December 13, 2012

General Membership Meeting Minutes 12-13

December 13th, 2012, 6:30 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.
East Phillips Park Cultural & Community Center, 2307 17th Ave S.
EPIC web address:
Office: 2536 18th Avenue S., Minneapolis, MN 55404

Board Members Present: Carol Pass, Mary Gonsior, Jenny Bjorgo, Earl Simms, Chiffon Williams, Rosie Cruz,
Board Members Not Present: Steve Struthers, Rosie Cruz, JoseLuis Villasenor                                          
EPIC Members: Brad Pass, Margaret Kirkpatrick, Troy Benjederdes, Jessie Leader & Mahdi Sultan (townhome residents),
Guests: Sgt. Dave Pleuger, Lt. Mike Taylor, Janessa Bjorgo, Doug Wise

6:45            Introductions:

·       Greetings and Introductions
·       Meeting as a committee of the whole MOTION (BP, JB) passed.
·       Approval of Agenda (MK, BP) MOTION Passed with added addition and possible addition of Minneapolis Energy Options Campaign, time permitting.

6:55 Chiffon arrived, and a quorum was achieved.

·       Approval of Minutes from EPIC 11/8/12 General Membership Meeting MOTION (JB, ES) passed.
o   Addition: 7:45 Note: accuracy of this list is pending.

6:55            Announcements:
·       La Natividad, Dec. 13 -16, 20 – 22, 6:30 pm at Heart of the Beast, 1500 East Lake Street.
·       Banyan Foundation received the recommendation from Midtown Phillips to purchase the Waite House property. Now the decision is up to the Park Board. Public Hearings in very early January
·       (Added) Greenway Heights

7:00            Crime Concerns: Officer Taylor,  Q & A, Seeking Solutions together, Cameras? Patrols? More             supervised programs for Kids?

We have been wanting to have a crime conversation for a long time, but our monthly meetings are so full already. When we have a big issue, we have a large meeting. Right now we have a big issue with crime in the neighborhood, but it is also Christmas…We are quite aware that we have a lot of burglaries, robberies, assaults, etc. We used to work much more closely with Police and for 3 years we ran an early morning Bloomington Avenue Citizen Patrol. When we got a camera, we quit the patrol, as we were exhausted. There have been a rash of broken car windows, smashed in front doors at the townhomes. We are making an effort to connect with Police, people have questions. We don’t want to tell you all the local tragedies tonight because while this is therapeutic, it doesn’t get things done. We want to know what we can do, and make a plan. Examples; should we do patrols, should we get cameras, etc.?

See handwritten notes. To summarize:

1. Cameras can be effective, do research – they’re are expensive. Who will finance? Who will maintain & monitor?
2. Get to know your neighbors, who belongs, who is a stranger; form a phone tree; look out the window; report suspicious behavior. Give accurate descriptions: age, clothes, suspicious behavior.
3. Get to know Don Greeley; form a block club. Post No Trespassing signs. Learn “prevention” tips.
4. Creative ways to communicate Security Tips, Reporting Crime, etc. (such as video).
5. Keep calling 911. That is how burglars are caught.
6. Alarm systems can be effective.
To do: Consider joining with Ventura Village to raise money to pay for a Police Camera for Phillips.

7:35        Housing:  Doug Wise- EPIC/NRP Phase II Housing Programs to roll out in January to meet a spring time availability. Marketing our programs, Ideas for the greatest equity? See Brochure.

1. Replace details on inside for EPIC Foreclosure Prevention Program. Instead, add a blurb to the effect, if you are behind on your mortgage, contact…etc.
2. Eliminate table on back “Income Limits”, this is too important and should be moved to the inside.
3. Add 2 or more additional family size/income listings; add an asterisk: households larger etc. see website.
4. Remove all underlines; don’t abbreviate “info.”
5. Re-word the “first come, first served”.

Who are the contact people for the programs? Calling CEE – they can answer questions, but can’t support/help with the process. This is important in light of our purpose/goal of achieving maximum fairness, maximum diversity, and maximum

·       To be fair, there has to be door-to-door distribution, with language translations – especially Spanish.
·       We have to get this in the Alley; we have to get this online and emailed.

MOTION – (TB, RC) Allow the Exec. Committee make final decisions on the brochure.

MOTION – Passed previously approved agenda.

7:50            Partnership of Diabetics (A-POD program): Future of the program and the Latino Outreach.
            Helping to pay for machines for interpreters streaming translation.

8:10              EPIC Anti-Pollution Effort:
Abbott Hospital claims to be going to a more pollution free system but it may actually just be different pollution. EPIC is working on learning more about the Abbott plans/proposals.
MOTION – Board Recommended Motion EPIC commits the organization to a major effort to remove Bituminous Roadways and Smith Foundry from the city. Passed.

