Wednesday Morning Breakfast Notes

by Oct 8, 2018For Members Only!, Wednesday Morning Notes

Pre-pandemic, the BHF Breakfast Meetings took place every Wednesday morning, 8:30 am, at the Waterfront Eat ‘n Park … in-person meetings are currently on hiatus due to the COVID-19 Virus.

February 2022 we are still on Zoom Join us! (send an email to and ask to be included in the Zoom Breakfast invite!)

March 11, 2020

Al Hart introduced Summer Lee. He is proud of his Union support for her. She has attended several union picket lines. She is a true friend of our union and a fighter for the working class.
Summer said she is not a morning person, so is glad to be here. Her assistant with her is Kalli (based on name of an Indian goddess of time and ??)
Ms. Lee reported that she has been in office for a year. Her political life came out of organizing. Originally, she didn’t see politicians in a societally interconnected way, but was convinced that the issues were closely connected and overlapping, and therefore that policy had to be as well, especially for the issues of: education, jobs, poverty, transportation, food dessert, medical dessert. All overlap and are not just problems of a particular community, but related to larger society and forces and issues, yet members of a community must be engaged with political leaders in finding integrated solutions that include supportive and appropriate policy. Many politicians think just working on technical policy (and providing traditional services) is all they can do, but policy needs to be shaped by a larger societal vision that includes interactive conversations with and input from a variety of groups, especially those that are often overlooked or marginalized on a local level or represent I have reached out to and talked to people in prisons, and women in geriatric … it is a lazy and irresponsible narrative to say environmental reforms are against jobs, for example. And we need to challenge and if necessary, remove political leadership that sits on a fence…leaders need to be more nurturing and actively involved in shaping a different vision of soclo-political community and life. For example, we need to help labor unions reconcile it’s past and problems in its culture…especially race and gender in Steel Communities. This requires a vision for building a movement that is bigger than just mine or any one seat. Those are issues I/we will keep working on in Harrisburg. Building power in our movement spaces and doing that in tandem with collaborative policy writing.
Q.: Who else currently in office or running for office should we be following and supporting? Jessica Benham (PA 36) Emily Kinkead (PA 20 vs Ravenstahl), Sara Innamorato (PA21)
Q. re status/ relationship with Mayor of Braddock – now duly elected.
Q. about Ms Lee’s relationship with current Lt. Governor (John Fetterman, former Mayor of Braddock)…his work on prison reform is good, but she is more systemic feels stronger on environmental justice, than he is.
B. Mason mentioned that Pam DeLissio (PA 194) plans to re-introduce Health Care bill that will look at social determinants. Ms. Lee talked about nature of legislative process not being linear and need for messaging and getting more people and groups involved and engaged.
Steffi talked about Stacy Federoff, and a panel at a History Center, members can get in for $10. 7 pm on Thursday the 19th.
Cal spoke about applying for a Census Enumerator and problems mostly delay.
Jim asked Pauline Greenlick about her and husbands Social Fund for Hidden (marginalized) people, women survivors, and children from streets. She was in Uganda in in January. They are training trainers, many women looking very professional and well dressed. Former ‘victims’ of war in North are calling themselves survivors. She is also in a film festival in NYC in 3 weeks.
Travels of Eddie, now empowered and no longer hidden. Working on 3-5-minute film to be ready by end of March. John encouraged people to look at Paulines films with stories on BHF website.
John H. reported that Rosemary T. went to Minneapolis to sit in on workshops about plays about Carnegie and Frick, and Homestead, and is having a wonderful time.
Charlie talked about conversations with Rylance and read from essay about Grant.
Bob M. said Bette McDevitt volunteered for Llogistics and Hospitality committee, which he is now chairing, but still needs more volunteers. Bette e raised idea of dividing responsibilities up by month.
Ed Wrenn talked about 14th Ward Democratic Club events at Ice Rink Schenley, 29th is endorsement meeting.
Walt K. reminded people about discussion at Health/social service building. Live streams are being posted. Including Q& A and power points. It is organized around N. Klein’s On Fire, meets…every other Sunday, 5-7 pm. Next March 22, 29, etc. Dee added that Ken Dufala has been doing water testing and report to be released on chemicals that are not being tested for in current water testing, and Ned Ketyer’s reports. See last Sunday’s streamed presentation. He studied water test from treatment plants from Green County to Mon River. We are now cancer valley.
Al H. added report on Sara I.’s hearing in Millvale. More discussion with Summer about strategy and logistics around this particular bill, and various pressures…on legislators and power of pacs.
No reps are self-funded, but building trades are. Important vote is not on bill but on override. Jay Costa has been especially heavily targeted.
John Rudiak asked if anyone else read about compressor stations noise and vibration.
Sharon reminded everyone to look at Bill Yund’s pictures from PA Labor History and movie about women in prison on hunger strike. And article about Braddock Library.
Charlie talked about article read to him by? Jacqui’s about suffragettes, will be on 22nd or 29th according to Suzanne’s report on Program Committee. They decided to sell ads for a program booklet.
Perry talked about book by Kate Raworth called Doughnut Economics.
Walt reminded everyone of supporting climate kids march on Earth Day in April.
Charlie plugged Sam Hazo’s forthcoming book based on voice of his Aunt in letters to famous people.

March 4, 2020

John convened meeting at 9:05. He welcomed several guests, and reviewed who we are, and what we do, and invited membership. We have an open sharing session. Attendees: aprox 32.
The first guest introduced was Don Brown of Local …who is now Vice-President and hopes to be part of retirees. Bonnie and Genna were welcomed back. Mark Dixon was welcomed, and spoke briefly about his role on Board of Thomas Merton Center. They are preparing for 50th anniversary of Merton Center 2022. He also spoke about his activism against the Shell Cracker, and working on air monitoring and how it has changed narrative in relationship between public, government officials, and companies. Especially important will be VOC monitors, maybe as many as 20, looking for more who are with in 6 miles or less of plant.
Edwin (Ted) Eberhart, currently unemployed academic, temporarily at Pitt. Working on accent discrimination. Looking for life stories about language. Early stages looking for people to interview. Socialist Choir has met twice, now moving to 7:30-9:30 on Sunday nights, at Quaker Meeting House. He mentioned some of the recordings that have been made, and

Sharon wanted to make sure everyone saw article about Wali Jamal in PPG this past Sunday. He is working a Marin Delaney piece and redoing his August Wilson piece how I learned what I learned. Sharon also mentioned new art gallery called Eberly on Ann across from Presbyterian Church. Jennifer was at opening and said art is really good and space is great. Person who makes ceramics is good. Ed Eberly’s work is outstanding and world class.
Rae reminded everyone of Summer Lee’ fund raiser this Saturday. Charlie mentioned good front page article in support of her.
John said Patti DeMarco will be speaking today in Millvale at meeting that Summer Lee and others have organized. John mentioned…
John Detwiler mentioned that he hopes to bring Natasha Davis back, hoping to do a PhD for Columbia, he wants her to talk to Claire or other ‘hard hatted women’. There will be hearing on Zoning in McKeesport re revoking of license for frack well. Bette, Mark, and Mike mentioned lawyer organizing charges. Shapiro blocking commutations on same board as Fetterman, but only with 1 vote. This lawyer will probably be running against Shapiro in future.
Mike talked about a research paper that reveals actions of industry – see Rolling Stone, Planet Plastic, March 3rd. Elizabeth also said to see a FB page of ??? for more information. Mike also reported there have been some false notices about cancellation of special demo on Earth Day, 50th Anniversary, Weds April 22nd, being organized by the Sunrise Movement, and others. Mike and Mark talked about importance of uniting labor and environmental organizations.
Joe White mentioned scuttlebutt that Bernie Sanders cannot beat Trump. This reminded him of Michael Kazen’s book that Joe thinks is very good. He shows how even though William Jennings Byron, or Debs never won, but later had very strong influence. Short term defeat long term gain. This is longer term thesis and story. And how moderates have contributed to making struggle uphill and harder. Also, long periods of time that progressive legislation has taken, as in UK, for example. Democrats have been acting like moderates? when they should be acting like Socialists.
Mike announced next meeting to discuss new Green Deal and ….Sunday 5-7 at One Smithfield St. Social Services building.
Charlie reminded us that April 24th will be anniversary of antiwar march in DC, and issue of May Day celebration, and May 4th Kent State. 1970.
Elizabeth announced reminder of March 21st Anti-war protest, 1pm Highland Ave and E.L. Blvd. She has some flyers, please only take if you can use or post. There will be other specific actions, and more literature distributed, also to build for Environmental Earth Day.
She also announced program at CLP in Hill on struggle in Kashmir..speaker will be Johann Choudry.
There is also COLCOM, started by Cordelia Scaife, for population control. When overboard. Some environmental issues supported.
Delsa gave a preview reminder that G-7 is coming to Pittsburgh, probably. Police are already in training. Get ready. No date given. March 24th-25 in 2 weeks with Secretaries of State. Travel ban may hit.
Mike announced idea of plans to use corona virus.
Perry and Elizabeth talked
Jacqui mentioned book reading at CCAC of Toni Morrison’s Bluest Eye, check CCAC website for speaker on themes in the book. CCAC won an award for highest voter registration; they had help from League of Women Voters.
Mike: Jacqui and Sinead managed to save archives from loss through W.Mifflin Archives fiasco.
John H. welcomed Roz… also working with Merton Center. She talked about work of Chrystal and support of Poor People’s Campaign. Traveling around the country, probably coming to Pittsburgh.
Mike reported on Steel Valley High School art and music competition…and winning over Board members on plastics and recycling campaigns.
10:05. Closed.

February 26, 2020

Guests: Bonnie Spoels raised in H.P. Corps of Engineer, living in Swissvale. Jenna Colby. Also living in Swissvale, painting, animal rights concerns, not sure of where to go in life now. Also concerned about fracking and wanting to get more involved.

John summarized Board meeting on Monday. First with 4 new members, plus 2 incumbents.
Passed 2020 Budget which tries to include ongoing programs such as Archives Project, and others involved in strategic recommendations for beefing up development over next 5 years, and fund raising, staff, seeking grant funding with proposal writers. There was a brief report of 6-8 program proposals from Committee, with Suzanne as ‘appointed’ chair. Message/theme for year needs to be clear and programs focused. Bart has retired from logistics committee, now looking for co-chairs, Bob Mason was nominated, looking for another. Main tasks: set ups and welcoming, hosting for programs at Pump House.
Also decided to work with coalitions focusing on opposing war, and supporting peace and justice movements. Stephi announced that it was also decided to do a program booklet, hoping all would seek ads for program booklet. Any and all images are welcome. (Suggestions from Bette and Milli for pictures.) Costs of adds will be figured out at next meeting on Friday.
Rose shared news coming from Mark Rylance. Playbill just announced—ART (Harvard) and Guthrie (Minneapolis) Repertory Theatres. Claire Van Kampen will direct 6-part drama. A story worthy of Shakespeare…with role of labor and industry…shaped where we are now. John explained what he knew about workshopping of theatre, 2 sections in Minneapolis in March.

Al Hart: has flyers for fundraiser for Summer Lee coming up on the 7th in Forest Hills. Next Weds at 10-noon, Policy Committee meeting in Millvale hosted by Sara Innamorato. John R. and Joni talked about Fitzgerald and Democratic and local politics. Joe W. said these are same tactics that will be used against Bernie S. on national level (as well as here).
Bob Mason reported that all people running for seats in 14th got in as delegates for Electoral College. All Bernie’s got in statewide.
He also reminded people about signing petition of Coalition against the Deadly exchange.
Rae reported on prison reform movement meeting in Braddock tomorrow night. Film called Invisible Hand; radioactivity involved in Fracking. Mark Ruffalo is also producer of film. It talks about Grant Township.
Bonnie talked about people who are chemically sensitive…and how Pittsburgh’s aggregate data includes Kittaning with no pollution. So, numbers are down.
Joe W. reported on first meeting of proposed Socialist Chorus, led by Ted Eberhardt at Friends Meeting House. Next meeting date is uncertain. At first meeting he taught a round drafted by Pete Seeger’s father.
Perry reported on new book on Second amendment by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. And good Osher classes on History of Science and Political Economy of Capitalism, by Adam Davis and Javier Vazquez, respectively.
Elizabeth reported on ??.
Mark and Jennifer talked about puppet Knish on local kid’s show by Hank Stohle (sp?). Knish was a mop.
John read from this day in Progressive History…artist who did Rosie the Riviter. Feb 3rd 1874 birth of Gertrude Stein in Pittsburgh area, and read from some

1931 I. Hope Alexander started smoke abatement program in City of Pittsburgh.
Howard asked if anyone went to Pittsburgh and Underground RR walk/talk. Looking for submissions for the Labor History.
Rose spoke about Walli Jamal reprise of August Wilson’s How I learned…Friday, March 13 $25 at August Wilson Theatre.
John mentioned that Jerry was here several weeks ago with paper explaining how to get it.
Bob: recommended the Water Dancers by Tanahasi Coates.
Jay talked about March 4th County Board of Health Meeting. A rally in Harrisburg on bill.
March 19th march downtown.
Suzanne mentioned showing of Nate Smith documentary and yearlong program of Slavery to Freedom at 5:30 at Heinz History Center.
Bonnie mentioned great songwriter out of Dublin. And signing up for chemical warnings for those who are sensitive.
Delsa talked about pollution announcement but nothing about what to do. Bonnie talked about having an infra-red sauna…or get fresh air, drink clean water, take showers. Get a nettie pot, bring in lots of house plants. Delsa mention some help from CPap machines. Jay mentioned Rocis who will study house.
Jim H. closed with mention of Toklas recipe for hashish brownie. See Mike Stout for a copy.

February 19, 2020

Breakfast Notes February 19, 2020.

9:05 John opened meeting. He introduced special guests: Shannon Forester with members of St. David’s Welsh Society, Bob Dayton and Joanne Evans. Attendees: 32.

Millie expressed her gratitude for Shannon finding us.

