
• December 2018 campaign — Turning Points provides a variety of free services designed to assist individuals and families to help prevent and end homelessness. MUUF donated 19 holiday bags filled with new Christmas toys and gifts for children.
• November 2018 campaign — SafePlace2B Youth Shelter provides a safe haven with family counseling for troubled teens who are in a family crisis situation. MUUF donated 11 grocery bags containing clothes, shoes, personal toiletries, housewares, recreational items and a holiday dinner certificate.
• October 2018 campaign — Feeding Empty Little Tummies (F.E.L.T.) a local non-profit charity dedicated to feeding Manatee County’s most needy — homeless students. MUUF donated 107 pounds of nonperishable food.
• September 2018 campaign — HOPE Family Services offers domestic violence outreach services and shelter for families and their dependents. MUUF donated approximately 60 pounds of school supplies.