February 17, 2011

General Membership Meeting Minutes 02-17

February 17th, 2011, 6:30 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.,
East Phillips Park Cultural & Community Center 
2307 17th Ave S.
EPIC web address: eastphillips-epic.com
Office: 2536 18th Avenue S., Minneapolis, MN 55404

Attendees:  Hannah Lieder,  Al  Bangoura ( and Charles (CSA 6), Shirley Heyer,  Jenny Bjorgo, Brad Pass, Carol Pass, Linda Leonard, Mary Gonsior, Seven Sruthers, Earl Sims,  Mohammed Cali, Mary Juanita Leonard, Chiffon Williams,

6:50    Introduction:
·         Greetings and Introductions
·         Approval of Agenda
·         Minutes from EPIC General Membership Meeting 1/20/2011

Linda and Jenny moved to the committee of the whole and it passed.

6:55    Announcements  &  Reports:
                NRP Task Force – If you want to be a part of this committee, Contact Carol Pass, 612- 280-8418
                Meeting times will be announced, and will be arranged to match schedules of committee members.

                Jenny's announcement--lots of volunteers available from Jenny's school for doing surveys, etc.
7:00      Phillips Community Center Partnership and Swimming Pool – Minneapolis Swims receives 501©(3).                  
                    Bill submitted to the legislature by Rep. Karen Clark. Hand outs,  Q & A, Next Steps
Gwen is a consultant from St. Paul. We have a competition swimming pool. They never pay for themselves. Therapy pools have been proposed as addition. Hanna teaches at the YWCA which also has preschool and level 1,2 and parent/child lessons in the warm pool. We need it to have sustainable operating costs. It's less money total if we put more capital into the second pool NOW. This reduces future operating costs. There may be additional funds for therapy pools. Hanna stated she never expected any Park Board money for renovation or building pools. There may have been some confusion with some commissioners. Hanna went to the State of MN for bonding and didn't make any rigid private/public money distinction. Apparently someone with the Park Board interpreted Hanna's efforts as being in competition with the Park Board's bonding requests.
  • sponsorship includes Republican leadership
  • there is also a physician who is "on board"
  • we have to show there is state significance......The MN branch of the national swimming competitive group is sending out letters to the 8,000 competitive MN swimmers to lobby their state-wide legislators for this project;
  • Drowning is most significant among black males; there are national efforts to increase swimming lessons for ethnic people and for increased participation in competition
  • Hanna is developing relationship with DNR as well with swimming being a life skill
  • Meeting next week with Three Rivers and Karen Clark........partnership programming will increase diversity populations using the programs.
  • The sherrif's department sees this as public safety and will write a letter of support
  • The mayor gave a pat on the back and that's about it.
Phillips Wellness Corridor
Mary and Jenny put the motion out to accept Bob Albee's Proposal that E 24th from I 35 to 55 named Phillip's Community Wellness Corridor and we encourage the Phillips Community Park Initiative group to flesh out the concept to bring to the neighborhoods for discussion and implementation. PASSED

  • Shirley said MTransit dropped the E 24th St. route in the past--Midtown wants to reconsider another route again
  • She noted there are more agencies and businesses than we used to have.
  • Shirley doesn't want to become another Sabbathani Center where there is leased space but people don't know one another and are isolated from one another.
  • Mary asked who will decide what this means and where it is going.
  • Brad explained that group represents the community broadly. The accountability is with the reps to their own groups.
  • The neighborhood still gets to decide what to do internally to the neighborhood.

7:10        Linda/Chiffon motion to move to regular meeting from Committee of the Whole when Mary Gonsior arrived.

Recent letter from the Park Board.
 The attorney who writes the bills met with Karen Clark and community on Thursday and the bill had to be submitted by Friday. It would not have been possible to work with Park Board under that deadline.
We have only a six month window for.......

We want the Park Board to understand that in our efforts to lobby for East Phillips bonding the Park Board refused to accept the money. Karen Clark essentially wrote a letter delivered asap to the chair at the time that if the Park Board did not accept the proposal she would quit supporting any of the park board initiatives.   There were commissioners who said on TV aren't they all Indians.......why don't we spread this around and send the money to the north side.

We know we have a new superintendent who is probably a finer person than any of the commissioners in terms of being a listener, caring for the poor, and understanding diversity.

-When the urgent and imperative actions Hanna and Carol took became public a commissioner screamed and yelled at Carol about taking initiative, Carol realized the experience of repeated abuse.

AL: PCC gave her background and she's dealt with situations like this in Detroit.  She has dealt with public initiative in the past and is comfortable.

-Carol and Hanna's goals included: Unassailable by the mayor and city council. Make the Park Board and this CSA "shine"

-Hanna said understanding Park Board funding was a surprise; all but one of her board members are first time on any board. There is a group of people trying to learn and trying to lead and they make mistakes.

-Our community assumes that this proposal would have been lost in the Park Board proposal and we could have been defeated at a number of points.

-Shirley explained MET Council a bit because Hanna asked.

