January 16, 2014

General Membership Meeting Minutes 01-16

January 16th, 2014, 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

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

Board Members Present: Earl Simms, Rosie Cruz, Carol Pass, Linda Leonard, Mary Gonsior, Ali Micalin
Board Members Not Present: Jenny Bjorgo, Sherdl Kordian
EPIC Members: Hannah Lieder, Kevin Lieder, Brad Pass. Leroy Jeffers, Laura Dale, Aisha Gomez, Alfonso Cruz, Don Greeley, Officer Taylor, Pat Fleetham, Gloria Reyes, Raul Martez,  Chiffon Williams 
Guests: Peggy Clark, Don Greeley, Lt. Taylor, Aisha Gomez

6:45            Introductions:
·       Greetings and Introduction
·       Approval of Agenda
·       Approval of December 12th, 2013 Minutes with corrections: 6:45 Introductions; “Announcements: ­­­‘parking of any kind of trucks’

6:55            Announcements:
·       Global Soup Cook Off -  Saturday, January 18th, 12 – 2pm at the midtown Global Market; usually request a donation of $5 going to childcare center.
·       2014 Twins Winter Caravan also at the Global Market –Tuesday, January 21st,11:30 – 12:15pm Players will be Pedro Florimon, Joe Mauer, and Ricky Nolasco
·       Step – Up thee City’s Summer Job Program for Youth – Accepting Applications NOW! Call New Council Member Alondra Cano’s office for details (612) 673-2209
·       Chinese New year Celebration:  Friday, January 31st, 5 - 8 pm, Global Market
·       Shirley Heyer:  Phillips West is having their Winter Social Thurs., Jan. 23 at Lutheran Social Services starts at 5 pm. Midtown Phillips annual meeting is the last Tuesday in Feb. (25th) A supper is served, everyone is invited. Starts at 5:30 pm.

Guests: Don Greeley, Lt. Taylor
The police and the community in our partnership for 2013 finished the year with the largest reduction in violent crimes in history. Just in the Phillips area, there was a reduction of homicides (zero), 19% reduction in rapes and aggravated assaults. We came real close to having the largest decrease in Part I Crimes (overall 15%, EPIC 4% reduction.) We appreciate everyone’s partnership and assistance.

Inspector Sullivan decided last fall to assign five officers to a “beat” in Phillips. They have assigned areas and will change around as needed, working from 4 pm until 2 am. Two are Somali officers and their focus will be areas and issues that pertain to that population. La Que Buena has been submitted to county attorney for “nuisance” action and is under review. Negotiations are going on between the city and the business.

Guest: Aisha (Alondra Cano)
Aisha reported that Cano’s office discovered that the firm is in a process because of an “adverse license” status. The business has agreed to give up special eating license to stay open past 2 am, they will install cameras in the back (parking lot), they will give up alcohol license, police will be allowed in to do “sweeps”; on Fri/Sat they will have a security guard at doors; they will enforce a dress code (no gang colors/tats). The city prefers to negotiate to avoid a prolonged legal battle.

Police have requested constituent “impact statements”. DG assured RC that these can be filed anonymously.

Chiffon reported that the stats on homicide are incorrect; there were three homicides in 2013. Pat Fleetham also pointed out that 53 prostitution arrests all occurred on one day (special sting) in Phillips, and 24 cars were impounded.  Don Greeley will check on these stats, and keep us informed on La Que Buena.

7:00              East Phillips Programming Partnership (A Standing Committee of EPIC): (Brad Pass)

The goal of this partnership is overcoming the Digital Divide in East Phillips. Report on East Phillips Park Computer Lab Upgrade, a current project of the partnership.  A handout from the Committee report includes improvements including:

·       The Park Board has already increased the internet speed by a factor of ten.
·       Add five more computers.
·       Train children using a “teen team challenge” for youth to become “supervisors” of the computer lab.

Funding is provided by the Park Board and the Osiris Organization. The group meets on the last Tuesday of the month here at the park at 11:30 am. On January 31, 9 am, there will be another meeting discussing the “digital divide”.

7:25            Creating the East Phillips Priority Plan: NRP Phase II Plan Handed out. Consider our funding and coordination with NRP Phase II plans.

