Plowshare Board Minutes – February 2023


Date: 2/21/23

Present: Gary Sandman, Sherman Bamford, Manuel Dotson, Roxana Navab, Dave Gresham. Regrets from Mike Bentley and Xan Whitt.

  1. Board
    a. Check-in-We checked in with each other about the pandemic. Everyone was okay, as far as we knew.
    b. Student-The student from Patrick Henry High School who contacted us about working with Plowshare for community service hours said she didn’t think she could volunteer now.
  2. Infrastructure Committees

a. Finance Committee

  1. Balance-Plowshare has $7,729 in our checking and saving accounts, with all bills paid.
  2. Fundraising-Dave Gresham will be contacting local companies about donating to Plowshare. He will check with Gary before approaching specific companies. We are looking into getting an audit for Plowshare as companies will want to see that.
  3. Pledges-Gary contacted those on our pledge list, thanking them for honoring their pledge or reminding them about their pledge. A thank you letter, the annual report and a tax receipt was sent. He will be sending a second reminder to those who didn’t respond.
  4. 2023 Budget-The board okayed the budget below for 2023.

Office supplies-$250
Post Office box fee-$166
Bulk mail permit-$275
State Corporation Commission fee-$25
Outreach Committee-$200
Program Committee-$1200
Peace Vigil Committee-$100
Radio Free Roanoke contribution-$100
Virginia Defenders contribution-$100
Director’s consulting fee-$8580


  1. Stewardship-No new ideas for cutting costs or bringing in more revenue were suggested.

b. Outreach Committee

  1. Newsletter-Another issue of “Plowshare News” will go out in March.
  2. Social media-Email list has 507 people; Facebook page has 677 people; Facebook group has 171 people. Dave has done a great job updating the website. He is looking to add more humor and encouraged people to check out the website. Facebook has banned the monthly calendars and the Action Alerts, apparently because they contain too many links. Gary will try sending out the monthly calendar without the links. Dave asked that we encourage people to post more often on Facebook and that we post more on the Ukraine War.
  3. Festivals-We are signed up for Pride in the Park on April 30 from noon to 7 PM in Elmwood Park. Roxana reported that the Persian New Year Festival is not happening this year.
  4. Beth Israel Visit-Manuel and Gary met with the teen group at the Beth Israel synagogue on January 22. The visit went well, and the teacher and several students signed up for our email list.
  5. Reddit-Dave has been posting to the Reddit website with mixed results.
  6. Groups-Dave suggested that we focus on groups, like teachers, to make them aware of Plowshare and its projects. It was suggested that we might also consider contacting social workers, union members, etc. We might also offer a workshop when we contact them, like an anti-bullying workshop for teachers.
  7. Next Meeting-Committee will gather on February 28 at 7 PM, through Zoom.

c. Volunteers Committee-Naomi and Steve Clements and Dave Gresham have expressed interest in exploring joining the board. As our next meeting is the third one that Dave will attend, we will consider his board membership then.

  1. Action Committees & Coordinators

a. Vigil Committee-Ten people attended the January peace vigil. Next one is February 18.

b. Program Committee

  1. Upcoming Programs-We have started to publicize the Voices from the Holy Land film series, both a film and an online salon; it’s a monthly event.
  2. Potential Programs-The Program Committee will set dates for programs at their next meeting. Possibilities are programs on the Iranian Protests, Arab-American Month, youth & lobbying, Nathan Richardson, transgender, Picturemotion films, Kingian Nonviolence Program, Meta Peace Teams, the Shawnee Showdown: Keep the Forest Standing film, Red Terry, the Teen Peace Jam and the Progressive Potlucks. Holding the Progressive Potluck outside is possible.
  3. Open House-This is Plowshare’s 50th anniversary. We would like to resume our annual Open House this fall.
  4. In-person Gatherings-The Program Committee will discuss the possibility of resuming in-person gatherings at their next meeting.
  5. Next Meeting-Committee will gather on February 28 at 7 PM through Zoom.

c. Death Penalty Committee-Nothing new.

d. Carpooling Coordinator-Herb Beskar coordinated any rides needed for the “Rage Against the Machine” antiwar rally in Washington DC on February 19.

e. Lobbying Committee-As Mike wasn’t able to join us, we didn’t have an update.

f. Public Information Committee-Action Alerts-Action Alerts #50 and #51 have been sent out.

  1. Other-Nothing new.
  2. Next Meeting-Next meeting is on March 14 at 8 PM through Zoom.