-Hanna understands the Park Board was surprised, annoyed, and upset. She understands now. For the Park Board not to see that the bill is social justice, public safety, an access issue to services and natural resources. This would be the only indoor public swimming pool in the city.

-Off the record the community members gave personal responses about working with the Park Board. The summary is that the culture here and people and institutions here have had to fight for everything we get......[not just with the Park Board]

  8:00     East Phillips Park Community Center-  Partnerships and Phillips CSA, Q & A  Brad

  • February 28 is the official opening date and it looks possible.
  • Partnership programs are being scheduled with Travis
  • New system "active net" links everything in the parks/rec system
  • You can use a card for all the financial transactions
  • You can have photo ID cards
  • Open Arms with the intern from McAllister is considering a nutrition program for summer lunch program
  • Leonardo's BASEMENT on 45th and Nicollet does go-carts; three dimensional design; science and technology like lego robotics
  • Institute of Production and Recording on Washington and ?; multi-media technology; Lance Sabin has lots of other connections with private interprise. It 's youth driven and TBD "Indigenous creative" is the name of the program and it is part of a non-profit.
  • AOC with Youth Adventure and Intermedia Arts is starting out by creating name and brand. Project Footsteps, Freeport West, a marketing guy from General Mills and others are partnering.
  • There are computers for adults and youth;  teaching/instruction possible
Travis...on-line by March 7
  • youth martial arts
  • women's self defense
  • yoga
  • fundamental baseball with a league
  • basketball camp in May
8:10        NRP Phase I Review: The final assessment was finished and writing the Phase One report nearly complete.          
8:15        NRP Phase II Planning: Business Survey, Resident Survey Participation Agreement was discussed
                MOTION: for Participation Agreement Approval, JB & CP, Passed
                We edited the Phase II survey and Steering Committee need it back with comments by Friday night.
                The surveys are part of what will go into the new planning document and doing the door-to-door needs to start this   weekend. Members at the meeting discussed and critiqued the survey
                Task Force, Focus Groups
                we need more participants and Steve might be interested.

8:18        Future Funding for Neighborhoods:  Response of the NRP Policy Board, Pro-Democracy Issues

Board Motions

MOTION (JB, ES ) Passed: WHEREAS the NRP neighborhoods were given the responsibility to watch over these funds given to us by the state, and whereas the city has committed itself to informing the neighborhoods of major decisions and allowing them to participate, and WHEREAS the city made these changes with no notification to the neighborhoods, no advance notice to the city council, and no notification to any of the parties that would be damaged by these decisions, EPIC believes, as a neighborhood, that we are legally, politically and morally responsible to protect these funds for their appropriate and intended use by the neighborhoods to which they were allocated. THEREFORE, be it resolved that EPIC join the other injured parties (other neighborhoods) in a temporary restraining order against this city action and we join them if it proceeds to a law suit. (Carol and Chiffon  proposed the amendment that was accepted.) PASSED

Constitutional Amendment

MOTION (JB, ES) Passed: Resolved that EPIC will ask our Representative and Senator to introduce a motion parallel to Vermont's regarding proposing an amendment to the constitution for the state's consideration which provides that corporations are not persons under the laws of the United States or any of its jurisdictional subdivisions. PASSED

8:25   Housing and Development Update:
·         Greenway Apartments : Recent Progress; Loren Bruggeman is partnering with PRG to move ahead. Affordable family housing and it will be the first such housing on the Greenway. One block wide.
·         2600-2606 17th Ave. Proposal for Apartment Building of 20 Units by Alliance on an R2B site which is very small. Update, Q & A     So far they have not been allowed to build there. We are trying to get someone to buy the sites and put duplexes. We don't want spot zoning.
·         Habitat House at 2428 16th Ave. S. Tear down and rebuild is the proposal. Carol wants to talk to the Village project people. There are empty lots on both sides and that's where the circle is supposed to be for the next phase. We need to include the town home people.
·         PRG possible Rehab at 2620 17th Ave. S.--oak pillars; the owner wants too much money; 4 BR
·         Housing Committee; Steve says it fits his interests and skills

Mary suggested segmented board meetings so that one hour is common business and the second hour is committee time.
8:35    Crime Concerns and Other Livability Issues:
                People are more aggressive about finding vulnerable objects and locations.       Pull the shades!
 -Steve says the foundry shakes his house between 3 and 4 in the morning.......it's a noise violation. Steve talked with Gary Schiff who referred him to a committee.  Smith Foundry has good people and they are willing to help but not sure how. It keeps him up.
-The neighborhood organization will contact the owner on Steve's behalf.
Brad and Carol will brainstorm with the owner.

The business is nonconforming and doesn't fit industrial one and two........they are not to upgrade and market forces are supposed to encourage them to move; Carol pointed out that they have a good neighbor agreement and we might be able to get them to reconfigure the equipment somehow.  That business helped us rebuild the neighborhood by giving $4,000 which brought in funds for lots of houses.

8:35   Annual Meeting : In April . . .?????? at the new community center

8:50    Adjournment: