WILPF – MAY 2015

WILPF – MAY 2015


WILPF will meet Thursday May 14, at 7 p.m., at the Fresno Center for Nonviolence, 1584 N. Van Ness Ave. This meeting is open to all members.


May 6 (first Wednesday of each month) at noon at the Fresno County Courthouse; this month’s vigil will be photographed for the anniversary history project, so please come. Wear black, bring a sign if you wish and stand in silence for peace.


(listener-supported free speech radio for Central California)

May 27, 3 p.m. (4th Wednesday of each month) Jean Hays does outstanding interviews on subjects involving WILPF interests and activities. Tune in!


Meetings on selected Mondays at 7 p.m. Call Ellie at 559-229-9807 for details.



Saturday, May 16—Donate! Volunteer! Front yard of Patty Bennett, 512 E. Harvard Ave., starting at 6:30 a.m. Patty is the contact person for the yard sale, both volunteers and donations. She promises to ply volunteers with good food to keep up their strength! Callers can leave a message on her home answering machine at 559-225-9511. We really need volunteers! We’ll set up on Friday starting at about 4 p.m. This is WILPF’s main fund-raiser for the year and, if you haven’t already got the idea, we need your help.



To start celebrating WILPF’s Centennial and the Fresno branch’s 50-year anniversary, we will have a brunch potluck at the home of Pat Wolk, 6661 N. Forkner Ave., on Saturday, May 2, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Come and hear how our Fresno branch will be celebrating these important events. Bring your favorite brunch food, and meet up with longtime WILPF friends and new WILPF members. Contact Ann Carruthers for information at 559-243-9390.



On April 10, members of the WILPF Legislative Committee delivered letters on the topic of immigration issues to our members of Congress.

  • We tried several times, unsuccessfully, to arrange a meeting with Rep. Jim Costa’s aide; the best we could do was to deliver our letter to one of his secretaries that day.
  • The receptionist at Rep. Nunes’ Clovis office accepted our letter; we were not able to arrange to speak with Jose Avila, his aide.
  • That same afternoon, our committee met at the Fresno Center for Nonviolence with Sebastian Silveira, constituent services representative to Rep. David G. Valadao. We presented our immigration issues letter to him and spoke about our concerns. He listened attentively and promised to relay our concerns to Rep. Valadao, who shares our views on immigration reform. Rep. Valadao, who is Republican, has few party allies on this reform issue. Our committee was invited to go to the Hanford office to talk about our other concerns.

Thanks to Betty Sempadian for writing the immigration issues letter and Bev Fitzpatrick for arranging the meeting with Silveira.

Our next topic will be U.S.-Iran relations.

—Jean Hays


Events are happening fast between the United States and Cuba, although the U.S. blockade of Cuba is still in place. Here’s the latest: Since 1982, the United States has listed Cuba as one of the State Sponsors of Terrorism, an allegation without basis in fact. Now President Obama has endorsed removing Cuba from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list per the U.S. State Department’s recommendation.

Cuba’s placement on the list has created difficulties in many aspects of Cuban government and nongovernmental sectors. This has allowed the United States to impose fines of billions of dollars on international banks, which are currently afraid of U.S. sanctions if they do business with Cuba. Not only does this deny Cuba normal access to international finance and credit, it has been carried to such an extreme that the Cuban diplomats at the Cuban Interest Section and the United Nations have been unable to open a checking account to pay expenses, and Cuban medical volunteers against Ebola in West Africa had delays in the payment of their food and lodging.

Cuba needs you!

Cuba will not come off the list until a 45-day review period by the House and the Senate. If you believe it is time to take Cuba off the list and to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba, let your members of Congress know. They urgently need to hear from you. The deadline is May 29.

For more information on this issue and on the Pastors for Peace Caravan to Cuba, check out http://ifconews.org/. There’s still time to join us on this special Pastors for Peace Caravan this summer. Contact Pastors for Peace for an application soon if you are interested in this historic event.

But the Caravan is not only those on the bus; you may participate in your community:

  • The Fresno Caravan sponsors are the Fresno Center for Nonviolence and Fresno WILPF.
  • Send material aid to Cuba.
  • Contact your senators and Congressional representative to urge an end to the U.S. blockade of Cuba and Cuba’s removal from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list.
  • Make a financial donation. Checks should be made out to IFCO and mailed to

Pastors for Peace

418 W. 145th St.

New York, NY 10031

Learn more about Pastors for Peace at http://ifconews.org/.


The WILPF page is compiled and edited by Leni Villagomez Reeves. Contact her at lenivreeves@gmail.com.


  • Community Alliance

    The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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