Shannon said she has known story of John Morris, her great-great Uncle. Her Grandmother was Rachel and she explained the relationships with people in picture in

She showed a map of Wales to indicate where family came from in 1838, and she had a notebook of documents. Great-great grandparents John Morris and Mary Evans. (?) He was a tin mill worker. She had a picture of him at 47 but he looks like he is seventy with scars and stains on his hands. She showed picture from Pittsburgh Dispatch with picture/drawing of John Morris. It was called a cabinet card. Bost building has cards like these from International Order of Oddfellows. She thinks that is where his card came from.

There were 8 boys and girls in family. Oldest was girl who worked in tin mills in Wales.  Great-Grandmother said when she was 6 her brother John was 18. He jumped at chance to come to Homestead, and was good at both English and Welsh so quickly became skilled, and was able to buy a house for his wife, his mother, and several of his siblings.  She found location of his house. His wife after death and auction of house required an inventory.

John’s father died in (?) shortly after John had left Wales for Homestead. Thus 3 younger brothers (under 16) had to go to work in the mines, and 3? younger sisters had to work in service, for family to survive. So John sponsored his mother and at least 4? of his younger siblings for immigration. Shannon found the ship’s manifest of Jane Evans Morris, with 4 children, including her grandmother. John had married Hannah Richards whose brother? was a brick worker Phillip Richards who lived down the street on 9th Ave. John eventually found a rented room for mother and his four siblings on Coronet St. He …

Zach Brodt at Pitt archive found the coroner’s report – probably written by Phillip, his brother-in-law. Her great grandmother married young man from same street. They eventually moved to New Castle where Rachel (Shannon’s mother?) was born and Rachel herself grew up. A daughter from the extended family who had stayed in Wales, later came to Newcastle also name Rachel…Evan McNeil was brother in law who escorted Hannah to the casket. Story of John and Morris family was passed on through various family members living in Newcastle.

Hannah, John’s wife, at age 26 gave numerous interviews to news media. She said had asked John not to go. He was shot in the pump house and fell backwards into well. Great grandmother said every bone in his body was broken.

He was also a member of Amalgamated…(union), Knights of Pythias, and Oddfellows. They brought him back to house in less than an hour. Oddfellows and Amalgamated paid for funeral; John and Hannah had just paid off their $800 house.

There were 13 carriages at funeral with hundreds of people. Everyone had a black dress probably because of high infant mortality rate. His mother was 45 but looks ancient. Many Welsh were not very tall.

His mother moved back into the cottage but left for Newcastle after a baby died in January. Church was Anglican, Church of Wales, with father McIllilyer (sp?). Charlie mentioned John had good voice and was a good singer, so he was well known.  And that Peter Farris was buried at same time, who was Slovak who brought loaf of bread, and spoke a famous line about the fight for bread to live. Shannon also spoke about inventory of the house with lots of empty chairs, that had to be auctioned off. Shannon’s grandmother became a nurse. She also mentioned the many carriers of her cousins.

John Haer mentioned there is discussion of possible sharing of stories with Trilby Busch and other descendants of strikers that are slowly being discovered.

Bob Dayton spoke about the St. David’s Society, the Welsh heritage society. Welsh hymn singing society. Will sing at rugby tournament. His church is Central Presbyterian in Tarentum, and he also does puppet shows to illustrate world folk tales and puppetry traditions in his spare time.

Joanne Evans spoke about her family who came to work in mill in 1920’s. Her aunt Rachel was married 4 times, losing each to early death, final husband was George DeBolt. Her mother’s side knew the DeBolts as well.

There will be Welsh Corgi’s in Irish parade. Google St. David’s society, or start here:

Shannon and Joanne both expressed appreciation for the interest and support they have found in helping them finally bring their families life stories into history. Millie has their contact information.

John mentioned that we should be aware of Free will Unity Breakfast-brunch, Saturday at Park Place Af. Am. Methodist Episcopal church 10-2 pm.  Across from Park.

Charlie spoke about his email from Mark Rylance who plans to deliver first draft of Let There be Light, with a premier in Minneapolis? sometime in the Summer? Shannon said Mark already wrote a very nice message back to her about her Morris family story.

Delsa and Joe: 1908-31 trolley’s from Pittsburgh to Youngstown via Harmony.

Sharon spoke about members of her family losing their dairy farm cows. She asked for information about Edgewater Steel. Charlie’s bookshelves came from pallets from there.

Elizabeth spoke about upcoming anti-war rally at Highland and Penn at 1 pm on 21st March   and asked for support from BHF. Mike will be doing some music. More ideas are welcome. John said it would be considered at next Board Meeting.  Elizabeth also passed around a handout with events coming up and contact information. And she commented on connection between peace and labor movement.

She also mentioned that Friday night of new unnamed socialist choir — 7:30-9:30 at Friends Meeting House. Ted Eberhardt, PhD, prof. from Point Park will be directing, and bring his professional knowledge and experience to the project.

She mentioned several other calendar events.

Joni spoke about our waitress Candy and interest in starting a union.

Also asked about any report from Program Committee. Proposals still being accepted via website.

Bette mentioned a play that was in Oakland about Coal Miners called the Pitmen. Joe W. said they were from N. England, not Wales.

Jim H. asked Perry for report on Langston Hughes concert by Bach Choir at Eastminster.

Perry also asked about setting of movie How Green Was my Valley. Shannon said the setting was Wales, but shot in California during the war.

John read from anti-Deadly Exchange petition that Christine brought. Petition for Mayor and City council. Christine also mentioned negative email she is receiving about article about her in PPG, Local Extra, Friday Jan. 31, 2020, Section LX. “Unwrapping confusion” about CAIR, by Margaret Smykla. Christine also talked about movie (T)error about Kalifa who was treated as a terrorist. Several who have seen or heard about it recommended it.

Respectfully submitted, Perry Recker.

February 12, 2020

Breakfast Notes 12 February 2020

John opened meeting at 9:02 and introduced guests: Jo Schlesinger and Allan Willinger.

Jo is President of Remembering Hiroshima Imagining Peace, Ceasefire Pa, living in Edgewood.

Allan has been in Pgh about 4 years and works with Casa San Jose.

Brian Pfeiffer from WI to be lead organizer for staff and grads C-SAW at Pitt. From a Union Family and grad studies in WI in labor history.

John mentioned cartoon about decent Labor bill recently passed.

Christine M. is back, crediting Elizabeth B. and Jay Walker.

John read a thankyou note of appreciation from Marlene Demarest. John recounted David’s action in republishing Out of the Furnace and rediscovery of Maxo Vanka murals. Marlene’s new address was passed around on the card:

There is a card for Dennis Robinson whose close cousin passed away unexpectedly.

Jerry F. our digital coordinator attempted to explain how to get into our members only section of our website.

But he promoted Saturday classes led by on reading August Wilson plays. He also passed around some handouts explaining things about using our website and manage.

Al Hart talked about supporting Summer Lee with petition. He also mentioned that Allegheny County Labor Council endorsed her opponent. Al mentioned several…Fundraiser on March 7th at Jody B’s in Forrest Hills, in Shopping Center. Also go to her website and make a donation. Also canvassing this Saturday organized by Unite. UE and another union are strongly supporting her. Bob asked about tabling and need for literature. 2141 Ardmore.

Bette spoke about Millvale and how it has a tool lending library. Check library website for more information.

Sharon mentioned that there is a Woodland Hills Foundation that tries to support school and teachers. She also mentioned 100th Anniv. Of League of Women Voters coming up. They will have people speaking for Red and Blue sides and just listening. She also passed out information about organ donations of DLs which has saved and helped lots of lives.

John also mentioned an article about Democracy and Depression and New Deal projects, and fostering new discussions of what is Democracy, open to all. He also mentioned that American Factory won an Academy Award.

Jacquie mentioned that Archives Committee is meeting next week. Moving to West Mifflin Historical Space. More coming next week and after

Shannon Forrester is coming to speak next week. See article in Valley Mirror. She is a 70-year-old, with many family stories. Article tells about peonies from Wales.

Bob M. passed around a new petition for the Coalition Against the Deadly Exchange. 10 orgs are now supporting it. He mentioned several.

He also mentioned an organization that started in Greensburg that represents a progressive voice in Westmorland County. They talked about an interesting strategy, involving changing PA by 10 %.

Elizabeth mentioned Global Day of Protest on March ??  anniversary of various Middle East wars and events. 5607 Baum Crazy Mocha this Saturday at 1 pm?

She also mentioned performance-based rally and demo training with…?

Charlie spoke about d. of Kirk Douglas, especially Lonely are the Brave. Also about discussion of Art Collection of Mellons and Fricks, etc. and history of his pressure on UK for concessions on Gulf Oil and Kuwait. 

Follow Virginia CIO for more info on political situation there. Other comments were made on historical significance.

Al H. recommended reading Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz’s article on 2nd Amendment: Loaded : a disarming history of the Second Amendment. City Lights Books, 2018. (Note: Pitt ULS copy is checked out, but there are several copies available in CLP-Allegheny Co. library network. PR)

February 05, 2020

John opened meeting at 9:02 and introduced visiting guests: Jerry Dickenson, Christine Mohamed with the Council on American Islamic Relations, John Voytko, and Brenda Tate.

Total attendance: aprox 35 people.

            Al Hart announced his candidacy for Dem Alternative Rep Delegate for Bernie Sanders and passed around signature sheets for himself and two other Bernie Delegates.

            Brenda Tate, lifelong resident of Hill, talked about history of civil rights movement and participation of Caucasians; she is also a retired police officer and chair of Dem Committee Black Caucus.  She spoke about problems of registration and voting especially in Senior High-Rises. There is a meeting on Sat. the 15th about Act 77; she passed around a letter of invitation.

Talking to many Seniors requires explaining problems with straight ticket voting.

            Jerry Dickenson spoke about his candidacy for House District 18. His upbringing was as a foster child in a great family.  He lives in Swissvale, and is a law professor at Pitt. Was a Fulbright scholar in Johannesburg. We have multiple crises: climate, constitutional, health care, etc. Doyle started out as a Republican, took Santorum’s seat, voted for DOMA, in Conservative District. He was remapped into Bill Coyne’s district, solidly Blue. He is what Jerry would call a passive progressive. Jerry is running as an outspoken progressive activist. We need to ban Hyde Amendment; support GND. Doyle also takes a considerable amount of money from fossil fuel companies. Jerry would be first A-American from W.Pa. He is not going for Dem endorsement partly because of $10,000 filing fee, and not because it is too high but on principle that it has become more of a fund raiser than anything truly political. His main issues of disagreement are not with committee members but with the party leadership elites. With no challenger Mr. Doyle only gets 47% of vote. He is vulnerable and people want change. Questions of war also raise points about Congress ‘delegating’ too much power to the President. Question from P. Demarco about rescinding fossil fuel subsidies: Jerry said he has students researching history, not an easy solution, but it must be dealt with substantially.

            Christine M. spoke about the American-Islamic committee on social justice. She is willing to network and collaborate.

            John Vojtko thanked everyone for help with the cleanout of his Aunt Margaret’s 2 homes. John Haer added that much of the material recovered went to ROS archive or Mark Fallon’s which will eventually end up in our Archive.

            John also announced that a descendent of John Morris will speak at our breakfast on the 19th; we should not invite other speakers on that date. See also article about this person and her family history in the Valley Mirror of Jan 22, 2020. “E is for Edward.”

            Connie Portis spoke about some of her family publications from 1984 and early 1990s: Renaissance Too and Black Business Directory.  She circulated a few example copies. John H. asked if there is anything comparable to that today. Connie responded that there are a few, but they are different in various way.  She talked about the importance of some of the social tea party network building activity that she learned from her mother.

            Charlie gave a shout out to Jerry Dickenson for his support of chemical right to know in PA and his willingness to talk. Charlie was also grateful for Siniad and Bob picking up the 10 or 12 boxes of his material. He also spoke about a talk he had with a guy from Chicago about industrial collapse that was filmed in the Pittsburgh area and that it went so well that they will be coming back. He had almost despaired of a sign being set up for the change in naming of Grant street, from James to Ulysses and/or a plaque on courthouse. But there is now momentum building with support from Anita P. and DeWitt on Allegheny council to have a ceremony on March 30th.

            Rae shared about meeting on Feb 9th at Forrest Hills borough building for…?

            Elizabeth thanked people for attendance and support of anti-war rally, and invited/alerted people to next event. There will also a meeting at Community Forge in Wilkinsburg this Saturday. She mentioned several other events also coming up this week.

            Jennifer brought up an idea about of making tote bags with image of suffragette on them for fund raising and promotion.  John H. said it needs a business plan. Marketing is needed. Connie will work on it and Christine M. is also interested. John invited Connie to get our marketing committee restarted. Christine works with/for the Council on American Islamic Relations.

            Rae thanked Christine M. for her interview she heard on the radio recently.

            Jay Walker told people about stop the bomb picketing coming up, 11:30 this Friday.

            John Haer reported that a letter of inquiry submitted to a Foundation for possible funding proposal, for an idea of documentary film, was rejected.

            John H.  also reported on proposal submissions to Program Committee. Some interesting ones were submitted. Deadline extended to just before board meeting. Jerry will put a link up on website for more submissions.

January 29, 2020

John opened meeting at 9:05. He read from This Day in Pittsburgh Progressive history.  Roe vs Wade, 1973, Bost building recognized in 1999. Jan 24, 1885 d. of Martin Delaney. Charlie recounted some Delany history (see also: Point of Pittsburgh, 79-81, 93) to Pgh in 1831 at 19 yrs, protégé of John Vashon, colleague of Rev Lewis Woodson, etc….met Lincoln, who got him appointed as an officer in Union Army under Sherman.  He wrote a black novel, called Cane, premised on Cuba like take over cotton industry. Walked through Nigeria area of Africa a to scout for colony, invited to speak in UK, claimed as credentials “I am a man.”

Connie Portis mentioned a cousin’s genealogical research, which turned up an LTE to the PPG in 1932, on condition of American Negro, destiny, majority used as tools and forced to obey, etc., written by Connie’s father, Alexander Cordis.

