August 10, 2018

NEXT MEETING: August 10, 2018

A VIsit from Congressman DeSaulnier

This Friday we are honored to be hosting US Congressman DeSaulnier, serving the 11th Congressional District. Congressman DeSaulnier will give us an update on his recent work in Congress: bills he’s supporting and opposing, his recent trip to the U.S.-Mexico border, and whatever else he cares to share about the state of the nation and its relation to our local community.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Important: We expect to have a very full attendance next Friday for Congressman DeSaulnier’s visit. Therefore please send Jerry an email now (jfeagley4@gmail.com) so that he can advise the Country Club managers to prepare for a larger than usual attendance.
  • David Brown encouraged us to give till it hurts to help our fellow Rotarians affected by devastating wildfires in the Redding area. Several members made donations during the meeting, others have or plan to give in the coming days.
  • Don’t forget to take some of those unused ties out of the closet. President Jerry Feagley is collecting them for All Tied Up, the non-profit operated by Armand Carr, a local radio host who offers job development consoling for young people in disadvantaged communities.
  • Henry Moe notified us that our club’s obligation to provide dinners to Rotocare staff for the month of July was successfully completed with free meals provided by the following restaurants:
    – El Sol
    – La Strada
    – Catering by Mary Jane
    – Café Soleil

MEETING OF August 3, 2018

Welcome

President Jerry welcomed everyone and reminded us of the Rotary International “elevator speech”—a very succinct statement of what the Rotary is and what we do:

“We’re a leadership organization of local business, professional and civic leaders. We meet regularly, get to know each other, form friendships, and through that, we’re able to get things done in this community. “

Jan Brown led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and Sid reminded us to “Never buy a car you cannot push”.

Recognitions and Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Henry Moe was recognized for his Club anniversary (8/1) and his wedding anniversary (8/7),
  • Jan Brown had a Happy Dollar for a successful and fun hike on Mount Tam with Jan Feagley and Connie Tritt (and hike leader Hilda Leefeldt) last Sunday,
  • Jerry Feagley had a Happy Dollar for his good judgement in not going on the Mount Tam hike with his wife and other Rotarians.  Considering his recent run-in with heart issues, he is prudently avoiding having too much fun clmbing up and down hills in the hot sun.
  • Nick had one Happy Dollar for Connie volunteering to scribe this meeting, for which he was most grateful. He also had one Sad Dollar because there were no scribes signed up for this meeting and several upcoming meetings. He reminded us of the need for volunteer scribes.

Rotarians with Guests

Our speaker, Rafael Cartagena (currently a member of El Cerrito Rotary and formerly a Richmond Rotarian) introduced his guests: Ana Cartagena and Edyth Franco.

Stephanie Baer accompanied her father, Alan Baer.

Ellias Mohammad from the Hercules Rotary and former Rotarian Michael Gill also attended.

PROGRAM

Impressions from the Middle East, from Rafael Cartagena

Jerry Feagley introduced our speaker, Rafael Cartagena of the El Cerrito Rotary Club.

Rafael shared a 5-minute video, a 60 Minutes segment, that looked at conditions for laborers in one Middle Eastern country.  After the video played, he recounted his impressions from Dubai, Qatar, and Kuwait. He discussed his impressions of women’s evolving status and workforce issues. Some of the takeaways for this scribe were:

  • All three countries are extremeley male-dominated. Most women (except the very rich) are treated like lesser citizens.
  • Everywhere you look in Dubai they are building sky-scrapers. The laborers are treated like slaves and earn practically nothing to do a very dangerous job (with no care taken for safety procedures). They are required to work 12-hour shifts (there are two 12-hour shifts each day) Construction goes on everyday of the week. In this blisteringly hot climate, there are no breaks and no clean water.
  • Wages are $1.00 per hour and generally paid months in arrears so that the laborers will stay on
  • The laborers sleep five to twelve in one room with no beds
  • Recruiters go to countries like the Philippines to get workers and tell them lies about the money they can earn, and the lifestyle they will live.
  • Women are exploited more than the laborers. They must wear scarves to cover their faces. They also must cover their feet. Rafael noticed that most women wear black tennis shoes— except the rich women, who can wear anything they want.
  • Not-native pregnant women must leave the country to have the baby in their own country.
  • Rape victims are put in jail.
  • There are no guns, and because the penalties for breaking even minor laws are so severe, there is no litter.

- Connie Tritt, Pinch-hitting scribe