January 20, 2011

General Membership Meeting Minutes 01-20

January 20, 2011 6:30 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.,
Holy Rosary Church Board Room, 24th and 17th Ave

Board Present: Carol Pass, Mary Gonsior, Earl Simms, Linda Leonard, Jennie Bjorgo, Rosie Cruz
EPIC Members: Brad Pass, Hannah Lieder, Mahamed Cali, Alfonso Cruz, Jim Gonsior, Sherzad Kordian

6:30 Introduction:
·         Greetings and Introductions, Meeting was moved to JAN. 20th to give more time to circulate CPP and board members out of town.
·             Approval of Agenda
·         Minutes from EPIC General Membership Meeting 12/16/2010

Motion: Meeting as a committee of the whole (BP, MG) passed.

6:40    Announcements  &  Reports:
·        Grand Opening of the East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center – Saturday, January 22nd
·        Waiting to hear about next meetings for 22nd St. & Franklin Ave  Street Design
·        Mahamed Cali has resigned from the board to devote more time as ED of Somali American Community Org.

7:00     East Phillips Park Community CenterGrand Opening January 22nd.
            Pick up a Flyer and Give One to your Neighbor.

There are some problems with heating - the building is very tight, and if there is a large group of people using the building, they need to open the windows for air. The temp. drops too much and the heating doesn't keep it up. This will be pushing back the use of the building until Mar. 1, and starting programming around April 1.

7:20      Phillips Community Center Partnership and Swimming Pool Hannah Lieder

Karen Clark wrote a bonding bill for $2.1M for restoration and the addition of a second teaching pool. The Park Board passed the Final Approval of the United Solution (developed by the Phillips Community Parks Initiative.)

7:30     Earl Simms and Linda L. arrived, Quorum was present. Motion to meet as regular Membership Meeting and             accept the actions of the Committee of the Whole.

7:35     NRP Phase I Review:

Carol distributed  copies of a first draft of our Phase I Review report. There is still much information that needs to be added, but the information is in, results of the survey and Dot-Mocracy are being tabulated.
MOTION: Accept the first draft of the Phase I Review. Passed unanimously.

7:45     CPP Grant Request:. worked out by the board at the last Board meeting and then completed and reviewed during the week by individual board members. Budget crafted to benefit many of EPIC’s collaborators. See individual collaborators mentioned. This budget is a motion to work out memorandums with our present and future collaborators mentioned. Any new collaborators will require a new vote by the EPIC board and membership.
MOTION: EPIC endorses the CPP Plan and Budget created by the Task force & board. (BP/HL)Passed Unanimously

7:50     Participation Agreement:
Carol distributed a first draft of our Phase II Participation Agreement. Neither the Phase I review nor the Participation Agreement is complete, so EPIC is applying for $58,000 from the new NCR Dept. NCEC Commission, which we will receive. In addition, EPIC applied for $10,000 from NPI. These funds will form the basis of our spending for 1-2 years. It is important to note that these funds can only be used to fund activities/groups that contribute/participate collaboratively with EPIC. Only programs, no real projects.

Questions/Comments about the Draft Participation agreement.
Brad: Looks nice. Looks ambitious. May have to amend the time line.
LL: Agreed…May not be able to keep to the time line. How required is that? It can be moved. If we can’t do it…we just can’t, but it’s a good goal. fearful of the actions of the Mayor.
JG: It’s a cold time to do a survey. Safer than spring or summer. This can happen.
Board memers who choose to plus anyone else who wishes to join can be a part of steering committee. Broadcast email and place ad in Alley.

JB has agreed to bilingual, Board motion to pay. MC for Somali, at least in his building and focus groups.
Rosie is recruiting more Latinos for Task force. Concern about lack of a Native presence. JB will survey Little Earth and AIOIC. We will just go there and ask if we can’t get the residents to join our meetings..
Focus groups: Rosie’s garage. Mahamed’s building vestibule. Need more task force members. Sherzad and some of his friends will join us.

8:05     NRP Phase II Planning and Future Funding for Neighborhoods:  What does the Council Decision and lost funding mean for EPIC and other neighborhoods??