Mike S. told about important strike settlement with USS in 1987,  but with result that no grievances were able to be introduced to E.T. plant.

Jenna Colby introduced herself very briefly; she is a friend of Jay Walkers and working on petition campaign for Summer Lee.

John Detwiler reported that he was at a meeting last night about USS plans for Mon Valley, hosted by USS at its education building in RIDC park in Duquesne. Meeting will be repeated tonight. Q. re workforce:  No presence or discussion of workforce…John D. asked about manhours per ton…response was vague, lacking in numbers and details so more confusing than helpful. Others should go tonight. John found it interesting in terms of learning, no drama. Dog and pony show about equipment. Aiming for 2022 as first output.  He talked to project manager for new caster going into ET, and learned: plans are to shut down hot caster at Ervin…send steel straight there from new caster for processing. Mike talked about past promises and failures — such a gantry crane since 1982, never used.

Two new people, a couple, introduced themselves: Gerrit?  who worked for USS as software, passport coordinator for 3 plants, for 44 years, more traveling as he got older, start; wife Carol said they saw a flyer about breakfast at Commonwealth Bank? No-one recalled the flyer.  

Rae asked John about the meeting attendance. He said maybe half were middle to upper technical managers. He found out by word of mouth. Public was not organized or well prepared with good questions.

Millie called attention to a NYT article: Democrats ban fracking or win PA. She also shared about a person in Lancaster County who knows about John E. Morris, and there is an article about his descendants in Valley Mirror, p. 7 and 10, E. for Edward – the guy who was shot and killed on the roof of the Pump House. A descendant of his, now 70 years old heard about us, and would like to come on Feb 19th. She has been in touch with Ron Baraff. She wants to keep family things, but has given some things to ROS.

Patty reported on meeting in Chancellor’s office yesterday, with Ellen Dorsey, Exec. Of Wallace Global Fund, and two of Patty’s students Seth and Eva. Ellen argued why remaining invested in fossil fuels is not fiduciary. Alumni should send note to Gallagher.

John mentioned Patty’s speech at recent forum on petrochemical industry and health costs, with a balance sheet showing excess of costs over benefits, at a 14th Ward meeting. She will have to record presentation then put up on her web page.

Joni reported on a letter to R. Fitzgerald that was returned as inappropriate.

Bob Mason passed around a ballot petition for Jim Brewster, former McKeesport mayor, in a nearby Senate district. He also attended Racial Justice Summit with Elizabeth. There will also be a solidarity rally coming up this coming Sunday.

Rae reported on Chocolate and Diamond affair for Woodland Hills Foundation scholarship fund raiser. Patty reported on group working on climate action plan for the School.

Bette talked about Edith Bell’s memories and upcoming transition to Manor Care.

Perry passed around Langston Hughes, concert by Bach Choir for Feb 8 and 9th, and later mentioned that People could probably get to the Sunday show at 7:30 (at Eastminster Church in E.L.)  after the Klein book discussion and GND brainstorming at Health and Human Services building from 5 – 7 pm the same day.

Bart reported on Joel’s tumor surgery, with negative results, and he is feeling well.

Al H. reported that he will be a candidate as an alternate for Bernie Sanders. He will have petitions for all candidates next week. Iowa caucus vote should be on Monday. One of our members, Joe Hefley is one of Doyle’s top aid. Jerry Dickenson who would like to speak to us again.

Mike talked about plans for Earth Day, 32 orgs. Penn Future got $50,000. Many youth have signed on.

Look for 10 part report in WAPO on Afghanistan and lies about war.

Smokestack Lighting 31st at Friends Meeting House on Ellsworth.

Bob mentioned about textbooks on social studies in Texas and California. And different treatments of Harlem Renaissance.

John reported on Community and Students for All Workers (CSAW) invitation to meeting social on Sat Feb 8th, 2-4 pm 3959 Forbes (Pitt Union) 837.  Elizabeth reported that she thinks they want to reveal some of plans then. Some us should be there in support.

John called for Program volunteers and proposal submissions.

Meeting of Black Environmental Collective on N. Side, Feb 27th at Arnold’s Tea, big part of Earth Day program, any time after 5:30. Meeting starts at 7.  Mike encouraged attendance.

January 22, 2020

John Haer called meeting to order at 9:04. He welcomed new guests: Natasha Davis, Columbia Journalism; A friend of Norms, and Jay Walker, Charles Showalter TUIE/V Media. About 35 people total.

Natasha told us about her work (doing a case study in Anthropology – McKees Rocks – deindustrialization with 2 years of funding). Steffi D. recommended her book: Crashing Out: Hard times in McKeesport. Mike S. will also get her a copy of his book when released.

Norm introduced Tony formerly Allegheny Health Dept. now working on radioactive and water chemistry etc. and teaching in schools. Q.

Bob M. asked for assistance in running for delegate for Bernie Sanders, needs 400 signatures 29th-18th; mostly 14th, Rose mentioned Harriet Ellenberger, Al mentioned UE locals.

Jay Walker, Chair of Green Party Al County working with Clean Air Council, mostly around Clairton and Coke Works.

John reported on Monday nights 4th annual meeting. Very successful, well attended and perfect venue for us. He passed around flyers with some summary information, get more updates to Steffi. Mike mentioned a couple of problems with plastic and paper cups not used. Perry and Sharon mentioned reuse of bamboo ware. John mentioned collection of almost $900 collected for Abolitionist Law Center. Thanks went to photographers Al and Bob. 

There was also discussion of using ramps next time, they were still under some construction at time though probably finished enough that we could have used them had we known.

Charles Showalter talked about brief history of his print shop, and brought a bunch of buttons for people to take. He mentioned printer friend, Arnie with a shop on Beaver Avenue that he is hoping to merge with. Arnie has some old Heidelberg “windmill’ printers and wants his shop to become a Union shop. B&W printing will be cheaper and lots of things a lot faster plus there will be other advantages in merging. They still have to work out details re new business, name and union.

Mark Fallon reported on upcoming meeting with W. Mifflin borough manager re Archives.

Perry reported on Sat visit to Mifflin Township Historical Society and lunch afterward at Dukes, and Sinaid and Calley’s excitement about space — despite lack of heat.

Elizabeth invited people to anti-war rally on Saturday at E. Lib Blvd and N. Highland Ave.

Rae: Tomorrow night Summer Lee’s Town Hall at Mennonite Church in Swissvale. Jay had flyers.

See movie Just Mercy.

Sharon reported on remake/mastering of Matawan movie with lots of union workers present.

Discussion of whether or not we got all of Russ Gibbon’s stuff, some may be in Caliban storage in Wilkinsburg, per Delsa and Mike. We should make arrangements to get in and look for any remnants there that may have been picked up off the street and brought to Caliban.

Charlie and Al talked about Sara Innamorato’s rising knowledge and leadership potential.

Patti DeMarco is speaking at a forum in honor of Barbara Daly Danko on “The Petrochemical Build-Out: Not What It’s Cracked Up To Be” Sunday, 1:30 at Eddy Theatre, Chatham U.  Campus, doors open and 1 pm. B.D. Danko served on Allegheny County council until she died in 2015. She was eventually replaced by Paul Kline. Event is sponsored by the 14th Ward Independent Democratic Club and will also host Dr. Erin N. Mayfield as a speaker along with Patty.


Charlie mentioned display at ??? about Cuba.

Suzanne reported on Joel S.’s surgery.

Sharon mentioned good photographs from last breakfast and our farewell to Marlene.

Al mentioned meeting at 5 pm  this Saturday United at Salem’s…? (near 29th and Penn sponsored by ? United ?

Bette: mentioned Edith Bell (95 yrs) in hospital we will send her one of Jennifer’s cards.

John read from This Day in Pgh History. …Sit-in in Cathedral of L. for Black Studies Program…Avery and strike in ’46.

January 15, 2020

Breakfast Notes.

Rose opened meeting. Attendance: aprx 30+

Reading from This day in Progressive History (Ann Lynch)

Jan 13, 1990 d. of Rev. Elmer Lewis Williams, Sixth Mount Zion…purchasing property for low cost housing, and desegregation plan.

1969 U. Pitt sit in at Pitt (Joe and Delsa were there) 1858 d. of Charles Avery, abolitionist, founded Avery College on Pittsburgh N. Side. (related to MLK day coming up)

Sing Sing club invited BHF to soft opening on Jan 16th, tomorrow night. $3 drink specials.

Tomorrow night: Larry McCullough, with Dean …a 1887 Pittsburgh RR strike film, by Ken Love, talking about the film making. BHF is administrative agent for grant funding.

Annual Meeting –

Needs water pitchers. Several volunteered.

Rose had list of volunteers from Joni.  Be there by 5:30-5:45. Membership table. Bussing tables: Dee, Walt, and others. Do not throw away dinner ware since it is re-usable/cyclable.

So far 80 signed up, per Sharon’s list.

There are 7 candidates for 6 executive positions.

Rose introduced Donna Dzurla (ck spelling)  She is in Carlow’s MFA program and working on a novel circa 1974 and Save Dorothy Six campaign, would like to find interviewees.  She spoke about some of her interests and experiences that brought her into …Dubik and skip hoist going into bell…Joel S. knew some details ca. 1892. She is also looking for more literature about N. Appalachia. Sharon mentioned Peter Oresick’s list of books, along with David Demerest. Bob Mason mentioned a friend from York U. in Toronto (formerly) who has specialized in Black Appalachia.

A list was started for people who might have material or experience that would be helpful.

Karen Bryant shared about her meeting with Donna a week or so ago.

Karen also mentioned that Matawan film event at Rangos is already sold out (for this Friday).

She also spoke about the presentation from the long-range planning committee at Annual Meeting. They will only share highlights and promise to come back to group later with details.

Jim spoke about Tammy Hepps’ presentation at Sq. Hill Historical Society – comparing Homestead and Sq. Hill. Very professional and smooth, as Harvard grad, with relatively recent experience in Pittsburgh. Norm mentioned how impressive her point about how much history and especially industry and residences were dependent on geography.  Also differences in water conditions. Also, an earlier bridge called Browns before the high-level bridge – almost across from where we sit.  Joe White asked about the expression from the Hill to Squirrel Hill, and nature of economic conditions that supported.

Charlie talked about tax revenues from mill to Munhall vs Homestead, also Edgewood and Swissvale, also Braddock and Munhall…where rich get the money for their communities but not the poorest in the working-class community.  Joe W. talked about reference to gas, water and sewer socialists.

Jennifer introduced Pat McArdle, formerly from Elwood City now Edgewood.  Wants to rename the bridge over panther hollow along Blvd of Allies – for John Kane. Now the Charles Anderson bridge. He mentioned Pittsburgh naming commission which blocked renaming of Greenfield bridge because of a few Greenfield residents.

Joel S. updated us on essay contest for the HS students, which will be focused on cracker plant and economic development from renewable sources. It will be a challenge for 2.5 pages. Relay possible questions to Joel, Mike and Mark.

Bob M. mentioned book The Sympathizer by Thanh Nguen about Vietnamese refugee.

He also recommended restaurant in Lawrenceville with good health and employee benefits. Owned by Joe…Restaurant at 38th and Penn.

Higher minimum wage, fewer suicides — article originally in the ?? from Portside.

Charlie mentioned book Sorrow of War from N. Vietnamese side. Featured in Ken Burns’ documentary. Sympathizer is brilliant, not of the quality of Sorrow of War. Was a best seller in Vietnam.

Joe W. put in plug for Rose’s email about the Brothers Wolensky tour of Britain. Chris Marks and Mary are going. It is in June. Ask Rose for more information, by email.

Elizabeth spoke about the Anti-War protest rally on January 25th against war and for peace. She feels that a strong peace and anti-war movement is necessary. At E. Lib boulevard and Highland Ave. To coordinate and not conflict with Anti-Racism summit at PTS. Support needed for publicity and moral support, no money required. Need to change mindset. 

Rose clarified that breakfast group recommend to BHF members and board. No objects voiced.

Rae plugged the film Just Mercy, which just opened on 10th. Only Bob Mason had seen it so far and strongly recommended it as beautiful.  Someone else knew of a church group going. It is Brian Stephenson’s decision as a lawyer in Alabama and experiences trying to reform prisons and get someone retried or released.  Had to go to Supreme Court…town site of To Kill a Mockingbird.

Mark Fallon mentioned pier of Browns bridge 186? – 1937 and High-Level Bridge, that Tammy mentioned.

Charlie reported in glowing terms on his 3-hour meeting with Sinead yesterday going over a plan for his archival material. She also came to Tammy’s talk and was enthusiastic about being in Pittsburgh and putting her skills to work on this project. Mark reported on his trip on Sunday with Sinead and a couple of others to Mifflin Historical Society building, and Sinead’s enthusiasm for that space. He recommends the committee consider negotiating with Mifflin Township, which owns the building, to move our temp operations there. He has spoken briefly with the Mayor/Supervisor about that and thinks it would be a good match with theirs and our needs—on terms very similar to what we have with the Homestead UPC currently. We should get the Committee and archival task force-team to make a decision whether or not to move forward on this soon. He will be arranging for a follow-up visit for more team members to visit on this coming Saturday.  

Annual meeting note: Sharon requested that people paying for membership and dinner do so with separate checks or cash at Annual Meeting; combining things makes bookkeeping extra difficult.

Rae mentioned today is first day that Giant Eagle in Waterworks will not use plastic bags, and that she has been having interesting and encouraging conversations with both employees and supervisors at different shops where she asks for alternatives to plastic.

Sharon gave Marlene a gift of a bracelet made in Braddock at Studebaker metals – owner was a student of Sharon’s. Candi cut the cake while everyone sang “For She’s a Jolly Good Person.” Charlie recounted stories of riding around Homestead and David saying this is God’s country, and waiting for Mark Rylands outside a Theatre.  Marlene mentioned being in Pgh for 55 years coming from St. Louis and George Washington University there, not liking Pittsburgh at first, being from N. Wisconsin.  She also told stories about arrangement with David for risking jail, and her telling a Pinkerton guard to f-off. She will be moving to a Quaker retirement community near Ambler Pa, outside of Philadelphia called Folkways.

