September 12, 2013

General Membership Meeting Minutes 09-12

September 12th, 2013, 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

“The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers,
but most of all the world needs dreamers who do.”

Board Members Present: Aisha Gomez, Jenny Bjorgo, Carol Pass, Mary Gonsior, Linda Leonard, Rosie Cruz
Board Members Not Present: Earl Simm, Sherdl Kordian

EPIC Members: Pat Fleetham, Brad Pass, Laura Dale,

Guests: Don Greeley

6:45            Introductions:

·       Greetings and Introduction
·       MOTION: Meet as a Committee of the Whole – passed.
·       Approval of Agenda (CP, JB) passed.
·       Approval of Minutes (AG, JB) Approved with corrections (reimbursements $437.92; community cameras: remove “JD agrees that the Wi-Fi”)

MOTION: Quorum achieved. Meet as a quorum. (JB, AG). Passed.
MOTION: Accept the actions of the committee of the whole (BP, JB). Passed.

6:55            Announcements:
·       Clean Sweep- October 12th, Starts Saturday at Welna’s Hardware Parking lot at  9:00 am
·       Community Garden Harvest Party, Saturday, October 19th, 5 pm. 17th Avenue garden.
·       Peavey Park on Saturday, Sept 14th from noon to 4pm to celebrate the last days of summer. There will be free Entertainment, Food, Children's Activities and Community Information Tables.

7:10            Public Safety Issues: Don Greeley, Problem Properties

2527 18th – person trying to claim ownership was taken to court and ruled against ownership. The State of MN owns this property and if he comes back he can be removed.

·       Police crime targeted enforcement area focus: Drugs, prostitution, seized cars, slowed things down a bit.
o   Chicago Franklin – 19th to Franklin
o   Midtown on Lake, 12th to Cedar
o   Lake Street, 29th to 31st, 12th to 18th
·       Stop N Shop; have been very cooperative, signs, new camera system, calling police when loitering, will post trespassing signs.
·       Salvation Army; will cut the power to the outside, still working on getting trespassing signs posted, calling police, but at night when closed, that is when the problems start.
·       2605 17th; has been boarded now.
·       Cedar Field; need to call 9-1-1 when you see things happening.
·       La Que Buena; Julie Casey in licensing is looking at this now; starting to document some of the issues there. After the restaurant is closed, people began spilling over into the SA parking lot, partying, etc. Police are documenting what is going on there. How can EPIC document what is going on? Must call 9-1-1. Ask Schiff for a light mid-block on 16th.
o   Using the upstairs for drugs
o   Using the basement for prostitution
·       Police have granted EPIC (part of a block club watch group) access to Driver Vehicle Services to identify motor vehicle licenses.
·       Armed robbery at 29th and Cedar by two people with a gun about 10 days ago. Also one on 9/9 – a woman was bitten and robbed at 28th and Cedar.

7:36            Youth Sports Report: EPIC provided $727 for uniforms for Somali youth. The teams sStill need shin guards for Somali and Nepali Teams. We will use the remaining $273 for shin guards. EPIC also assisted the Nepali teams in gaining access to the fields; also helped to match up the Somali and Nepali teams for games.

7:40            Housing- Discussion Item: EPIC Housing Loans are moving pretty slow. Spread the Word! The income guidelines are now 100% of the HUD median income. We found that the cap was too low, and many people are supporting extended family and as a result, we are excluding many people who need this funding, but don’t qualify. A second factor contributing to ineligibility is any late mortgage payment within the previous year.

Discussion Item: Possible partnership with Powderhorn Residents Group (PRG) to fill vacant lots with new construction homes and/or to rehab existing homes. We have worked with PRG on a lot of projects, very successfully, including the Franklin Station Townhomes. PRG has a grant and is looking for projects. EPIC could provide “matching funds” for some rehab or new construction here in EPIC, as a small expenditure may be needed to “bridge the gap.” CP distributed a possible agreement that we might consider to work with PRG on rehabs and new housing construction in the EPIC area. Suggestions and questions are welcome. This agreement is based on an agreement with another neighborhood.

CP also called Greater Metro Housing Trust to see if there is anything we can do now to help EPIC with empty houses and empty lots in EPIC. 2605 17th Avenue is an example of a house built, but it is in ownership trouble.

8:00            Development Update:
·       Daycare at 2830 Cedar: we sent them a letter and two emails. They responded with a letter explaining the challenges they are dealing with especially an increase in the sales price to $900,000. They continue to seek funding and they have the support of the Latino Economic Development Center.
o   Ask owner to provide lighting, monitoring and boarding to secure the property.
·       Little Earth of United Tribes is embarking on the next phase of their renovation plan and requests a letter of support.
·       Greenway Heights is just concluding their final financial arrangements to secure the property. The County redistributed some of the funds that were assigned to us, and they are working to figure out how to replace these needed funds. Things are on track for construction to begin, possibly in December.

8:25            Hennepin County Care Project: Aisha Gomez

AG gave an update on the planning and implementation for the project which began in 2012, and distributed a newsletter containing a list of strategies that the collaboration has developed. AG distributed a short survey for EPIC members to complete, and surveys can also be completed online.