Possible addition (5 minutes): Minneapolis Energy Options Campaign and ask for endorsement. for more information.

The city of Minneapolis has a Franchise Agreement with Xcel Energy – expires in 2013. CenterPoint Energy’s Franchise Agreement expires in 2014.

There is a coalition of people asking neighborhood organizations to support an effort to add a ballot item to “municipalize” our power. Someone who lives in the city should have the right to local control, local input, and accountability to local residents. The goal of this group is to give Minneapolis residents negotiating power.

Boulder, CO has already done this; they are in court with Xcel to figure out what the electric grill is worth. They were in the same position – renew the franchise, or “re-do” things with Xcel (more renewable energy, less pollution, more solar panels, smart grid, etc.)

Question raised: Can EPIC endorse this group? Instructed to bring this to the board for a look...Need more information.

EPPCCC December Party for Kids
This Saturday, all the kids in the neighborhood will gather to celebrate Christmas. 9 am-1 pm. East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center. There will be music, food, piƱatas and gifts for small children. All neighborhood kids are welcome!

8:48            Adjournment

December 1, 2012

Board Meeting Minutes 12-01

December 1st, 2012, Saturday, 10:00 am
East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center
EPIC web address:
Office: 2536 18th Avenue S., Minneapolis, MN 55404

Present (board): Carol Pass, Linda Leonard, Mary Gonsior, Steve Struthers, Chiffon Williams
Not Present (board): Earl Simms, Rosie Cruz, Jennie Bjorgo, JoseLuis Villasenor
Members: Brad Pass, Cynthia Aguirre, Jessie Leader

10:00         Introduction:
·     Approval of Agenda – approved.
·     Approval of Minutes from 11/3/12 EPIC Board Meeting – approved. (LL, CW)

Motion: Meeting as a committee of the whole (LL, CP) passed.

10:10         Announcements: 
·      EPIC Membership Meeting:  Thursday, Nov. 8th, 6:30 PM, the East Phillips Park Center,
·      Alley Annual Meeting was Amazing

10:30         Escalation of Crime: Town Home concerns, cameras? Patrols? Ideas? At the Townhomes:
A resident was confronted by a burglar carrying a machete; two recent break ins, both front and back; police arrived quickly to see suspect escaping from 3rd floor window; did not catch the suspect. Thanksgiving morning, 5:30 am, a car alarm in the neighborhood went off; 6:30 and 6:45 gunshots went off.

Residents have reached out to CLC Land Trust who is working on their behalf; working with Don Greeley to get no trespassing signs, and he indicated that there is no funding for cameras, and he said they are not a good deterrent. Some residents plan to meet with Don to look at town home lighting. Some residents want to partner with EPIC to make a difference in the neighborhood, and find solutions to these problems.

EPIC has invited Don Greeley to attend this Thursday’s meeting.

Suggest: Community wide “focused solutions to crime” meeting and everyone attend. Invite people who are using cameras to make representations. Police to explain what kind of evidence is needed from cameras. Phone trees with neighbors, how that can help. How to report descriptions of suspects. How to report crimes to 9-1-1. Security company presentation on role of security protection/patrols. Handouts with instructions and emergency instructions. How to avoid being a victim of crime. What does a camera system cost? How can neighbors get together to create a plan for monitoring crime around their homes?

Town homes association: Have motions ready to go so that the group can make some decisions; raise funds for purchasing and installing cameras. Will take a team of residents to put together a plan.

11:55      Greenway Heights Apartments: Design issues.
Contact developer and ask to participate in design discussions.
11:15          Housing Rehab Program: Marketing ideas? Brochure ideas? Meeting next week?
We need to prepare these materials so that all the notifications can be completed by the time of EPICs annual meeting. Target January launch, draft brochure for Dec. 13, advertising to the Alley, StarTribune, flyer distribution, and press releases.

11:20          Moving ahead with A-POD:
CP distributed Criteria for EPIC’s Collaborative Funding Agreements. A number of agreements have been turned back because criteria for RFPs have not been meeting the necessary criteria.

Added #8: Collaborative Funding Agreements should reflect the ethnic diversity that is represented by EPIC constituents.

Clarify #4:  what is meant by “need”?

11:45            Issues with GMM Oct.18th of EPIC:
Board agreements, duties and responsibilities were distributed.

12:00            Interpreting Equipment:
LL obtained pricing on simultaneous translation equipment to facilitate translation/interpretation at annual meetings and events. We will assess purchasing this equipment for interpretation during meetings.