January 8, 2020

Opening: aprox 9:10

Jay Walker. Clean Air Council. And Chair of Green Party of Allegheny County. Shadyside.

Peggy Dague-Mannion. New Orleans: Renewal. Brick by brick 18-26 men formerly incarcerated, home rehab, with certifications, social work support with ex inmate from Angola. Also Poverty Stop Light—one family at a time in 24 countries. 40 minute survey with 3 colors (but variety of factors beyond just income and money) then establish goals and find resources to achieve them. Working in Allegheny Co. starting in February…e.g. monthly work shops with 3 month surveys. With find grained data access by every factor, e.g. access to clean drinking water in certain geo base… Q. where? Braddock and Wilkinsburg?  Funding: New Orleans base, here now out of pocket but building base, with e.g. house parties. Roots of Renewal and Poverty Stoplight (latter especially strong in SA.) 

Al Hart: Talked about rallies against immanent war in Iran. He passed around copies of an essay he wrote about 10 years ago (at time of  Deep Water Horizon spill in Gulf of Mexico) on the history of BP (Anglo-Persian Oil) in Iran, and the story of UK and USA involvement (time of J.F. Dulles, and A. Dulles) in the Iranian Coup. We forget this stuff but most Iranians know and remember their history. He was reminded of this by the recent Assassination of Iranian General Soelimani by the US while he was in Baghdad to discuss reducing tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia.  Al  also mentions series starting Sunday with discussions of Green New Deal first one at Human Services Building.

Bob Mason asked for reactions to anti-war demo, from several who were there (Al, Jay, etc.)

John: how did people hear about it?  Answer Coalition and other organizers…also Code Pink and 5 or 6 others. Next is 25th of January, a Saturday. It’s same day as Racial Justice Summit, but organizers are considering ways to make it accessible to attendees who are interested in both.

Joel heard about some of anti-semitic group at Schenley Plaza. Al Hart knew a little bit about it. Bob Mason said the video of how the Neo-Nazi’s were pushed out is going viral. Well done

Author of Down on James Street (Tavern in 30s), Nicole McCandless, is looking for young artists ($1,000 budget).  She is also looking for Jazz musicians who may remember playing at James Street.

John explained way of sending ideas into the Program.

Sharon Beattie spoke about poll-workers need. Also Merton Center program called Book Ends is collecting books for people in prisons. She also mentioned Progress Through Pages – a program to get books into home of low income people…connected with Michelle Knowle. (sp?)

Delsa W. asked if anyone saw American Experience piece on Joe McCarthy. Very interesting and she could connect with her childhood, and FBI coming to interview her parents. Jacqui also mentioned prior piece on New Eugenics Movement.  Also series Frontline.

Jim H. spoke about history of US-Iran relation and Pitt prof Dick Kott who had worked for CIA in Iran…and spoke up to expose it in University Journals.

Al Hart on Canada border issue with Immigration interviewing and detaining Iranians for hours…and wondering when they might be coming for his Iranian heart surgeon.

Flyer about Tammy Hepps talk passed around. Charlie mentioned about Tammy’s research into John McLuckie’s life.

John moved into Committee of the whole to better plan annual meeting. 3 groups working: dinner without plastics, renting bamboo and need clean-up crew, already 4 or 5. Need at least 3 more to bus tables and assist servers. Let Dee or Joni know.

Two tables to sign in people and collect $ and hand out packets. Bob, Perry, Karen and Patty.

Sharon will be at voting table. Third group: people need to organize flowers and table decorations.

For Board Election there are 6 vacancies with 7 candidates standing at time. Can create new slot to include new good candidates. Program will be led by Abolitionist Law Center in Pgh. Working with juveniles with life-sentences, no longer allowed. Also use of solitary confinement.

Jules Labelle will also speak about experience in CA and changing criminal justice, jail system there.

Charlie mentioned his correspondence and conversation with Billie Hines from Homewood in jail for killing of white girl…since 1970.

John: there will also be a report on finances and 5-year plan at Membership meeting. Need help with better communication of things like this with membership. Also report on work on Center for Labor history and future of work.  Sinead Bligh on staff working with Jacqui and Perry. Starting with Charlie’s, Mark’s and Mike’s collections.

Program committee will also give status report.

Need help with set up at 5:30. Four or so people volunteered.

Sharon reported on about 40 signed up.

Perry mentioned two interesting books people might enjoy reading.

Jacquie mentioned invitation to a soft opening of remodeled Sing-Sing where we had Bette Davis event. On January 16th.

Dec. 11, 2019

John Opened Session at 9:10. Reminded everyone it is an informal discussion meeting of the Pump House Gang. He introduced John Detwiler. Also welcomed Rosemary T. who had to leave early. 35/36 attendees.  He also thanked Elizabeth and others who were involved in a Jason’s musical. Plus: Jason and Jacqui. Karen B, Larry…

Calendar: Christmas and New Year’s fall on Weds.

Thursday Jan. 2 was proposed. Candy will be here.

Pay Patti for

Jan 20th, MLK day Annual Meeting at Bulgarian-Macedonia Hall in W. Homestead. More volunteers needed to arrange catering and dinner arrangement and publicity. About 5 people volunteered. $50-60 tickets, dinner. Some scholarship tickets will be available.

Rosemary reported on application to State for master plan, $350,000, rejected.

John and Jacqui updated on process with Sinead and

Mike mentioned Jay Weinberg who has a lot of good material. Get suggestions to Jacquie or John or Perry. It is

Al Hart passed around an article about the chemical pollution around DuPont in Parkersburg in NYT, which is background for Dark Waters film. He also reported on some of his research about his time living there and realized he had been drinking the water. Rae lived there about 19 years, and told story of being called by a farmer whom he couldn’t understand and almost hung up until he heard his grandmother’s name mentioned.  Article: Poisoned Ground by Nathaniel Rich, Jan. 10, 2016.  Someone else passed around a book: Slow Death by Rubber Ducky.

John introduced Ros Becker, who mentioned young man running for Attorney Gen in W.Va and his fitting background: Sam Petsonk.

Mike introduced John Detwiler, with whom he has worked for over 10 years. Most thoughtful person in stopping fracking in parks.  Plus John’s wife is very knowledgeable about single payer health care. John said he was very overwhelmed and impressed with size and energy and history of the group. He also spoke about the effort to drill a fracking well on USS Braddock site. And need to start thinking and planning for a future when USS is still no longer here; we need to understand when and why they leave. Question is where to go for a sanity check. Then where to go with knowledge.  We may have 3 year head start, but need to be prepared to tell story.  He reviewed some of recent history and plans/promises of recent USS plans. E.g. New caster and co-gen plants and similar to other’s in works to use frack gas. He would love to find others to work with him on this project. He has cards for contact information… Mike added comments about elements already in place, especially contacts with 3 union locals, with new leaders (all less than 40 yrs) who know nothing about history in 70s – 80. A person John D. should to talk to first is Rosemary Beasey.

Patti said we also need to reimagine an alternative future. It’s going away, lets make a plan, not just tell people to get over it.  Also starting tonight in Turtle Creek. To engage and empower people for a different outcome. Start with facts and demand support from politicians. Perry: Amen! Especially for more critical and historical economic analysis of fossil fuel industries.

Mike thanked Bob and Sharon and Bart and Suzanne at chaotic organization, especially spirit and quality in green room.

Next Tues 17th meeting of IWLA at HUPC church. Dan Galvin will be there with other IWL members not part of this group.

Jan 2, Liv Bennet and Bethany Hallum and others being sworn in at County Council. He and others will speak about policy changes needed, including flooding and pollution.

10 days ago, was first meeting for Earth Day planning event, planning to declare a general strike and county wide earth day. Next meeting January 4th. Another student strike on Friday.

He had a good session at SVHS with students planning to enter music contest. Theme is the environment. All? were African American!

Lisa Theovald reported on taking a position in County Census office and wider region and 3 zones in Pgh. Enumerators are needed to do 10 questions, by phone and on line.  Counts are done on April 1st. Four week application process. $23.50/hr in their zip codes. At the moment she is a recruiting assistant.

Bob M. gave a shout out to Naomi Klein, book On Fire, the Burning) case for Green New Dealand met via webinar with Jewish Voices for Peace. He has not read it yet. Jan 2 London Review of Books her essay on “let them drown…” about Edward Said.

Norm reported on Sq. Hill Historical society meeting and a Barbara B? who talked about Sophie Masloff and her following up of Caligiuri vision etc.  Murphy criticized her, but several ideas came to fruition later like stadium and RAD tax. Several others added to accomplishments of Masloff.

John Heming. Thanked everyone for support during hospitalization. Also concerned about union organizing attempt at Watson Institute in Sewickley. Workers there need help. Also in Friendship, and S. Fayette.

Jacqui thanked everyone for help in raising $5,000 for Food Bank, even though a bit off the mark with new venue, and gaps in organization. Especially SV HS choir and need for labor history education.

10:20 a few follow-up announcements and requests.

Mike meeting at Center for Coalfield Justice next Tues (12/17) noon, with 3 point campaign agenda. Talk to him if you want to go and need a ride.

Next meeting: on Jan 8th or Tues Dec 31?!

Avoiding Christmas and New Year’s Day Wednesdays.

Dec. 4, 2019

Breakfast Notes  Dec 4, 2019

John opened the meeting at 9:16.

Attendance: 27 with Special visitors: Ed Wrenn, plus 3 or 4 who came in later.

Several comments on history of thank giving and which books and stories;

Sharon shared about a company called rolling peperoni making pep. Rolls AND keeping stories of Appalachia alive. Karen had them at her fund raiser, miners carried them in their lunch boxes. She is trying to find investors, go to honeycomb credit or talk to Sharon.

Mike talked about Jason’s Food Bank fundraiser. This coming Sunday at This is Red, at St.

Doors open at 5:30, show at 6 pm. 200 people, cabaret style, and gorgeous, like old Syria Mosque. $50 Jacqui added more information about new participants and sponsor support.

Mike also invited people to film showing of Wounded lives, scarred lands at next IWLA Tues Dec. 17th, 6 pm.  There was a huge coalition meeting recently, with lots of young millennials, planning big event for 50th Anniversary of Earth Day.

Jacqui shared about one book one college at CCAC, kicking off in January: Toni Morrison’s Bluest Eye. She also announced first meeting of Archive Project Coordinator and interns, next Thursday, Dec. 12th.  Names of 3 interns were mentioned.

John shared more about background of Sinead Bligh, Perry’s involvement, and Jacqui as Chair. T. Jacqui also mention possibility of organizing and preserving collections in place in people’s homes. Perhaps we can have her lead a mini workshop in the Spring.

John announced sad news that our proposal to DCP was not accepted. So funding for new Center on riverfront site is on hold.  Possibility of acquiring land in the interim was mentioned as an interim action.

At last Board meeting Dennis Robinson and Patti D. volunteered to set up and work on Program Committee. It is a bit of a late start, but volunteer participants are welcome to talk to John or Patti including submission of program idea. Joni added concern that since Dennis has not been to any previous programs, he will probably need lots of support and advice. There was not enough clear continuity between 2017 and 2018 between committees and programs. John reminded everyone that major recommendation was that there be fewer but higher quality programs, especially forums with several panelists or speakers, which have been shown to draw the larger crowds. Maybe even with paid speaker like the Ohio/Wheeling/Reuther several day long event.

John shared about repeat of similar fund raiser event as one at Indigo Hotel this year, which was successful. Possibly at the History Center. Or Bulgarian Macedonian (BOMA?) or Frick Environmental Center, or a place in Steel Valley – like This is Red. JC and MS mention high rates at Heinz and some need guaranteed minimum for bar. John and Mark Fallon know the contacts.

John: we discussed inviting Youngstown young people and Museum developers. And/or from Mine Wars museum; or A-A coordinator at Heinz HC: Sam Black. For Annual Meeting. John invited volunteers to work with him on it. On January 20th. Bob M. volunteered as ‘fool who rushes in.”

Al H: for info only—the Dem Establishment is coming after/challenging Summer Lee, with male from Parks Department and reporting to Fitzgerald. He claims to have building trades and maybe Steel workers. We need to be prepared to stand up and support her in face of Dem and corporate establishment

Millie suggested idea of volunteering going on streets to register voters. There are several groups that do that, so collaboration is an option. Joni mentioned possibility of registering on spot with phones.

Bob M added that Summer Lee supports single payer. Jacqui mention new immigrant population. Charlie mentioned Brasher reunion and shades of grey or brown.

Connie mentioned difficult but important task of talking to immigrants about politics.

Sunday  the 15th 7pm: at August Wilson Center—second generation of Sweet Honey in the Rock (Connie P.)

Connie P. : this Saturday WQED Open House with Fred Rogers 1-5 pm. Connie has a friend who lived in the building whose name was David and greeted Fred each day. N Lemoyn Center on Forest Ave in WA Pa. (named after an abolitionist in PA) has a program of collecting toys for children and distributing. On Dec. 14th. Connie is collecting hoodies. Bring them next week, new or used. Francis J. Lemoyn Sept 4, 1798, 1812 renovated house for use in Underground RR.

Jonathan Robison came to Riverview community on Thanksgiving.

Delsa reported on visit to New Orleans: there is a coop store there, and an ACORN organization. Shooting, building collapse, deportation of whistleblowers. Corrupt but also lots of new progressive influx.

Joe W. As frustrated pollster, I want to take a poll about Impeachment:  

1. Pence worse. 2. Get him out  3. ???

Aborted by popular demand/majority consensus. Terms not adequately defined.