How can we spend our Phase II money in the next 6 -8 months, in a way that the money comes back to EPIC? These themes should be discussed the focus group meetings.

  • Planning money for the Greenway development
  • Revolving loan fund
  • First Time homebuyer deal
  • Urban Homeworks (restoring houses)

30% of remaining funds can be spent on other things, including the kitchen in the park, beautification for the neighborhood, etc. Ventura Village zeroed out most of their 30% beyond housing. Did that raise questions??
Conclusion of the group: people want to make a full plan. Is that true??

Proposed action (under review for further discussion at board meeting: Board Proposal presented to all focus groups ( geographic groups and language groups) at a venue such as Holy Rosary (basement.) or annual meeting. Consider bumping up the annual meeting to March. Provide a written timeline for various proposals; Hold it in the same venue and time.

Because of the issues of inequity related to taking away neighborhood funds from poorer neighborhoods (not to mention the hand-off to wealthy neighborhoods in the form of tax breaks), the city council has formed a closed committee, in violation of their city charter rules and regulations regarding open meetings, to decide how to make the appropriation of neighborhood funds equitable to the poorer neighborhoods.

Three possible responses of the neighborhoods to this entire action of the city council:

  1. do nothing
  2. take legal action (money was designated by the legislature)
  3. initiate legislation to protect the funds

MOTION: Hold the annual meeting no later than the end of March, if possible. (CP, MC) motion passed.

8:30    2600-2606 17th Ave. PROPOSAL FOR APARTMENT of 20 UNITS of  HOMELESS HOUSING by Alliance of the Streets. Issues with Alliance, EPIC’s Response, Kris Brogan’s Letter
The proposal came up again before the city council and they passed the extension of their right to develop again.

2908 16th Ave. Very poor condition, est. $80-100,000 restoration, minimum. Consider options for this building, which could serve a large family in the neighborhood.

8:30    Adjournment

January 8, 2011

Board Meeting Minutes 01-08

January 8, 10:00 am
Welna Hardware Board Room

Present: Jenny Bjorgo, Carol Pass, Rosie Cruz, Mary Gonsior, Earl Simms, Linda Leonard
Guests: Brad Pass

10:00    Introduction:
·            Approval of Agenda
·        Minutes from EPIC Board Meeting Minutes 12/4/10

10:10    Announcements
·         EPIC General Membership Meeting, Monday, Jan. 10
·         Tentative Grand Opening of the East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center - January 22nd 1 PM
·         Mahamed Cali has resigned from the EPIC board as he become the executive director of the Somali Amer. Community Org. which we helped get started…He will still try to attend  meetings.

10:15    East Phillips Park C&C Center: Help for Grand Opening. Partnerships,

Al Bangoura is the Director of the Phillips and Elliot CSA. What is the Phillips CSA? Community Service Area as determined by the Mpls. Park Board, and includes all the facilities in the four neighborhoods, plus Elliot Park.

The four Phillips communities and Waite House are supportive of the Park Board's creation of the CSA concept which they are using all over Minneapolis. This system improves the use of all the facilities in a given CSA area.

10:30   Phillips Community Center: Park Board Pool Vote, The task ahead.

The Park Board passed a resolution in support of the Phillips community parks initiative's proposal for usage of the Phillips Community Center. This includes our concept of the usage of the building (see plans). It includes a 2-year plan for raising money for the pool, and a 3rd year for contracting and implementing changes. All other tenants will be responsible for the "fit-out" of their respective areas.

The Park Board is a partner and has put in $1.5M into the CSA space (gym, teen center, dining room, etc.).

10:35   NPI  CURA McKnight Grant App
MOTION: EPIC supports the application to Neighborhood Partnership Initiative for the Somali Community Organizing Grant, in the amount of $10,000. (CP, CW) Passed unanimously.

