Plowshare Board Minutes-January 2023


Date: 1/10/23

Present: Gary Sandman, Sherman Bamford, Manuel Dotson, Mike Bentley, Roxana Navab, Xan Whitt, Naomi Clements, Dave Gresham.

  1. Board
  2. Check-in-We checked in with each other about the pandemic.  Everyone was okay, as far as we knew.
  3. Plowshare Annual Report-We approved the annual report.  It will be sent to those on our pledge list, then shared with the Plowshare community through our social media and newsletter.
  4. Student-A student from Patrick Henry High School has contacted us about working with us for community service hours for her school.  Gary is following up.
  • Infrastructure Committees
  1. Finance Committee
  2. Balance-Plowshare has $6,828 in our checking and saving accounts, with all bills paid.
  3. Fundraising-Dave Gresham expressed interest in contacting local companies about donating to Plowshare.  Gary will follow up on this Dave.
  4. Pledges-Gary will be contacting 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 will be sent.
  5. 2023 Budget-We will look at the 2023 budget in February.
  6. Stewardship-No new ideas for cutting costs or bringing in more revenue were suggested.
  • Outreach Committee
  • Newsletter-275 copies of our quarterly newsletter went out in December.
  • Social media-Email list has 507 people; Facebook page has 677 people; Facebook group has 171 people.  Dave and his son will be working with Gary on updating the website.  Facebook has banned the monthly calendars and the Action Alerts; we are still trying to find out why.  The Progressives Potluck was placed on the Plowshare YouTube channel. 
  • Festivals-We are exploring ways to table again as we have been excluded from some festivals.  Xan is looking into tabling in Blacksburg.  Roxana is looking into the Persian New Year Festival.  Manuel is trying to contact Courtney Campbell of Local Colors.  Gary is thinking about organizing or finding someone to organize a festival for activist groups.

5.       Next Meeting-Committee will gather on February 28 at 7 PM, through Zoom.

  •  Volunteers Committee-Naomi and Steve Clements have expressed interest in exploring joining the board.  Naomi was joining us tonight with that in view.  Dave may also be interested in exploring joining the board.
  • Action Committees & Coordinators
  1. Vigil Committee-Eleven people attended the December peace vigil.  Next one is January 21.
  • Program Committee
  • Upcoming Programs-We have started to publicize the Voices from the Holy Land film series, both a film and an online salon, in January; it’s a monthly event.  We may hold an Iranian Protests program in February.  We may hold another Progressive Potluck, either in-person or through Zoom in March.  We may hold an Arab-American month event in April.
  • Potential Programs-We are also looking at possibly offering these programs: youth & lobbying, Nathan Richardson, transgender, Picturemotion films, Kingian Nonviolence Program, Meta Peace Teams, the Shawnee Showdown: Keep the Forest Standing film, Red Terry and the Teen Peace Jam.
  • Open House-This is Plowshare’s 50th anniversary.  We would like to resume our annual Open House this fall.  

3.       Next Meeting-Committee will gather on February 28 at 7 PM through Zoom.

  • Death Penalty Committee-Nothing new.
  • Carpooling Coordinator-Nothing new.
  • Lobbying Committee
  • Meetings-Mike attended the Experiential Peace Organizing Committee meetings as did George Hunter. 
  • Contacts-Mike received a letter from Senator Kaine.  He attended a Zoom meeting for the Fairfax Grassroots group that met with Senator Warner’s staff.
  • Move the Money Resolution-We weren’t sure if the Move the Money resolution had been presented to the Roanoke City Council as Stephen Niamke couldn’t attend the board meeting.
  •  Public Information Committee
  •  Action Alerts-Action Alert #49 has been sent out. 
  •  National Public Radio-Brent Riley contacted National Public Radio about Plowshare concerns.  Mike is trying to get in touch with WVTF-FM about their next Friends Council.

4.       Other

  1. Iran-We discussed various options for responding to the Iranian protests.  A piece was included in the Plowshare December newsletter, stickers were handed out at our monthly peace vigil and a workshop on the Iranian Protests is being planned.  We are open to other projects, including carpools to Washington DC demonstrations and videos.
  2. Youth Projects-Saleem Ahmed has agreed to work with Xan on the youth and lobbying workshop.  We are also looking at the Teen Peace Jam, the Rotary Club peace project, peace essays in local schools and the Lions Club.

5.  Next Meeting-Next meeting is on February 14 at 8 PM through Zoom.