Perry: gave 4 reading suggestions from press reports and Magazines Re:

1. Post Gaz Op Ed on Republican Party, Trump and Lincoln;  2. Guardian and Reuters Reports on Nancy Pelosi in Madrid – why she went and what she said, PR’s interpretation via other Dem MOCs that she has a grand strategy for passing bi-partisan legislation in next Congress; 3.  Forbes Mag piece on Net Worth of existing Presidential Candidates. 4. Google for J. Kerry and Arnold Schwarzenegger on Formation of World War Zero.

Al Hart shared his favorite quote of George Carlin on bi-partisanship: “Bipartisan usually means that a larger-than-usual deception is being carried out.”

Perry: I like Carlin, too but to quote other favorite words of his: That’s ‘B***S**** !

[for more of Carlin on government and politics go here: ]

Rae: Dark Waters, see at Monroeville or others. Story of DuPont water poisoning in Parkersburg WV. It will only be here for 1 week unless well attended.

Jacqui on Impeachment: lack of Civic Education at College Level. It is devastating. No basic knowledge of impeachment or structure of government. History or Civics not being taught in High Schools.

Charlie: Smokestack Lightning playing at Breezeway 7112 Reynolds St. Tomorrow.

Connie P: Homestead Xmas parade on Saturday…starts at Noon?

Sunday: 1 pm Book about APP Association of Pgh Priests…author Art Mc???.

Bob Mason: plastic free potluck at Temple Sinai…this week also.

Nov. 27, 2019


Opened meeting at 9:05. Reminded us of Report on confrontation with Governor and his finding money for another study.

This day in progressive history…d. of Dennis Brutus from S. Africa taught at Pitt. Poetry 1963,

1937, Eleanor R. visited Penn Craft community in Fayette County, deliberately integrated, lasted until 1943.  Mike reminded everyone of first USS shutdown and loss of 3,000 jobs in Mon Valley, end of November 1979. Four days later demo in USS building. Later entire USS building in Youngstown taken over.

John introduced Sinead Bligh as finalist for Archivist. From Dublin, studied in Dundee et al, from Pittsburgh, father worked in Steel industry and mother born in Homestead.  She is almost finished archiving John Carson’s Art collection for CMU.

Charlie reported on his conversations with Mark Rylance and film “Waiting for the Barbarians” not able to get a distributor, shot in Morocco 8 or 9 months ago.  Mark R. now in playing Kunstler in movie about Chicago trial. Charlie also shared about other plays of Ryland. Other stories of trial and interaction.

Jackie reported on Jason’s holiday food bank fund raiser. With Steel Valley H.S. Concert Choir, Dec 8 at This is Red, Homestead. Get tickets online a.s.a.p., Jason Kendall productions.

 Talked about stopping at Oakmont Bakery this morning, being there 10 minutes after opening and already #92. 

Elizabeth announced Sing Along Workshop for Activists at ELPC, on Tues. Dec 3, 7-9 pm, led by Edwin Everhart & others.

Smokestack lighting benefit at Breezeway Reynolds and Denniston) on Dec. 5th, 7-9.

Mike: IWLA league chapter will host a social and screen movie Wounded lives, Scarred Lands, on Dec 17, 6 pm at Homestead U. P. Church, Ann St. On Monday Dee, Walt and Patti met with a couple of folks from activist orgs around Allegheny County to work on legislation to support and build on right to know law. Sarah I., Summer L. and Matt M. were included.  Mike will distribute forms that can be sent to Dept. of Labor, to cite companies who are not revealing fracking chemicals; when they claim exemption, we will sue.  There are other outcomes such as working relationships with Center for Coalfield Justice and other coalition groups, including meeting on Dec. 2 at CLP with Climate Extinction, Sunrise, etc. to plan for a demo and general strike on April 22, 2020, being led by Jacqui Bonomo  she asked for interested people to contact her by this Friday, November 29th,   she needs to know how many people to expect and make arrangements for.

Mike also reported that a group of young people are doing testing & monitoring of soil and water around Potter petrochemical plant, and have plans to expand.

Rae encouraged contact with Allegheny Front and recent interview with student who claimed and documented ill health effects from being too near fracking sites.

Patti talked about economic aspects like lost opportunities…and need to emphasize positive opportunities like Reimagine Beaver and focus on positives especially for Union workers. More discussion by Perry and others about strategy and elements fault lines of economic weakness, in Petro-chem hub plans and hype, especially to disabuse state law makers of positive economic impact.

Al H. talked about historical myths around Thanksgiving story, lies and real stories. Read something online about myths and share with families and grand,  

Jackie talked about finances and future of CCAC and conversations with Fitzgerald and new building being constructed, and late but important input from Allegheny West community group.

John reported on two important Committee meetings. Program: Patty, Steffi and D. Robinson. Patti talked about need to reduce number of Pump House Programs in same month as a symposium.  We also need to talk about help getting funding for 4 Programs and their advertisements.

Second: Archives Committee.  Will be very active with Jacqui as Chair, and place for processing, Perry will advise, and work with interns and volunteers.

Walt mentioned next week Friday action with young people…at City County Building.

Sharon mentioned her sister was in public group scenes of Mister Rogers movie. 

Rae mentioned Dark Waters being shown at a few theatres, about DuPont’s duplicity of chemical release related to Teflon. Considered a legal thriller with Mark Ruffalo.  She also mentions different experience of Merton Center Award at August Wilson Center. Speaker was a real scholar, jumped right into her research on black home ownership.

Breakfast meeting was followed by a short Archives project planning meeting between Jacqui C., John H., Sinead B., and Perry R.

Respectfully submitted, Perry Recker

Oct. 9, 2019

Breakfast Notes for Weds. 9 October 2019.

Ed Renn, spoke for WhatsSUP? Opposing single use plastics. Invited by Mike Stout through IWLA. Meeting at Construction Junction. John welcomed new member Lisa Theobald.

This date in progressive history: Oct 12, 1995 d. of Johnny Gammage, Brentwood. Zappala decided not to appeal. …1931: birth of Russell Gibbons, USW director of communications, 1973…? and 1982, Charlie was there when he had his stroke at a celebration of the anti-Klan rally north of Altoona, was high water mark of the KKK. See video on our website. Mike shared stories about Russ G. He was very passionate, but forgiving of past arguments. Joel S. also spoke well of Russ as a friend and that they share a birthday and both came from Buffalo, NY.

d. of David Demerest, 2012 ?. Joe W. attributed to Dave reprints and revival of Out of This Furnace, also Burgoynes History of the Homestead Strike. True example of combination of intellectual and labor advocate. Rose gave a tribute to Marlene for carrying on David’s legacy of interests, especially history of labor and industry in the Mon Valley. Steffi shared stories about Dave correcting Russ’s misspellings, even as the two argued and ‘fought’ as best friends.

Several people reviewed last Saturday’s event with Pgh Training Institute and the good people working on job retraining and people coming out of prison, juvenile defenders, etc.

Joni shared about conversations within communications committee after poor turnout at recent events. Some lament our perceived weak outreach to young people, based on demographics of who attends at different events. But others noted that Saturday events are not conducive to typical life-style schedules of young people. (Same could be said about young families.) We need to prevent this, if possible, at the Sunday, October 20th panel…so Jerry will try to use a new process for forwarding email. Others thought location (of Pump House? or another event?) was a bit off the beaten path. Joni herself feels there are too many events and thus too little time for us to promote them all adequately. It’s particularly difficult when there are multiple interests and groups involved, with many other interesting and worthwhile competing events. Chairing Communications Committee is particularly stressful, so often has annual turnover. Thanks to Joni for taking it on this past year.

John H. commented on need for committees to work on making tough decisions about solutions such as limiting the proliferation of good program ideas that aren’t specifically focused on Mon Valley Labor history and education. Joe W. spoke about the complicated logistics of the October 20th event, and the legitimate desire not to pre-empt other good programs. But since some of us like the eclectic, wide ranging programming, perhaps we should just deal with the inherent tensions involved in that until we have a center to help focus our program topics and provide a larger and more flexible venue-space for hosting events.

Mike S. appealed for a single calendar a.s.a.p. at beginning of year, and cited example of anti-war demo as lacking adequate attention and supportive participation.

Norm spoke about helpfulness of sharing flyers, and others commented on need for more people to design and produce them. Sharon spoke about how invaluable the information at the (PTI?) program was…

Mark F. spoke about ongoing need, as well as potential, of reaching out to school teachers and administrators. Pauline did video the PTI program , so that will be available in the near future. She also received kudos for her work with the pictures from the Fannie Sellins commemoration day.

We will also need to get new Program Committee Chair for next year.

John plugged the Fahrenheit 11/9 movie tomorrow night; volunteers are welcome and always needed. Volunteers are also still needed for documentary on the 20th and everyone was reminded to go to Karen’s afterward to support. Bart was not able to attend today with his usual sign up lists, but someone else filled in and passed some around.

John shared internal announcements: he emailed Francis Perkins Center, and is hopeful about collaborative efforts. Thanks from Joe and Delsa who made that discovery for us.

We were reminded about a T.M.C sponsored event on Friday, Nov. 22 at the August Wilson Center, 5-9 pm.

Charlie told about his speaking at a history of labor relations at Westinghouse in Forrest Hills (at a centennial event?), and that he will also be at another similar event on the 18th at IUP. He lamented that there are still too many omissions/lacunae from traditional/dominant labor history narratives, such as the strategic pitting of European immigrants against African American’s, especially during the great migrations of the 20th Century.

Sharon talked about her visit to Youngstown Center for history of Labor and Steel and its great educational programing. Other mentioned similar strong programing at the Butler museum of American Art.

Perry talked about visit to Cornwall Iron Furnace in Lebanon, Pa and its similarity to Carrie Furnace. Also about making connections with interested staff and visitors while there.

Patty shared about visit to Gettysburg for Conference of …? and was struck once again by the deep political partisan divides evident even there.

Mike spoke about an event this Sat. at Homewood Carnegie library a film on carbon footprint of military-industrial complex…Scarred Lives. He also talked about meeting young people planning a spring occupy sit-down? event to oppose Keystone pipeline. There was also a meeting in Washington PA about cancer epidemic, and mistreatment of victims by state officials (Wolf and others). These are not political people.

John Rudiak encouraged people to watch Terry Gross program interviewing whistleblower from Cambridge Analytica over use and abuse of data mining. See also The Great Hack movie about Cambridge Analytica. (PR: one can also read a fairly factual and objective account of the affair here:–Cambridge_Analytica_data_scandal

Someone passed around a post card flyer about Robert Qualter’s exhibit in Lawrewnceville, 3583 Butler Street.

Meeting was adjourned circa 10:10.

Oct. 2, 2019

John opened and introduced new people and visitors.

Friend of Mark Fallon’s: Doug Corey.

Lisa T attending for first time.

Larry McLelland

This day in labor history. Oct 1, 1946 Smoke Control. 1847? Court case on Molly McGuires. Oct. 5, 2005 d. August Wilson. Leonard Stacy b. blind lawyer and later teacher in School of Soc Work.

Doug Corey talked about an educational project to build a network among to teach more expansively about human rights. He is touring to meet as many organizations as possible. He was at human rights press conference downtown yesterday. Joni added that Human Rights Alliance is sponsoring a program about globalization and being raised in a capitalist system. She passed around flyer

Lisa T. talked about her family from West Mifflin and Duquesne: all worked in the mills…she lost her student loans during Regan admin…later in Seattle got business degree with accounting…worked for military…public accounting…banking…then health care military hospice with insights into theatre caused diseases, got to know nurses as finance director, then affordable care act supposedly with public option, but pulled from 2013, so no price controls, insurance industry will run…now working in home hospice…high error rates in billing, most people do not know how to read EOB. Laura Fielding medical for all.

Larry M.: I think we are in critical time of democracy vs oligarchy. How to impress or convince 62 million who voted for Trump.


Email from woman who told about John Morris, shot in window of pump house…she is interested in talking to people, her great grandmother was a relative. John has email and phone number.

Jim Daniels has just released a book: Respect the Poetry of Detroit Music. Also the Perp Walk, short fiction…passing around.

On Saturday our program has evolved from trades training to plight of minorities, so we will be having 3 people, including Steve Shelton, Walter Bentley, Dewitt Walters (sp?)

Bette has printed out background information. Several people asked for literature she had, to promote it a.s.a.p.

Bart talked about 3 remaining programs and circulated sign up sheets for all three.

5th, 10th, 20th. Patty mentioned tracking $ properly.

Pauline reported Fanny Sellins is live at 2 plus hours. Linear and comprehensive. She emailed some people last night, but no one received. See last 10 minutes for speeches and bag pipes. Ended with Mary Cronk Farrell. Includes Ketcham photos.

John reminded everyone about a few of Bob Ketchem photo.

Mike S. mentioned phone call from Todd Barbado last week, who was crying on phone about Fanny Sellins ceremonies, and his desire for something bigger than local union. (He said maybe something like PTSD.) Mike proposes sending Todd a letter and copy of picture for the Union Hall.

Pauline described how she plans to include contact information for people who want to get photos.

Jennifer talked about her paintings of women series…wants to redo Rachel Carson…and thinking she should consider publishing a book. Others: we need to help J. get an agent.

Joe commented on ATI strike and published article in PG.

Delsa asked if there was a summary of Kleiman lecture. John reviewed that it was about history of events around hear and how many people died advocating for speech and other rights.

Karen talked about her house party for Steven Smith running for governor of WV, on October 20th. He won’t be there, but she will be putting him on interactive TV screen. Come after Pump House event.

Perry and Delsa have birthdays this week and were sung to.

Perry also mentioned two good articles about history, archives and memory that he found and passed around copies.

Mike S. talked about event at Schenly Plaza on Saturday, the 5th.

He also reviewed the reasons for forming a chapter of the IWLA, especially to form a coalition of left progressive activist organizations to speak up and he talked about the State IWLA meeting in Bedford. Also Sanford Leuba and his son Darwin are becoming involved in exciting ways.

Patty shared that Charlie M. will be speaking in Forest Hills about history of Westinghouse. And there are graduate student interns, especially chemical engineers, who are interested in shift from fossil based feed stocks…and they get what people can do about it…also on individual level.