8:30             Blueprint for Equity Report: Setting up group of District 7 Neighborhoods

The city is planning to visit 81 neighborhoods, yet they have visited only 3 neighborhoods in 3 months. This plan is not going to work. The NCEC once met twice per month, and now they have cancelled one of these meetings. CP is working on having a meeting of groups of people from the eight neighborhoods of District 7 to discuss the implementation of fair policies and engagement in neighborhoods, ethnically, geographically, financially, and that we really “share” the resources that are available.

8:15            Legislative Update: Representative Karen Clark           
Karen shared the challenges and successes of the last legislature. Asking for questions and concerns, CP reported that the MNSure program money is not making its way to the neighborhood level, and East Phillips is filled with residents who are not able to access this due to language  barriers, as well as communication media. The more everything is moved to the internet, the more poor people, and ethnic groups, especially immigrants are left out.
8:45            Adjournment

September 7, 2013

Board Meeting Minutes 09-07

September 7th, 2013, Saturday, 10:00 am

East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center
EPIC web address:
Office: 2536 18th Avenue S., Minneapolis, MN 55404

“The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers,
but most of all the world needs dreamers who do.”

Present board members: Carol Pass. Mary Gonsior, Linda Leonard, Aisha Gomez, Rosie Cruz, Ali Micali, Earl Simms
Absent board members: Jennie Bjorgo, Sherdl Kordian
Members: Brad Pass,

10:00             Introduction:
·       Approval of Agenda – Passed
·       Approval of August 3rd Board Meeting Minutes passed

10:10    Announcements: 
·       EPIC Membership Meeting: Thursday, September 12, 6:30 pm, the East Phillips Park Center
·       Today is the Monarch Festival, 10am to 4pm, East Lake Nokomis Ave. & 50th St.
·       Bridging Festival- Sunday,Sept. 8, 1pm -Whittier side of 24th St Ped. Bridge over 35W.
·       Peavey Park Celebration, Saturday, Sept. 14th, 12am – Sunday Sept. 15th 12 am
·       9th Annual Native American Day, Saturday, 12 am Sept. 28th-12 am  Sun, 29th MIDTOWN FARMERS MARKET
·       EPIC Harvest Party …October 19th at 5 pm in the Garden.
·       Clean Sweep- October 12th, first meeting yesterday; this is about our 15th year; give away 400 t-shirts each year (kids design); this is a great community event
·       EPIC funded East Phillips Programs: EPIC Park Youth Soccer, A Partnership of Diabetics, A-POD Collaborative
·       Roofs – Insurance pay outs are benefitting the neighborhood. Tell your friends to contact EPIC for details.
·       Crime Report- Lights and Cameras in the Alley behind the Cedar Store.

10:15             Requests for Program Funding:

Somali American Community Organization: funding for Back-to-School Backpacks, Reimbursement receipts required and addresses. Budget to be presented at GMM.

10:25             LITTLE EARTH Request for Support from EPIC:  for Little Earth Apartment Building Rehab

10:35            Homeownership Crisis in Phillips:  Foreclosures and Vacant Lots, Completion of the Village in Phillips and others with PRG. Possible Contract
·       Other lots and opportunities. Actions taken, Greater Metro Housing Corp, Hennepin County, PRG, TC Community Land Bank, Inventorying Properties, Seeking new HomeOwners.
·       Progress on rehab loans: EPIC moved the income cap from 80% to 100% of HUD medial income guidelines. This should help move these loans. Maybe we need a party for this?
Remove “for up to five houses” from paragraph 3.

Questions for PRG:
1. How would houses be selected? For which blocks?
2. Is there any cap on the total cost?
3. What category of housing does this apply to? Can “John Doe” get his house rehabbed under this program? Or, does this apply to only foreclosed, or tax-forfeited housing? Where is this explained in the funding documents?

10:50            Blueprint for Equity Report:   

District 7, Corcoran, Powderhorn, Central, Bancroft and four Phillips neighborhoods.

Based on the motion that was passed by EPIC (see below), EPIC should think about and have a conversation (among board members, and some others) how we understand equity and what we are doing to achieve it among all the groups in our neighborhood: political, religious, gender, age, sexual orientation, geographic, economic, and ethnic. We should write a policy or have policies regarding these issues.

NOTE: MOTION: (CP, AG) EPIC will join with the other District 7 neighborhoods to respond to the BluePrint for Equity from NCR, and will question the outlined process and seek to honor the Core Principles of Community Engagement , in particular items 4 and 5. Our concern is that the initial design of the process was not done in consultation with the neighborhoods, and the intake of information, and ultimate goals for this process are not transparent, were not initiated by the neighborhoods, and appear to violate the Core Principles of Community Engagement. (Passed.)

Health Insurance – MN Care new program
Minnesota is setting up its own outreach program, called MNsure. EPIC should facilitate education, outreach and enrollment for residents to access new health care program. There are funds available for training, and SH may write a grant.

11:15             Adjourn