12:15            Truck Traffic, 28th & Cedar, 2830 Cedar concerns, plans to go ahead with EPIC’s commitment to Remove polluting industries from East Phillips: Plans?

We are trying to initiate a process to get the polluting businesses out of the neighborhood. Cedar Avenue and Hiawatha Avenue are both a county road and doesn’t belong to the city, therefore, there is not much the city can do to calm traffic. We will have to work with the County.

12:25            Waite House Disposition Update:
The Midtown process has shown no greater diversity than reported in November. Midtown has recommended that the Banyan proposal be accepted. The final decision will be voted on at their Dec. 11 meeting. 

12:40            Future of EPIC:
The need for an office for EPIC (tabled.)

EPIC will purchase a beautiful binder to hold our Bylaws and other corporate documents, and this binder will be available at GMM meetings so that constituents can become familiar with EPIC’s operational policies and requirements.

12:45            Adjournment

November 8, 2012

General Membership Meeting Minutes 11-08

November 8th, 2012, 6:30 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.
East Phillips Park Cultural & Community Center
2307 17th Ave S.
EPIC web address:
Office: 2536 18th Avenue S., Minneapolis, MN 55404

Board Members Present: Carol Pass, Jennie Bjorgo, Linda Leonard, Steve Struthers, Chiffon Williams, Rosie Cruz,
Board Members Not Present: Mary Gonsior, Earl Simms, JoseLuis Villasenor
Guests: Monica Romero
EPIC Members: Margaret Kirkpatrick, Brad Pass, Seth Kuhl-Stennes
Linda Leonard chaired. Called meeting to order at 6:45

6:45         Introductions:
·      Greetings and Introductions
·      MOTION:   Approval of Agenda. (Approved by consensus)
·      MOTION:   Approval of Minutes from EPIC 10/18/2012 General Membership meeting as corrected (Approved by consensus)
            The following Corrections are in italics:
            Italicized line page two regarding the first motion on that page should read:
            The board recommended Motion to support A-POD passed.
           The second “MOTION” on page 2 moved by Joani, not Steve Struthers.

6:55        Announcements:
·      Obama won the election & the Minnesota State Legislature is in DFL hands
·      Alley Annual Meeting is on Friday, 6:30 pm, Nov. 16th at East Phillips Park, Music and fun.
·      The Phillips Pool Project received the $350,000 Twins Stadium funds and $100,000 from Augsburg College to add to the Legislature’s fund of $1,750,000. Thanks to Hannah for hard work.

7:00       Implications of the Election…Comments???
            The polling place for the southern portion of EPIC was changed due to redistricting and residents were unaware of where they should vote. EPIC members went door to door to advise residents of  their new polling place, resulting in a very high turnout for East Phillips.

7:15       Presentation and update of the 2830 Cedar Daycare Center Project – Monica Romero & Maria Perez  (Maria Perez, owner, was ill and could not come. Monica presented)
Monica Romero is the Latino Economic Development Center Director of Development.
Maria Perez’s current child care is on 29th street and 18th Ave. Home day care since 2003, for children 6 wks old to through school age after school. Culturally adjusted childcare for quality education in Spanish immersion. Employees should be bilingual.

Monica asked if there were specific questions,
SS stated some neighbors think there may be inadequate resources and          asked if it could be   successfully completed.
CW asked if the day care and the associated jobs would be open for all ethnicities, Monica said it would be.
Maria purchased bldg. in 2010 and started looking for funding and they accomplished a full business plan and approached lenders.
Plan includes sky lights, fresh meals, a play ground and energy efficiency.
Building was vacant before she bought it.
Funding of $75,000 from CPED
Funding of $150,000 is committed by LEDC
South side of building is in very bad shape. All electrical and much plumbing must be replaced and a “lifter” must be installed.
The initial contractor backed out because of his lack of ability to provide advance construction funds and operate on a reimbursement basis.
Carol has provided them with another contractor who will provide an estimate in two weeks.
The lender is a CDFI and is federally approved to finance… has certified the initial funder.

Next steps:
Agree on a new cost estimate and time-line of completion.
Up to 80% of the $700,000 total project cost  will be guaranteed by Raza Development Fund
The project will provide an energy efficient design, a commercial kitchen for providing quality food and it will be a needed asset to the community.
It is a complicated project but is progressing and will be completed. It will serve 89 children.
All architectural drawings, floor plans and blue prints are done. CPED has a letter of intent.
All permits and commitments are in hand and with all this, Minneapolis has extended their permit  to build to May, 2013.
Monica was thanked for coming and for the thoroughness of her information.