Joe W. spoke about symposium on Sunday October 20, and why racism and …? are connected including connections to anti-semitism.

Rose updated everyone on health of Charles M., and also that Anne Feeney is looking for a temporary home for some of her paintings. Mike urged consideration of Jonathan Eberly’s gallery-storage space.

Sept 25, 2019

John Haer opened meeting at 9:03.

            Mark Fallon? reported that Anne Feeny is moving and has prints she would like people to house for preservation. Different people volunteered to take and hold for possible inclusion in our archives. Mike volunteered to get 1 or 2 of all her CDs. Mark will take one or two of the bigger and better prints.

            Archives Project coordinator job description is now on ours and Indeed website. Application deadline is not firm but interviews will be scheduled with good candidates as applications come in.

            This day in history: Allegheny Arsenal explosion and fire, same day as Antietam, therefore not in national news at the time. 1919 steelworker union strike.

            Google workers have organized with Steelworkers. Read article by Guardian Reporter which describes longer term activity of google workers who have worked for better conditions.

            Candy shared that Dana Meadows, 44, who has waited on us in evenings, passed away last night from a brain tumor. Candy will find out more information for us; she lived in Homestead.

            Joe W. mentioned website called Portside which has important article about UAW strike and dealings with General Motors. He also shared stories he had been told about high level secrecy and poor communications internally.

            Steffi reminded everyone of Kleiman lecture, 2 pm this Sunday, 9/29. Volunteers should show by 1:00 or 1:15.

            Joe W. reminded everyone of Oct 20th seminar.  Also showing of Fahrenheit 11/9, story of Trump election.

            Joni: we have not been utilizing Jerry’s email by sending to all our contact lists. His are beautiful and worth sharing.

            Mark F.: Waterfront is proposing to move statue of St. Joseph, the Worker, by Frank Vetone, now in St. Maximillian church, to this side of RR tracks in Waterfront, they (Cary et al) would like us to include unions and design plaques. Mark F. and Lloyd Cunningham are working on it.

            Also, this Sunday is fund raiser for SVHS with music. John passed around a flyer.

            Rose shared, and distributed flyer about Anthracite Museum tour in Scotland. She also mentioned a fund raiser for Pete Smith / Lou Martin also on 29th, this Sunday, at Karen Bryant’s, from 4-6. But Some disagreed, saying flyers and Eventbrite say October 20th. Someone will try to confirm with Karen Bryant

            Mike reported on Izaak Walton chapter meeting and especially Sanford Leuba and his environmental acreage shared with neighbors to enhance environment.

            He also reported on Jonathan Eberly’s building next to Presbyterian church we may be able to use for our archive and museum. Jonathan’s building has gallery space.  Church is willing to rent rooms with heat and AC for reasonable rate.

            Weds. Oct 2nd showing of Plastics Paradise. Point Breezeway near Starrett School on Reynolds.

            Mike also reported on strike and especially what 9-17 yr old kids were able to say.

Various other things as well. Walt shared that there is a recording on NoPetroPA site (Mark Dixon).

            Bob Mason mentioned UN report on Oceanic heat waves. More hurricanes, sea level rise, etc.

            John Haer mentioned sculpture unveiling of new sculpture near pump house, designed and installed by students of George Junior…Bill Yund added a few more details. They collaborated with ROS.

            Also Making Combustion festival at Carrie Furnace this Saturday. 1- 10 pm.

            Elizabeth: added Sat. October 12, 2:30, Homewood Library.

            Michelle Alexander at CM U on prison reform.

            Rae reported that Zappala did not show for Town Hall conversation with Middleman; she was interviewed by a Forrest Hills civil attorney, so information was really good.

            Applications for fund raising walk to raise $ for Gaza Strip mental health services. Walk is on October 19th, a Saturday, Merton Center among sponsor.  Reaction to action of Netenyahu and statements of  D. Trump.

            Jacqui shared about voter registration drives at Community College campuses. Also encouraged people to attend forum/debate between Fitzgerald and Drozd. Also information about Christine Allen, Sewickley…running for County Councl, District 2.

Events listing (adapted from IWLA Allegheny Chapter meeting 9-24-19):

Thursday, September 26AARP Pennsylvania first meeting at a Steel Center Career and Technology Center, Lewis Run Road, West Mifflin, PA Meeting begins at 10:00 AM; we will be scheduled to present around 11:15 AM.  It should not last longer than 30-45 minutes.  

September 28th, Saturday, 3-6 PM: “Living Wages on a Living Planet” workshop/gathering at 841 California Ave, Letter Carriers Union. facilitated by Jamil Bey. Organized by a group from the Worker Organizing Table ..

October 2, 2019, 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, Plastics Paradise Screening, Café Breezeway, 7113 Reynolds St, 15206

October 19, 2019, Saturday. Fund raising walk for mental health services in Gaza Strip. See Merton Center for more details.

October 20, 2019, Sunday.

November 5, Tuesday, 7:00 p.m.,, Plastics Paradise Screening. Christ United Methodist Church,  44 Highland Road, Bethel Park.           

November 11, 2019. Reading of Martin Luther King’s “Beyond Vietnam a Time to Break Silence.” by Wali Jamal, Warren United Methodist Church, 2602 Centre Ave., 15219

Sept 18, 2019

Larry McCullough. Introduced himself. (Re-intro for some.) Background in music and ethnomusicology. Now retired, but still need to earn. He play a jig on a penny whistle.

There are still a few performances left to attend of Pittsburgh Playwrites of Gem of the Ocean by August Wilson at the site that Wilson set it in.  Magical, not to be missed. Chris Mark and Pauline both said how wonderful and worthwhile it it. Read up on 1838 and 1839  for historical context especially loss of black vote.

See story about Smokestack Lightning in Pgh History Magazine (Bette had copies to look at)

Dan Kovalic spoke about his new book and adjunct professor organizing.  Book is about Venezuela (with forward by Oliver Stone.) The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela. He as lost count of number of trips at least 12.

            Heavily embargoed and, expedia shows Caracas as airport not found.  V is being cut off from world economy. Embargo since 2015. New sanctions under Trump. Cut off from world banking system. Even in Canada without sanctions, banks cannot do business. See reports by Geoffry Sachs and other economists. At least 40,000 died as result of sanctions in 1 or 2 years and loss of access to HIV and other medications.  CITGO was Venezuela owned oil company, whose assets have been seized. Bank of England holding billion plus gold reserve.

But notwithstanding, airport is new, hotel being built. Over 2.8 million homes built. Commended by UN for right to housing guarantees. Over 1/3 of population housed. Little signs of homelessness in Caracas. Dan’s purpose was to attend international workers conference, only 50 from outside V. Nicholas Maduro spoke; former union bus driver. Massive demonstration against sanctions and Trump. Such demo’s are nearly weekly. 12 million signatures on petitions against sanctions.  Juan Guido (Guwhydo) is not widely liked, under fire for corruption, probably working with Columbian para-militaries. Hard to maintain electrical grids, and maintain democratic processes (voting machine parts); highly praise system by Jimmy Carter in 2012. 1999 revolution under ?Chavez? built cable cars to connect poor in barrios on hillside. Can’t get replacement cables.  V. has a subsidized food policy called CLAP, now since Summer, sanctioned under Trump. Close friend there is going to Argentina. 

But people are rallying around Maduro government, because of it’s legitimacy and threat of Pinochet type alternative. Compare with Libya?  US intervention leads to insane asylum or cemeteries. 

            Who is aiding?  International Red Cross, China, Russia, Cuba (somewhat) but even China is shying away from buying V. oil. Lot’s of TV shows and others openly called for Coup d Etat. One failed…see movie the Revolution will not be televised. Opposition people and parties are given amnesty and allow to move and campaign freely. Etc. Etc. People vote in poor communities, less so in richer communities.

            Joe W. testified to freedom of press, etc. in 2008.  We need to get the word out and advocate for policy change. Mike: we need to counter propaganda with truth, such as free copies of Dan’s books. Joe added that Chavez was bold and imaginative and did great job, but other revolutions was not established or institutionalized. Also, declining economic power of oil. See details and data in book about oil revenues, and clarity about US policy.

            Dan X. spoke for Lisa Middleman. Election in less than 8 weeks. Need people at doors to remind people not to vote straight party. Can make 15 point difference. He introduced another campaign worker.  Q. re Forest Hills town hall, at 7 pm in Forrest Hills at 400 Braddock Rd. where pool lodge. 6:30.

            Mike S. spoke about student strike on Friday at County Building. IWLA members please attend with shirts.

2. Mike and Dee others with Mark Fallon went to SVSCH to talk to teachers about plastics plant—26 union teachers. Very few new anything about plastics industry. Connected with recycling.

            3. Played for guitar festival in Philadelphia?  with Kevin who is now setting up talks for Mike about plastics plants.  See IWLA chapter agenda with 7 different events. See film Plastics Paradise. He is involved with groups doing water monitoring.

            4. IWLA is trying to connect people dealing with issues to county council chambers and State Legislature.

            5. Peter Knowlton is planning a series of meetings to shut down petrochemical plant in Beaver Co. for one day.  See stats about rising cases of Ewing’s sarcoma that started with Fracking in Washington County in 2005?  Trump licensing involved, and US is doubling down. Only a citizen’s movement will stop them.

            Elizabeth mentioned partnership event: film Scarred Lands…wounded lives at Carnegie Library Homewood. October 12, 7 pm?

            November 11th Armistice Day at Warren U.Methodist Church  in Hill. Wally Jamal reenacting MLK speech against Vietnam.

            Open House by CSAW at CORE church (Bellefield and Fifth).

            Mike and others are looking a Presbyterian Church at Ninth and Ann for possible Archives space. Sounds like a great deal that will fit our budget, etc. (Where Just Harvest started, Joni)

            Bart reminded everyone of Bernard Kleiman Lecture by Ed Yankovich at Pump House, worker bees still needed, please sign up.  Millie B. reminded everyone that his widow, Gloria lives somewhere near golf course in Sq. Hill. Charlie will try to make sure she is offered a ride.

            Sharon told about variety of responses with League of Women Voters at Boyce Campus to sign up students. Jacqui is doing one today an CCAC.

            Pauline updated everyone on work of Fannie Sellins…and some tricky editing issues involved.

            Mark F. This Saturday, Troutman Field, Homestead Community Day, 2-9.  Next Sunday 29 12-4 under bridge by Primanti’s. Same as Kleiman lecture, go before or after lecture, fundraiser.

            Joe W. talked about Francis Perkins center…6 panel traveling exhibit, we should consider. John has information about the Center.  Charlie M. listen to talk of Eliz Warren yesterday or recently about Francis Perkins. 

            Meet at Trinity Church for march to Climate Strike.

            Bob M. talked about event yesterday with many sponsors to pressure Mike Doyle to sign on to No Way to Treat a Child Legislation. 4k march/walk flyer passed around. Film screening of Five Broken Camera’s also passed around.

            Rose mentioned contact from Guardian to get information about Steelworker organizing at Google, and industrial history, several of us gave journalist a walking tour and talked about technological change and dilemma of young people. Also, why NY City subway and loss of Union Switch and Signal maintenance workers. This is another story that needs to be told.

Sept 11, 2019

Steffi D. called the meeting to order at 9:10.

Lots of peppers and kale to share thanks to Norm and ?.

Mike S. talked about IWLA, water testing kits and training sessions. 2. Student climate strike on 20th noon to 4. They need to see us older folks, at County Court House. 3. Meeting with some council members to talk about policy issues in new council in 2020. 4. IWLA chapter 55 members and growing contact list. Hoping for 100 members by end of year. 5. Numerous presentations are being set up, especially with teachers in schools. 6. Plastics is a growing global issue with realization of its problems.  US (current administration) is going in opposite direction doubling down on plant building and production, e.g. bamboo and hemp products. 7. Get active for the sake of your grandchildren, reduce demand to undercut corporate power and investments in gas and plastics environment. 8. Lawsuits including against US Steel for lying about mitigation of pollution.  Remember what Rose Beasy told us at Pump House labor event about patchwork efforts. 9. Endorsements of Green New Deal are growing.  10. Joni – support for woman who talks about climate change at City County Bldg. on Fridays. 11. Film showing Point Breeze…

Elizabeth: Two other events…including Wally Jamal on ML King’s Vietnam speech. More info later.

Charlie: talked about report on water pollution in Belle Vernon. Thanked Steffi with applause for Fannie Sellins event.  He also talked about people working on black sufferage and making a statement re PA 1838-18??… re Grant Street name change. Would be great to get descendants of black vets of civil war. Millie: Sunday NTY by Eric Foner on lost…of reconstruction and amendments involved. Fits hand in glove with Charlie’s piece.

Rose: today’s paper report on NC candidate and courts invalidating an election due to scheme of voter suppression. Presentation tonight at Heinz History Center

Bob K. has 8 photos to sell of his photo of Sellins monument. $30, 20 to BHF.

Ben Wilson: of United Electrical Workers, spoke about convention with input from Charlie and Mike S. Endorsed GND and Bernie S. for president. Just organized largest food coop in Wisconsin.

Lou Martin and Karen Bryant. Karen introduced Lou and talked about Katie Laurer/Lower? Campaign organizer for Stephen Smith running for Governor of W. Va. With her obnoxiously large television, it is after 2-4 event of pump house on 10/20/2019. She passed around a save the date flyer. Lou spoke about Stephen’s campaign, announced at Mattawan and using red bandana symbol. He says it is not really about him becoming governor, but trying to create a movement, and talking about all kinds of people who can’t wait. E.g. of Tina Russell, AA woman and veteran from Mercer county. Also others running on Stephen’s ticket, in Charleston. Also formation of a campaign workers union, working with a living wage.  Eye on long term.

Joe White: his birthday was yesterday and everyone sang HB song to him. Grateful for not being born on 9/11. If you are interested in what is happing in UK/GB today. Article on working class in GB, and its reactionary character or nature. Similar to reaction in US during…. international federation in…1860-61.

