July 10, 2008

EPIC General Membership Meeting Minutes 07-10-08

EPIC 7/10/2008
GMM Draft Minutes

Board Members Present:
Earl Simms (ES), Jennifer Bjorgo (JB), Mary Gonsior (MG), Carol Pass (CP), Aden Awil (AA), Linda Leonard (LL), Sherzad Kordian (SK),
Board Members Absent:
Rosie Cruz (RC),
Members Present:
Carrie Anne Johnson (CAJ), Indelrcio Leyva (IL), Janessa Bjorgo (JB2), Katie Nissly (KN), Stephanie Allen (SA), Brad Pass (BP),
Guests Present:
Julia Eagles (JE, PCEC), Abby Finis (AF, PCEC), Heidi Quezda (HQ, Gary Schiff’s Staff)

CP chaired and called the Meeting to order at 6:42 pm.

MOTION:    Because of the lack of quorum, the meeting will be a committee of the                                    whole until a quorum is present.
                        (cp/bp) Approved

MOTION:    Recommend that the Agenda be approved with no corrections or additions:
                         (jb/aw) Approved

MOTION:    Recommend that the Minutes from the June 12, 2008 meeting be approved                            with no corrections or additions:
                         (mg/jb) Approved

  1. the Open Arms celebration on the site of the former Commodore Bar and the new Open Arms Facility on Saturday, July 5th was fun and well attended.
  2. The East Phillips Community 17th Ave. Garden will participate in the 2008 Parade of Gardens which will be on Aug. 16 from 10:00 to 2:00. A map will be published in neighborhood venues and will be available at the garden(s).
  3. CP attended two police round tables held by an outside consultant with no MPD personnel present – she and BP were the only EPIC residents present. The purpose was to gauge citizen perception of police fairness and racial impartiality in carrying out their duty of law enforcement and their ability to evaluate their own performance. Under the current system, the police themselves evaluate cases of  reported impropriety or brutality through their own Internal Review Board. Most people at the meeting were not comfortable with this – it is not good to have the police evaluate their own performance. There is a Civilian Review Board, but the police review board reviews the civilian review board. Only cases that go to court ever are determined by an outside body. CP recommends that more people attend these police round tables. Brad commented that the community expressed uncertainty about which review board to address with their concerns and that he didn’t think that the round table clarified this very much.
    Brad recommends that residents can call 311 and ask how they can report an incident to the internal affairs department. CP wants EPIC to become more aware of these issues.
    1. Q. Can people comment and/or file complaints anonymously? Apparently Yes but the procedure is not well defined. It should be noted that there was no representation at the Phillips meeting by the local African American community the local Somali community, or the local Hispanic community. Someone suggested this was because of fear of retaliation.
    2. Q. Why are some police who have terrible civil rights, or brutality records, including convictions for these offenses, still policing this community?
  4. Julia Eagles from the Phillips Community Energy Co-op (PCEC) announced their seasonal appliance trade-in program and distributed flyers with more information. Bring used air conditioners and dehumidifiers (they do not have to work) to the Re-Use Center (in the back of the Green Institute at 2801 20th Ave. S.) to receive you deeply discounted Energy Star replacement. If you need or want a new refrigerator, contact the same and they will deliver your new one (for a deeply discounted price) and remove your old one free of charge.
    JE also reported on a series of classes on home energy conservation with college level instruction where residents will learn simple ways to save energy and money, and learn about energy use in their homes and in the community. Julia also distributed the latest PCEC newsletter. Julia introduced Abby, who is interning with PEC this summer, and is from the Phillips neighborhood.
  5. The village art fair will be held on Franklin and 12th on Aug. 15-16
  6. Club Youth Line, is taking over management of the Phillips Pool and Gym and will be holding a grand opening on Tuesday. Sherzad Kordian, an EPIC Board member,  will be doing some short term youth programming this summer. Youth Line is part of the Mpls. Park system. They are looking for additional programming.

Housing – Heidi Quesada:
Heidi works in Gary Schiff’s office and is attending to distribute updates on the boarded and vacant properties.