11: 00   NCEC Funding Request – Forms, requirements, Activities, Budget,

The NCEC board EPIC must decide by Jan. 14, 2011, guidelines, budget and a grant request for $50,000 which are the only funds we will receive in 2011 from the city. The funds must be divided in an equitable manner that meets the requirements of the NCEC.
Discussion of  1) neighborhood priorities, 2) city decisions, 3) more involvement
Effort to have more involvement, lack of tools ( computers, internet access, transportation, language, parent’s working, no one to supervise, connect or sign up)  Door-to-door and flyers work but labor intensive.

Basic ideas to form the grant request, then circulate to community, EPIC E-News, party at Rosie’s, etc.:

  • EPIC should support the organizations and groups that help us organize, but have no resources. EPIC would assist its growth and help them. This has always helped us. This will mean Soccer groups, that is the major, Hispanic Baseball, Cali’s group, Mpls. Swims, possibly the autism group and Banyan, some uncertainty there, work on African American group and Native American. Agreed to put them all in as collaborations with EPIC. This will bring us together and help all to work together for the people here.
  • Sustainability of EPIC a priority. Break up the budget in that way and leave enough for our operations. Question: Can we use different categories of our own?? Find out.
  • General Admin. and NRP completion and associated printing should be separate, since the NRP is not a usual yearly expense.
  • Monies must not be comingled with NRP in organizing or use, two separate funds
Break out these into the CPP request, circulate to the Board and submit by the 14th.

MOTION: CP will submit the following NCEC approx. funding proposal: Professional Services (programming) $3,000; Community and Family Empowerment $24,000 (Break this down); Administrative Expenses $20,000; NRP Completion  $4,000 and Community Organizing $8,000. (JB, ES) Break this up into smaller pieces per our partners and ongoing commitments. CP to come back with draft budget and circulate to the board and community before the 14th. Passed unanimously.

11:15     NRP Situation and our Review , Participation Agreement, Phase II – A committee needed

The city of Minneapolis froze 50% of all uncontracted NRP funds. For EPIC, this amounts to $250,000. EPIC will receive only $250,000 if we complete our Phase I review and Phase II plan.

Phase I - Carol needs to complete report. Draft Narrative and survey completion. Results for Phase I review survey coming in. Brad doing numbers analysis.
Phase II - Meet the criteria, and find out what we don't already know, fearful that the Mayor will take the rest. No plan for this. Study other N’hood’s plans. What can we learn??
What’s left….All these numbers are approximate, had almost $500,000, now approx. $250,000
30% of $250,000 is $75,000 allowed for programs. Would be nice to finish projects EPIC has already invested in. Needs:
Finish already existing projects….$30-40,000 for the EP Park Center kitchen?
$50-100,000 for 29th & Bloomington lot, apartment bldg. We won’t have that much.
Remainder: revolving fund for housing improvements (deferred loans) 70% Housing or $175,000 to work with.
We are told to plan for the full amount. Question? How realistic?? How fast do we have to move? Bob Miller said we could start on Plans for Phase two while completing writing Phase I if we do what we are supposed to do. That is what CP understands…we will have to demonstrate this. Other neighborhoods did this.
Participation Agreement: What should go into it…Main thing: reach those usually unreached.  Recruit more participants..

Plan for Phase Two Survey:
Looked at lack of initial success of Cleveland N’hood Plan with mailers, they had to go door-to-door to reach diversity. Consensus that door-to-door was best, conversational, carry brochures, lay out all options for housing. Determine where interest trends to help plan. Bilingual & multilingual, do businesses, Hi-Lake and Bloom + Lake St.
MOTION: EPIC Board will pay $500 each to Jenny and Chiffon to finish Phase I and complete Phase II Surveys.
(CP/LL) Passed. JB recused from discussion and vote, except when asked if she would do this. Helps focus groups.  
Focus Groups
1. Set of questions
2. Contact groups and set up meetings Possible focus groups Mahamed 2909 Bloom, Rosie, Townhouse, Banyan, Little Earth & Native Americans (AIOIC?), Holy Rosary, African-American community including youth.
3. CP, CW, JB and other board members to also go door-2-door
Draft Participation Agreement
Rosie's Dinner Party – a Latino kickoff for CPP + NRP
612-388-8451,    2935 16th Ave S55407

11: 30    Adjournment