Liaison CC Min 3-4-15

Monthly Liaison Conference Call Minutes

March 4, 2015, 8 PM

In Attendance:

Toby Tyler (Morristown)
Lorraine Wearley  (Summit)
Cecilia Cosca (Montclair)
Elaine Nigam (Princeton)
Al Stawsky (Palisades)
Edie Waill (Parmaus)
Jeri Doherty (Sussex)
Laurice Grae-Hauck, Administrator
Rev. Craig Hirshberg, Exec. Dir.


Congregations Check-in: 

  • Edie (Paramus): Lunch raised $593 for Center Food Action. Co-sponsoring a social justice weekend with Ridgewood March 27-29 racial justice at Ridgewood.  Book discussion on the New Jim Crow, co-sponsored by CUC, Palisades and Ridgewood. Discussion about having a “Black Lives Matter” sign outside CUC.  Fear of attracting vandalism, so was suggested a sign saying “All Lives Matter” but decided that could be interpreted as pro-life.  The matter is going before the board.  Gas Lamp 2 movie screening last month.  Teens Talk About Racism at Fairleigh Dickenson University-Hackensack on Thursday, May 28.
  • Lorraine (Summit): Request to help man a homeless overnight shelter in Newark.  Volunteer day at the food bank.
  • Jeri (Sussex): Regular soup kitchen, homeless shelter program.  There hasn’t been any legislative action as of recent.
  • Cecilia (Montclair): Undoing Racism Committee presenting “Black & White: Beyond Black History Month” this Sunday at 12:30 at UU Montclair. Dionne Ford will present from her award winning paper with poetry and jazz performances.  Tabling on letters regarding solitary confinement. Third in a series of Restore Democracy programs March 30 at 7:30, discussion on campaign finance legislation.  Representatives from Public Campaign and the Brennan Center representatives will be present.
  • Elaine (Princeton): Work on campaign to end New Jim Crow. 2 members are liaisons to the Princeton chapter. Email to congregants to write senators in support of solitary confinement legislation.  Working on a sustainability program.  Will be tabling on the recent action alert sent by Craig.  Princeton book discussion “Change the World Book Club” 8 weeks starting in late March–exact date not yet set. Participant sign up is beginning now. Also there will be some speakers on some of the issues. Books: The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen by Kwame Anthony Appiah; World Changing 101: Challenging the Myth of Powerlessness by David LaMotte; and The Green Boat: Reviving Ourselves in Our Capsized Culture by Mary Pipher.
  • Al (Palisades): The three Bergen county congregations are sponsoring two events. Friday March 6 at Ridgewood, also co-sponsored by Bergen Co. YWCA.  See Edie’s brief.
  • Toby (Morristown): Miller will be leading discussion on the New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.  MUF is hosting the New Jersey MUUsic Fest on Sunday.

Craig Updates:   (8:28pm)

  • Al and Craig went to a racism training last Friday and Saturday. Working on a statement to bring to the annual meeting on ways the task forces can do their part to undo racism.

Task Force: 8:30

  • Al ( Justice): Latest issue of UU World has a number of articles on race and multiculturalism.  The task force is focused this legislative session on 4 areas. Two most active are 1) solitary confinement legislation S2588. Feb 12 committee session heard testimony to restrict solitary confinement.  A vote has not happened yet. 2) Package of 21 bills presented to support rehabilitation and treatment for drug addiction.  S2381 is coming up in the budget appropriations committee on Monday, March 9.  Craig sent a statement supporting this bill.  These bills have a good chance of being passed. 3) Heroine addiction rehabilitation.  4) Parole reform, bill in September of last year has been held up in committees.  Senate and assembly looking into the legalization of marijuana which would have a tremendous impact on mass incarceration.  Christie has sworn that he would never allow such a law to pass.  Alex Shalom from ACLU-NJ will be speaking at the task force meeting at the annual meeting.
  • Lorraine (Economic Justice): Earned sick days bill is in early legislature stages. Conference call by Citizen Action, urgency to pass this bill by March.  Legislators want to vote well before the next election.  Ten bills having to do with foreclosure/recovery and a hearing on March 16 at the State House about what communities are doing to recover.

News: (8:45)

  • We are researching the legalization of marijuana and working on a statement. We are looking at this as a justice issue that pertains to mass incarceration and the impact that minor drug arrests have.
  • If you have new issues you would like to have looked at on the YUUR Voice TV program please send ideas. There is an opportunity to put programming together.
  • (post call) 1st Annual MUUsic Festival to benefit UULMNJ at Morristown Unitarian Fellowship. Congregations on Sunday, March 8 was a huge success.  Over 200 choir members and choir appreciators gathered to hear great music and join in the first UULMNJ All state chorus.  UULMNJ raised $5000 from the generosity of the participants.
  • New website will be launched in the coming weeks! There will be a calendar for statewide congregational events.  Plan on submitting community events to be added to the statewide calendar!
  • Registration is now open for the Spring Plenary in Montclair on April 18. Register at  Stay up to date with information and attendees, invite friends or share the event at  Keynote address is “The Inconvenience of Modern Racism”. Same numbers of delegates your congregation would have at district meeting at our annual meeting.  Get your delegates lined up!

Adjourned at 8:56

Minutes submitted by Laurice Grae-Hauck, UULMNJ Administrator

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