Patty D. to pay for t-shirts. Any others who would like one.

Comments on last week Thursday’s corporate responsibility program. Rose: making corporations people will not solve problems. Discussion of process for ratifying an constitutional amendment.

Kleiman lecture: Sept 29, Sunday, 2pm. Steffi is working with steelworker’s delegation.

Speaker: Ed Yankovich (also at Fannie Sellins.) Nick Molnar will introduce him.

Joni volunteered to share with community newsletters, and share with Jerry for website

Sharon: we are not making more cards and there are not many left. A few more bookmarks are left than cards. Steffi has one more box of River Ran Red. 24 copies. Possibly using Jennifer’s 3 pictures: Mother Jones, Fannie Sellins, and Betty Davis.

John Rudiack talked about Malcolm McDowell’s tipping point about change for good or ill, and research on microbes eating plastic.


Rae: campaign for Lisa Middleman. Do not vote straight ticket, or Zappala will get vote either way. Especially talk to your friends in the suburbs on well-travelled roads. Sept 22 house party at Forest Hills pole lodge. Trying to get both candidates to attend. Joni asked about judges and others in this election. Look at S.Poverty Law center newsletters about Alabama and Mississippi and action on not taking licenses for bail bond. Why not in PA. Philadelphia is ahead of Pittsburgh.   Rudiak: you can or will go to jail for not paying parking fines. Carrick magistrate wants to use community service.

Bob Mason: coming Tuesday JVforPeace showing film this coming Tuesday about Palestinian Children and Israeli policies. E.Lib branch of Carnegie Library. Also news about Netanhau willing to annex W. Bank. Sept 17 6 pm.

Pauline: Middleman event on Monday 16th in Pt Breeze. Also landslide issue up in Sommerset development across the river; and truck traffic vs other more expensive options. Triggered by owners of 18 Rosemont who cut trees for better view.

Steffi: October 12 Labor Council event related to Roberto Clemente fund raiser for solidarity fund for victims of wage left.

Jennifer: there was a large African attendance at Lion King last night which was really refreshing.

Rae mentioned another Middleman event. Rose mentioned a program in June 25, 2020 on industrial history of Scotland, UK and Wales. Aprox. $4,000. June 26 to July ?.

Breakfast Notes for Sept 4, 2019

Joni and John introduced their friend Mike, from Brooklyn.
Thursday’s event at the Pump House, 7pm, We the People versus Corporate Rule. with Greg Coleridge.; trying to oppose Citizen’s United.

This day in labor history—Dunkerds Creek spill. 2004 U of P. health care benefits. 1946, Duquesne Light strike; Mayor Lawrence role (Charlie). Fugitive slave act precursor…

Rosemary: thanks to Bob for photos at Fanny Sellins; and review article by Joe Mistick in Tribune Review. Post Gazette pro Union editorial on labor day. Film doc about Blair Mountain Mine Wars. Pauline’s work on captioning Mike Stout on video. She wondered about secretarial bargaining in Europe. By vocation instead of plant.
Perry shared about great open house and his daughters food and community building in Oakland.
Bette shared about upcoming program in October about minority training and work programs. Involves 6 to 8 people. Philipp Randolph Institute and IBEW minority program. Plan is to have literature to read ahead and Karen will be moderator/
Watch for CNN special on 10 Dems climate change debate discussion. Westwood Radio also, 6 to 8 hours.
Elizabeth shared about Heritage Partner program and sharing Jennifer’s painting at their segment and returned it at the Recker’s Open House. She passed the program booklet around on Women in Labor History by Reuther-Pollack Labor History Symposium, III. Aug. 31, 2019.
Bob shared about afternoon of public speaking. especially Mary C. Farrell, Levi and Fr. Jay.
Charlie spoke about up coming “Granting meaning to a street” article in ‘the PG, how president Grant came to Pgh to honor Alexander von Humbolt. Around March 30th. To rename street and have Wally Jamal and others. James Grant vs Ulysses. James G. was a Coronal Forbes to reconnoiter Ft. Duquesne followed by Indians, disastrous battle. Andy Massich story told later to his staff.
Patty spoke but moving elements of Fannie Sellins event, especially Leane and Frank Snyders’ stories and commentary. How many of greatest government initiatives arose out of movements to protect worker interests agains corporate avarice. And tactics of fear and division used against people trying to stand up for real needs of people.
Reports from people’s grass roots movements in Beaver, Butler, Johnstown, Erie, Turtle Creek.
Dee shared for Al that Electrical Workers (UE) has endorsed Green New Deal.
Bob Ketchem talked about his 700 plus photos of Fanny Sellins event and proposed an edition 20 prints, on archival paper 11×14. Charlie thanked Bob and spoke about conversation with Father K. and the play about him, to be done by group in Youngstown. Will be at Good Shepherd in Braddock, formerly St. Michaels, where Father Kazinski served. (? details, P.R.) It
is about 120 minutes long, can be done with musical. Bob will bring 10 next week.
Sharon talked about Bill Yund’s graphicdrawings about abandoned or exploited children around the world.
There will be a candidates meet and greet in Forest Hills at Pool Lodgon Sept 22
Rae talked about Lisa Middleman’s campaign. Sharon mentioned extensive drug distribution database and slave trade. John mentioned Public Source. Others who had heard her added positive responses.

Breakfast notes for August 14, 2019

John called the meeting to order at 9:01.
Mark F. introduced Christina Schott, district Environmental Coord. At SVHS.
Christina told us about the Environmental club at Park, and one may be starting at Merrit. She ran school garden at ? She is working with Holly Bobin on cooking sessions (later this AM), plus a number of other projects. Teachers are interested but have little time to organize. Challenging to get things started and get others to keep them going. She was a parent of two students, got started as a volunteer to recycle paper from schools. Took 3 or 4 years to get recycling dumpster. Then started a garden and have been learning from experience ever since.
Q. from Joe W. about courses….she explained a use of curricular checklist … and how teachers are able to focus on environmental issues when they come up in other classes. The club reinforces these lessons. Unfortunately the District still uses SUPs and foam. It’s terrible. One lunch janitor implemented some measures but then he left.

John reviewed list of people who wish to speak

Mike S. mentioned Doyle Town Hall tonight. No organized labor speaking. Lots of environmental groups will be attending with signs, etc. Another water testing training opportunity coming up, on Saw Mill Run. Pa Chemical right to know law, since 1954, not being enforced. Jules Labelle, and SWPA Env. Health Project are working on a law suit to enforce law. Opposing trade secrets claim. Also, need to raise water testing standards. Especially dangerous chemicals going through water treatment plants.
Joni mentioned PPG letter by Cyril Wecht criticizing R.F. and County Council.
[I missed Dan’s Comment on event, sorry.]
Sharon shared copy of Pgh Sun-Telegraph from 1936 issue on major event. And experience of knowing an immigrant, and/or attending a citizenship/naturalization ceremony.
Saturday event on Irish Presbyterian, Peter Gilmore spoke about his approach to regional history, and connection with national events. Will include sub-text of migration as an important subtext. Term chain migration gets used sometimes, but misunderstood or distorted. Two books will be available. People from N. Ireland. Second book about 1798 rebellion to create a separate Irish Republic and Presbyterians were among most revolutionary. With very oppressive consequences, causing many to come to the US, also identifying with ideals of a republic, non-monarchical. People also talked to one another, and there was a kind of underground network that opposed US’s aristocracy.
Saturday’s program, Joel will introduce. Bart reminded people of need for more volunteers.
Greeting, refreshments, manning books and cards tables. Peter’s book sales will go to BHF.

Connie Portis invited people to community day 11 AM on to get dinner from her church (Park Place AME), 215 10 Ave. at park across the street. Look for booths in the park. To preserve church building.

Rose talked about Smokestack Lightning made City Paper

People were reminded to register for Fannie Sellins event on 26th in order to get dinner.

Jennifer showed a protest tea towel that she found at a DC Museum, and suggested we could/should consider producing and selling something like it. John mentioned issue of reprinting of cards of pump house banners, and discussion of related fund raising promotional issues. Kelly will be organizing merchandizing committee discussion, via a phone conference.

Rose mentioned checking website for events on 26th.

Delsa showed a post card called the striker that was part of her family. Probably came from a painting in school of realism, maybe a photograph.

John introduced Jonathan Eberly, who talked about his family gallery and shirt he was wearing about goat scape. Some block, other end, as Voodoo gallery. He was encouraged by John and others to join us more regularly.

John passed around posters for Fannie Sellins event with addresses on it. Will be useful.
John reported on reports brought to Board meeting which will be on members only section of Website.
Especially resolution coming up to deal with Summer program organizing. At meeting in November.
Small nominating committee set up to fine tune staggered term plan, especially for 1 year term members. Nominations would begin Nov and go through mid Dec. January 20th will be annual members meeting. Will be on King Holiday weekend, which this years program reflected. No committee yet working on it.

On this day in progressive history: early August, 7th 1794 George W. invoked martial law against whisky rebellion. August 7, 1847 George Rapp passed away…800 followers, pacifist Society of Harmony, Butler county, then Ambridge. Joe and Delsa live in his son’s house.
Aug 11 1978, court order for Pgh desegregation plan, not completed/delivered until October 1982.

John R. reported on his 2 months in Poland and problem of pedophile priests. Creating diversions, oppose Gay pride parades, one people got beat up. Cardinal of Krakow, where is Pope Francis? Also government subsidizes church to preserve buildings. Importing Ukrainians to work is OK, but otherwise anti-immigrant. But otherwise safe, good food. Warsaw and Gdansk.
10:05. Closed with a joke from John R.: Why all the houses or apartments in Tarentum? A: To rent them.

Breakfast notes for August 7, 2019.

Early start, 8:45. Steffi, showed banner and reviewed history of Fannie Sellins and her industrial unionism development in joining garment and steel workers. Hired by Mineworkers in Allegheny Valley, Natrona Heights. Treated as a Bolshevik…therefore coroners report claimed she was killed in self-defense by guards. Monday 26th of August, 2 pm till Sunset. Hoping for 75 people. In or near Brackenridge.
Joe added that despite coroner’s report, contemporary Tribune report used terms murder and assassination.

9:05 John welcomed Ryan Brown as a guest.
Mike S. Next week on 12th at IHOP’s is IWLA Allegheny Co. Chapter meeting. There was a forum for county candidates, including Ms. Patel. He also went with Charlie and Steffi and Joe W. to Youngstown for anniversary of early civil rights leaders. Mike and Stephanie had to leave early.

On this day/week in Pittsburgh’s Progressive History. 1775 Pgh. Own Tea Party. 1969 African American’s Black Monday for jobs. B. of Jackie Orms female AA cartoonist, in Pittsburgh (Zelda Mavens Jackson). Worked for Courier and then Chicago Defender.
Woman involved in union organizing.

Ryan Brown talked about his book (Sept. 9) Pittsburgh and Great Steel Strike of 1919, including events and labor radicalism groups of the time. I live in Westview, worked as newspaper reporter in Altoona. Love to write history in spare time, interested in Pittsburgh. John asked about sources and Ryan mentioned about 5 historical sources. See PG article on Red Summer in Chicago.

Patti D. spoke about Rep. Doyle’s Town Hall on 14th at Soldiers and Sailors. We should turn out so he feels supported. He is concerned about failure of Cap and Trade. 6:30 pm.
Bob Mason mentioned his daughter’s dance piece (80 min) on Carnegie Stage in Carnegie, next two weekends. “Queer, Jewish: dancing in diaspora.”
John (and Bob) mentioned Health Care for All PA on Thurs August 22nd, and other events.
Al Hart: candidates supporting and attacking health care for all.
Joe W.: first things employers do now is cut back on health care benefits.
Jacqui mentioned CCAC contract and including administrators in benefits.
John: on Betty Davis celebration on 26th. Give Al your email to get access to google drive with pictures (by invitation.)
Joni: see wildlife magazine pictures of plastics in oceans, that Dee and Walt will be taking to schools. They will have an IWLA table at the Doyle Forum.
Rosie: Greetings from Charlie just leaving Rochester.
Including our August programs ROS, 22-24th has free admission to Carrie Furnace multimedia work, documentary film exhibit.. 8-10:30 pm.
Father K. (Kazinski, of Braddock) who intervened during 1919 strike. Ryan: opened up his church for protection of strikers, strong ally of workers. Play at Youngstown Playhouse in Youngstown, Aug 16 -24. Will be coming to Braddock in Sept or October.
Jacqui reported on negotiations with AMC over Theatre problems and some patronizing attitudes toward community group.
More people need to be trained on using square for merchandizing sales. Get in touch with Jacqui and or Jason. Get Betty on vinyl.
See Peter Gilmore on Saturday the 17th on Irish in Pittsburgh.
CCAC Board appointed by Fitzgerald, needs to be changed, 1/3rd of budget on County, which is in arrears. Board is mostly political appointments, rather than qualified academics. Bethany Hallum was supported and now advocating for us. She is finished with her Sabbatical, starting back next week and will be working with a particular committee working on defining civic engagement and real public relations.
Delsa: asked about history of Woodstock, and how community there welcomed and showed hospitality. Joe W.: on event in October about anti-semitism and anti-racism. Planning is coming along well with good speakers. Sunday the 21st. Mark your calendars. Carl Redwood will be one of 4 panelists. Maybe Randy Fisher would be good addition.
Also Pa Labor History Society event in Fall as well.
Jim H. mentioned
Connie: if a white panel talks about its responsibility for racism, AA people will understand and respond. She recommends professor Eddie Galude on MSNBC and on faculty on Princeton.
She also mentioned visit to Monticello, and told story of what guide said in whisper.
August 17th Dinners available (ribs and chicken).
Dan talked about conference and success of union participants. He passed around a new brochure being developed for Labor Day and birthday of Henry George.
Bart: more volunteers needed, especially on 17th (sign up sheet lost).
Also: 26th: 3 pm open mike. 5 pm dinner. At 1196 Hall. Tables set up by 3 pm.
John mentioned upcoming Board meetings and January Annual meeting.
End, 8-7-19.