  • 2829 16th ave s – recommend demo
  • 2440 16th ave s – would like to be informed about hearings
  • 2423 17th ave s – water is shut off – check on occupancy
  • 1919 EM Stately st. – requested immediate fence and no trespassing notices
  • Gary’s office is sending out a letter regarding a home owners strategy meeting for EM Stately Street.

Brad asked for an update on issues coming up at the city council affecting EPIC. CP reported that EPIC would like to get the EPIC housing committee going again and would welcome a chair for this committee. Interested residents should contact CP.

Quorum achieved:
MOTION:    EPIC approves the actions of the Committee of Whole, namely to approve                             the 7/10/08 agenda and the 6/12/08 minutes.
                       (bp/jb) Approved

Election of New Board Member
There being a Board vacancy, Sherzad Kordian’s name was entered as a nominee at the 6/12/08 meeting. In the interest of an open election, nominations were held open for the last month until this meeting, at which there were no further nominations.
  • Sherzad Kordian
MOTION:    EPIC accepts Sherzad Kordian as our new board member by consensus.
                        (bp/mg) Approved

CP gave a message about commitment, loyalty and the importance of being a board member. When the neighborhood has a critical issue, it is important that we have full participation and committed board members.

East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center (EPPCCC)
The EPIC board recommends that the members adopt the EPPCC partnership agreement and model “in concept.” The agreement does not form a 501c3 organization or any other legal organization, but does pull together the various groups in the neighborhood who wish to work together to raise money and provide resources and programming for the EPPCCC. The agreement is not refined yet to a final state, however the Design Team did adopt a revised mission statement which was recommended by the EPIC board.

BP read from the first paragraph of the partnership agreement, pointing out that the agreement itself is not something that is written in stone and will instead change as partners come into the agreement and are approved.

Any organization that is willing to commit their resources, whether monetary, or in-kind, to the park will be considered for membership in the partnership.

It is important to create this document to build a plan that is marketable and fundable.

EPIC is working to make sure that the partner organizations are indigenous or have the interests of the community as a priority.

MOTION:    EPIC will accept and adopt the EPPCCC partnership agreement and                                    model dated 10 July, 2008 - IN CONCEPT.  EPIC recognizes that this is a                work in progress and it is not, in any way, a legally binding agreement.
                         (mg/cj) Approved

MOTION:    EPIC agrees that it will serve as the asking organization for both capital                              and operating funds for the East Phillips Park Cultural and Community                                    Center and that any and all funds raised will be transferred to and held by              the appropriate fund at the Minneapolis Foundation.
                        (ll/jb) Approved

MOTION:    EPIC approves The Minneapolis Foundation as the holder of two funds for              the East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center: the Special                              Purpose Capital Fund and the Special Purpose Program Fund. It is                                    understood that the payout of these funds is to be directed by the East                              Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center Partnership Agreement and             Model.
                        (ll/jb) Approved

 MOTION:    EPIC is strongly in favor of a building a commercial kitchen in the                                       EPPCCC facility for the purpose of financial sustainability and                                         community needs.
                         (ll/jb) Approved

Progress: Fund Raising Advisory Committee
Experts in development from organizations including the Guthrie Theater, Jewish Community Action, Allina, Abbott Northwestern, General Mills, and AIOIC joined the EPPCCC advisory committee and were very enthusiastic about our current financial position. In addition, they bring with them many contacts and ideas for future fundraising.

Housing Development
CPED finally agreed to authorize moving funds of $50,000 NRP to be contracted to PRG to pay DDK LLC $48,000 for the purchase of 2845 Bloomington extending over to 16th avenue. The remaining $2,000 was paid as a fee to CPED. We have been working on this since 2001 – this is a real victory- HOWEVER-  Because we have moved the closing from June to August, the owners are threatening to sue EPIC. CP wrote a letter and requested patience with our small organization.

Breaking ground at 2931 Bloomington Ave
The project is stopped because the buyers haven’t finalized the purchase agreements. We need to find new buyers.

2603 Bloomington
B. Sabri is the developer of this property. There are serious permit and code violations at the site. Fines have been levied and there is, apparently, no compliance.

National Night Out Deadlines
All the information for NNO is available online.

MOTION:    Adjourn
                        (bp/mg) Approved

Respectfully submitted by Mary Gonsior, Treasurer
Edited by BP 7-13-08