7:35         Update on Greenway Heights Apartments, 2845 Bloomington Ave. On the Greenway
Just received $1.26 million in gap funding assistance through the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency Super RFP. The funders were Minnesota Housing, Family Housing Fund and Met Council. We also received approval last week for the balance of an Affordable Housing Trust Fund  loan for this project from the Community Development Committee of the City of Minneapolis.
 Hope to go in the ground in summer of 2013.

7:44          LL left . Meeting continued as Committee of the Whole.
7:45      Discussion on Funding Collaborations- Requirements for Public Charities, 501©(3)s
             Differences from Foundations…funding organizations. See EPIC Board discussion
            CP Passed out minutes of the 11/3/12 Board Meeting.
            At previous Board meeting we clarified from discussions with our neighborhood specialist that there is a difference between Public Charities and Private Foundations.        
            MK commented “we all here are aware of this distinction. We have many organizations in the neighborhood that we might be able to enter into collaborative agreements with”.
              CP said that we can only enter into these agreements sequentially because it involves doing a lot of work on our part and we have limited capacity.
            MK commented again asking “is there is anyone here who does not understand this.”
            CP.  It is very rare for a neighborhood organization to fund other organizations and it can only be done if it is a situation where our members can contribute and be involle and where EPIC is enghanced and strengthened through this process. Funding another organization’s operations is not appropriate. Funding a program we can work on together collaboratively to serve neighborhood residents is what we are to be doing.           
            CP pointed out that one of EPIC’s purposes is to assist people with problems we can collaboratively help with. We are to serve under-represented members of the community. We cannot support the operations of another organization or their staff of volunteers, but we work collaboratively support a program we both share that serves our residents.
            SS proposed a motion, which paraphrased Joanie Essenberg’s made last meeting
            BP pointed out that according to our By-Laws a motion cannot be voted on that is not on the agenda.
            SS withdrew his motion.
            Certain assistance such as providing bike locks for East Phillips kids or funding East Phillips kids’ rock climbing tickets for a one-shot park board field trip is okay.
            The discussion boiled down to an effort to create a template for getting on the EPIC Agenda and presenting community needs.
            CP pointed out that this is already happening and that we had tried to codify this at the last board meeting. This is a policy that was worked on at the last board meeting and we will continue to work on it

8:00        Review of EPIC partnership with A-POD, A Partnership of Diabetics  and collaborative funding to provide for our resident’s wellness all of them, but targeting the Latinos, who are  as yet unserved.
            The APOD collaboration seems manageable. But will take time. The proposal needs to be tweaked to make it more collaborative.

8:15            What should happen to the Waite House Building? Report on recent meetings. Note: this has been a discussion of the process only, not the requesting organizations and/or businesses.
            -CP went to a third meeting and brought the EPIC Motion from the 9/13/2012 meeting. She reported only three people from Midtown were there for much of the meeting, with the MPRB lawyer and Don Siggelkow.
            -The discussion is not about approval or disapproval of any group gaining access to the building, it is about the process that was accepted by the MPRB to determine who would get the building.  Initially the MPRB tasked Midtown Phillips with creating an open and inclusive process to dispose of the building. It turned out that there were only three or four white people, no one from the diverse constituencies were on the committee to make this decision. The only Latinos, two people, walked out of a previous meeting in protest because they had not been informed of any of this in time to for anyone else to put in a proposal. They stated also that there was an exclusion of any diverse input.
            -BP gave a brief summary to the group of the last meeting and pointed out that they had removed from the RFP the sentence that ‘All constituencies would have representatives on the decision making team thereby reneging on any effort at an inclusive process.
            -CP discussed the motion suggested by Joannie Essenburg at the last meeting, which would be in conflict of our previous motion (9/13/12) opposing the un-inclusive Midtown process for disposition of the Waite House property. The first motion of 9/13 would have to be rescinded before a motion in conflict with it could be passed.
            -CP stated that these none of these comments were or are directed at any of the proposers or proposals. They were directed only at the process about which she had received numerous comments from Community members, Latino, Native and others expressing their disappointment at being left out of the process.

8:30          Land Use and Development : Updates on  
·      Alliance Housing – Meeting with Herb Frey, Executive Director of Alliance,
·      Smith Foundry and Bituminous Roadways –
             MOTION: – BOARD RECOMMENDED MOTION: EPIC commits the organization to a             major effort to remove Bituminous Roadways (and Smith Foundry by SS             recommendation) from the city.
            SS expressed concern that if Bituminous leaves, Smith would take over their area.
            LL Moved & SS seconded motion passed.

·      Abbott Hospital air quality permit  (not discussed)
8:45       Adjournment