Breakfast notes for July 17, 2019.

            John welcomed guests, Dan Jablonski, and Delsa introduced their son and daughter-in-law from Madison Wisc.  John read from this day in labor history:

Joe W. mentioned that 14th of July is Bastile Day in France and wondered how French people might be celebrating that now.

            Internal meetings: today B.Davis movie planning and outreach after breakfast. Coming up: Archives Committee on Monday night, the 29th at Mark Fallon’s. Long Range planning on 30th at Karen’s.  Communications at John and Joni’s this Saturday 10 am.  Bart circulated sign up sheet for help at Pump House event this Sat. 12:30- 1:30.  Rose talked about need for volunteers for Betty M. Davis fundraiser on 26th. Need info about intentions to buy tickets. 

            Dan Yablonski spoke about Pittsburghers for Public Transit, especially for improved corridors into Mon Valley, and East Suburbs.  They have developed a tool online, Beyond the East Busway for collecting user information.  He also asked for suggestions of groups to contact. Patty D.’s group in Forrest Hills was mention, also Sustainable Monroeville. They are also working on training community organizers.  Also building resistance and questions in response to autonomous vehicles development plans.  With lots of money committed from Pitt and others and development in Hazelwood, with threats to jobs etc in public transit. Public safety…position paper release tomorrow. …134 E. Elizabeth St.

            Bob M. talked about 2 pieces of legislation: Anti-Semitism Awareness Act in Senate, with Bob Casey as a co-sponsor. Tying criticism of  Israel to sanctions, e.g. through pressure on Univ. Presidents and Administration.  Jewish Voices for Peace is opposed and promoting calls to Casey’s Office.  Also, there is a House Resolution to sanction companies and organizations that support boycott, divestments, or sanctions of Israel. Unfortunately Lamb and Doyle have signed on as co-sponsors. Bob also had material to share. Joe W. talked about illogically and complexity…and mentioned that historically …and shift in perspectives…  Our Program Event on 20th at Pump House will be relevant to this.

            Al Hart spoke about action and positions of U.E. and history of attacks on it. First Union to oppose Vietnam War. Passed in 2015.  Israeli sponsored website, United with…that is attacking UE and accusing it and others. Urging people to call, email, and flood FB page attacks, mostly name calling. Then we learned that an Israeli law firm wrote to GE to get it to put pressure on UE, threatening action unless it rescinded contract, which did exist since 1939. They also sued Jimmy Carter. And filed charge with NLRB. UE counsel Joseph Cohen, argued that this is free speech for any other organization is being limited for Unions, which it still is, and should be declared unconstitutional.

            Elizabeth reported that there are still spaces available at Women in Labor History Symposium in Wheeling, August 30 & 31st. Good speakers who know about Fannie Sellins and Jennifer’s painting will be display.  E. also went to Meadowcroft to hear talk about Mineworker strike history. Because BHF has an institutional relationship with Heinz History Museum, tickets to Meadowcroft are discounted. It is a great deal. Not only for the Rock Shelter but also for the historical village tour and demonstrations.

            Joel Wohler reminded everyone of events around Peter Gilmore’s books, Looking for connections to Presbyterian and Irish communities. Cliff and Nora Johnson mentioned by John.

Norm asked for flyers. Joel said watch for press release.

            Joe White shared about his and Delsa’s visit to the  Frances Perkins Center in Damariscotta, Maine. Perkins was  Secretary of Labor for entire Roosevelt admin, and a leading architect of the New Deal itself. She has a Homestead Connection due to her standing on Post Office property and opposing US Steel. She was a great public servant, and advocate for labor. The center is on coast of Maine, near her family home. It is a modest building on main street Damariscotta. The Executive Director was interested in formalizing connection/ relationship with BHF. Joe passed around information about a potential traveling exhibit. We do have some differences – e.g. the FPC is more national in perspective, top down looking and focused on the  history of Roosevelt administration. But this should be a natural working relationship.  Delsa added that she got sense they would love to put up exhibit and include a speaker, and possibly connect with Green New Deal. Bob asked about SS act and near inclusion of universal health care, but scuttled at last minute, even though FP was in favor of it. John reminded everyone of dedication of marker at site of FP speech at old PO in Homestead (Amity and 9th.)

Other announcements:

            Joni reported on her talk with Milli: she is having constant adjustments to blood pressure medications. Probably can’t get out to Fannie Sellins event.

            Rosemary: 1) Offer from Quantum Theatre to see performance on Thursday Aug. 1st at Bowling Green at Frick House. 2)Lynn Squilla has made quite an impact on operas from Fred Rogers. Opening night was spectacular. Shows start on Thursday night 25th; performances at Winchester Thurston School. Sponsor is Pittsburgh Festival Opera.

            John introduced Danielle Maggio …organizer-producer in musicology, women in soul and funk movements. She spoke about the special screening…and life of Bette M. Davis who has been living rather reclusively in Homestead since 1982. Doing oral history with her (no phone or computer). Come see on Friday the 26th if you can. Danielle will host talk back afterward. Film is rather surreal vs linear documentary. Post-Gazette interview…last was Courier in 1981. Next nine days are crucial.  Joni said to listening to her albums on youtube or spotify is well worth the time if you want to get a concrete sense of who she was.  Funkadelic was a popular band that is often seen as representative of the genre. Funk grew out soul in socio-political context: James Brown and Sly and Family Stone, with some glam rock are other early examples.  Betty was one of few women performing in that genre, perhaps in more of a soul funk style, similar to women who followed her, like Patti LaBelle. She is also one of few people who kept complete control of her work (writing, performing, producing, etc.)  A new song of hers has been recorded and is ready to go. It is called “A little bit hot tonight.” Danielle is working on program so that royalties or fees from downloads will go to support the BHF music scholarship for Steel Valley High School graduates who want to pursue a career in music.  Download cards will hopefully be sold for $2 or 3.  See also Paul Weller from the Jam who asked her to write some new lyrics.

            John introduced Bob Ketchem of Battle of Braddock Historical Society, who recommended a book about the 1919 strike.

            John reported that Mike’s song from last Pump House benefit concert of Smokestack and Lightning is now on youtube and BHF site.

Breakfast notes for July 10, 2019

9:17  John Called Meeting to order and read from this day in Labor History….RR strike, firing on crowd.  1968 free house ambulance. Civilian Participation.

Board members: August 13th Board meeting here 6:30.

Discussion of Smokestack and Lightning music. Volunteers should be there by 6:30.

Guests: Dan Sullivan. Dee and Walt Kochira.

Thanks to Bob and Sharon for wonderful picnic party.

Joni: Lisa Middleman running for DA as Independent. Has petitions to sign that are due in by 17th.

More discussion of Jennifer’s series of paintings, including Betty M. D. 

Bette Davis movie on Friday the 26th. Connie  reported on Mayor of Homestead, Betty Esper proposal to name day for Betty Davis.

Rose reported on need to push for ticket sales for B Davis day. Point of connection is Community outreach, connection, and celebrations. Secondly to be more inclusive and reaching out to and making AA community feel welcome. Tradition is fairly strong with play.  It’s a wonderful story of woman coming home, through trials and tribulations, so is a metaphor for Homestead as a community. Steffi Domike spoke up against tearing down of wall on 2nd Ave. in Hazelwood.  Selling out will help us make money. Betty Maybury Davis, up from south with father who worked in mill, H. Highschool, to NYC in 1962, to be a fashion designer, involved in music scene, married to Miles Davis, early writer in funk scene, very sexual, sensual, and lots of nasty words, lots of rejection from white music execs.  But set stage for later.  Three mayors invited…Connie: Nelson Harrison is enough as historian – speaker to describe how she changed music. R.T. has also reached out to DJ—Boogie Dunn. 75th birthday celebration encouraged her write music again.

A Bill Yund t shirt is being produced, for sale.

Dan Sullivan on conference on Henry George and taxing land. Looking for labor people to respond to a couple of sessions. H. George launched labor movement as frontier closed rents went up and wages went down. ROW monopolization.  HG lost support of labor by pushing free trade, which divided unions.  Dans wants true believer HG supporters to hear from contemporary labor leaders/speakers, to respond to presentations to address how to reach out to labor. He has programs (but not 30).  But has other flyers on issues addressed by H.G. All have Dan’s contact information. has conference. also, is Dan’s, with some info.

Al H. spoke about demo to help raise wages for news reporters…at 219 Ft. Pitt Blvd.

Perry explained Bus Tour and need for cancellation, and plans for options going 

Elizabeth mention meeting to organize library workers at tent in Schenley Plaza. See E.B. for more details afterward.

Wally Jamal is doing MLK speech at Methodist church  for Nov. 11 Armistice Day looking for cosponsorship.  John: Exec. Board should deal with this in August. E.B. will encourage Edith to contact ROS for Rivers of Steel.

Sharon reported on demo meeting to close ICE camps, 7:30. And support for mail carrier who helped Millie during illness, but is in trouble.

Bob will report on work he is doing next.

Breakfast notes for July 3, 2019

Nick Coles talked about Smokestack Lightening and music at Pump House on July 11, 2019.

Rosemary asked who plans to table again at First Friday’s in Homestead. Look for Mark.

Bart asked for more helpers to sign up for Pump House events.

Reports on Vanessa, Peter Gilmore, and Millie, who said to say Hello to everyone. She is in good spirits though looking thin and worn. Betty and Rosey going to see her tomorrow.

Patty D. reported anniversary celebrations at Forest Hills, 6 pm to dusk and fireworks.

Perry reported on Bus Tour.

Mike talked about Coalition Meeting and plans for all day semi-workshop in fall to weld unions and environmental movements.  Working on a resolution based on Green New Deal, for unions and environmental groups to sign on. Al Hart reported that Eva reported on Labor Round Table (of Sierra Club, said Patty). Patty also reported on meeting with environmental meeting in Orlando, where there was considerable interest.

Mike also talked about Izaak Walton League having 8 states banding together to get climate change and plastics resolutions at Conference in DesMoines, IA.  See movie plastics paradise which will be shown on first day.

Jennifer reported on listening to KDKA sometimes, and call-ins did not talk about plastic bag issue, even when asked.

Discussion of opposition to plastics effort…Perry, Patty, Mike, Elizabeth (on Veterans for Peace, who know about military pollution)

Mike talked about war plans, and actions of Iran for defense. Al talked about war since 1954, with US sponsored overthrow.

Visitor from West Homestead talked about lack of recycling. Mike and Patty talked about peole trying to promote for Borough Councils to pass recycling law.  Mike mentioned how he collects glass. Also plans for packing County Council meetings next month.

Sharon B. reported on Lights for Liberty on a given night. Look at

More discussion on state wide networks….

Jim H. talked about place on S. Side that takes almost anything.

Mike will bring information next week. Nick on WhatSUP that has website for entire city, which now in crisis mode. There is lots of opportunities for self-organization (Mike).

Patty spoke on source of problems being single stream. Mike too on other states that have better programs of source separation. Bob also mentioned construction junction, though some things are still mixed.

Mike pharmaceutical companies should be forced to take plastic bottles back, and talked to local pharmacists who did not understand #5s. Need to force County to educate public.

Discussion of labels on prescription bottles. Caps can’t be recycled so challenge HS students to make things.

Anti-Semitism awareness act, in Senate, Bob M. will have information about it next week. Contact Senator Casey. Also anti-boycott measures against.  Unfortunately Reschenthaler, Lamb and Doyle have all signed on as co-sponsors.

Scott: look at Cemetary that Mark F. and kids are cleaning up.  Rosemary reported that Jacqui Cavalier will be putting out summary of Archive project.

Norm had card from UK about Extinction Rebellion.

Rosemary thanked everyone for coming.

Breakfast notes for April/May  have really rocked these past few weeks. If you weren’t there, here’s who you missed:

Non-violence organizer, activist and author George Lakey discussing his recent books,Viking Economics and How We Win; Former publisher of Renaissance News and the Pittsburgh Black Business Directory, Homestead resident Connie Portis; 31-year old Homestead Realtor (Life Space Pittsburgh) and developer (Atlas Estates) Jessie Wigg; County Council candidate Bethany Hallam; Stephen Shelton, Executive Director of the Trade Institute of Pittsburgh; and TJ Parker-Young, education and community engagement officer of Quantum Theater. We hope to see much more of these folks this year.

You May Not Have Heard

! *Univ. of Pittsburgh Grad Student employees will be voting for union representation by the United Steelworkers in a PLRB-supervised election April 15 through April 18. You can publicize community support for the union by displaying a yard or window sign. Here’s the link to get them:

! *Pitt Historical Archeologist Sarah Kennedy is presenting a talk called “Mining our Past, the Shared Experience of Peruvian Silver Refiners and West Virginia Coal Miners” at the Pump House on Wednesday, April 24, from noon to 1 pm. The event is sponsored by the Pitt World History Center, Rivers of Steel, and the W.Va. Mine Wars Museum.
Public is invited but please RSVP at:

! *”The Problem With Plastics Pollution and What We Can Do About It: Personal and Political Solutions” headlines a gathering Tuesday, April 30, at the Sunnyhill Unitarian Church, 1240 Washington Rd., Mt. Lebanon, PA, 15228, beginning at 7 pm. Sponsors include 2 chapters of the Izaak Walton League.

! *Quantum Theater, partnering with Rivers of Steel, presents Shakespeare’s King Lear at the atmospheric site the Carrie Blast Furnaces in Swissvale May 10- June 2. A Community Night performance is scheduled for Thursday, May 9, at 7:30 pm. Check the BHF website for more info as it becomes available.

! *Member Bob Mason invites the BHF community to attend Pittsburgh’s Second Annual Potluck for Palestine Saturday, April 27, at 12 noon, at the Schenley Plaza Tent. Food, music, dancing, special guest speakers, children’s activities, and more!

Good and Welfare : All wish for a healthful recovery from surgery to two Pump House veterans. Hope to see you soon, Marlene and Bart. We miss you!


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