EPIC was one of the last neighborhoods to come in with their Phase II plan at the end of 2012, after a year long extensive period of surveys and neighborhood communication. In fact, EPIC received its 501(c)(3) status in only 2007. We were working prior to that, but after the organization suffered a complete loss of the board in 2006, it took some time to get everything back in place, and people lost a taste for citizen participation.  As a result of not having 501(c)(3) status, no office, no money, we continued to operate with just a trickle of funding coming in. At the end of Phase I, the city of Mpls. came along and took about half of all Mpls.Neighborhoods funding, supposedly for property tax relief…so all neighborhoods including EPIC had only half of the funds that had been planned for Phase II. It has been hard, but the point of reviewing this information, is that the first year of CPP planning was spent completing the community engagement for EPIC’s NRP Phase II Plan.

EPIC had been thorough, conducting door to door surveys, focus groups, business bot on Lake and off..and the  Phase II Action Plan document contains pages of graphs representing the information that was garnered through this process.

In one year, EPIC completed the Phase I review, prepared a CPP plan and NRP Phase II Action plan. These were all completed in January 2012. Of the $58,000 allocated to EPIC in 2012, we spent only a small portion.  We have been frugal, and we were used to getting things done without a lot of money.

Early in 2012, right after EPIC finished our NRP Phase II Plan, EPIC requested to use this extensively surveyed Plan, which had been completed the last month of 2011, as our priority plan and we were told this was fine and would make no difference to anything . EPIC passed a motion to that effect in the early summer of 2012. Our Phase II Plan was a process of assessing neighborhood needs and wants and was one of the most successfully accomplished in terms of community outreach and statistics that actually reflected the ethnic composition of the neighborhood. We did not do a Priority Plan, along with many other neighborhoods, because we were told it was unnecessary. NCR staff agreed that we had already just completed the same work and they were not going to make us do it again. This would serve as our 2012-2013 Priority Plan.           

We are now just about through that $58,000 now.

Since we have completed the plan the board and neighborhood have worked to:
·       Contract out $50,000 to help begin Greenway Heights Apartments.
·       Create and contracted a plan modification to provide $35,000 for balconies on the Greenway Heights Apts.
·       Create a Housing program for home buyers, home rehab and foreclosure prevention and contracted with CEE to do the loans: $115,000
·       Put up NRP Soccer and Baseball field funding $50,000, and petitioned and lobbied the County for the East Phillips Park.
·       Contracted with the Park Board to pay for the PCC Pool architectural and  Design work $25,000
·       Elderly assistance from Phase II plan with A-POD for $2,500
·       Elderly and adult assistance from Phase II plan with Running Wolf for $5,000
·       Worked on setting aside $10,000 for fund raising for the PCC Pool
·       Created a refugee resettlement program for new Nepali  immigrants.
·       Won a grant to rebuild parts of the EPIC Community Garden.
·       Put together a proposal and received funding to upgrade the computer lab in the East Phillips Park.

The Board has had some challenges related to health, including one death of a spouse, but the Board and Community  also have made real progress, including having a very stable and “present” board.

Things ahead:
·       Financial audit
·       Review of EPIC Bylaws
·       A new CPP submission and Priority Plans (it’s been two years now.)

PF asked about partnering with other neighborhoods regarding lighting. LL reported that she and Ryan Brueske have logged where the biggest needs for lighting are located. SH reported that Midtown and Heart of the Beast want to work with EPIC to address signage and lighting on Lake St.

7:40            Update on EPIC’s Finances:

We have contracted approx. $188,500 Phase II NRP funds $50,000 old Phase I funds
We currently have $123,934 in 2012-13 funds to roll over into 2014-16.
Plus $194,881 for the 2014-16 funding cycle or $318,815  for the next three years

EPIC has been working in a very innovative way with many partners. Hopefully, we can work on a little bit simpler plan this time around, but it will require additional community participation. Youth crime has dropped significantly since we have had this park and soccer fields, it has been really much safer. This park with the soccer fields is probably one of the best things that has happened to this neighborhood and is one of the most-used parks in the city.

CP is proud of our plan and our progress. It may not have been as fast as other neighborhoods, but we have done a good job, worked hard, and we’re proud of our work.

8:10            EPIC Garden Grant:  Some garden history and plan for youth to help restoration.

The EPIC garden is the recipient of a grant $4,500 from Seward Coop to make repairs, and improvements. Some of these funds have been set aside to provide stipends for youth 13 and up to help with working on the garden to implement these repairs and improvements. This will give youth a sense of ownership in the garden.

There are about 32 plots, and each year about one-third of them open up. Contact Brad if you are interested in gardening this summer.

The garden was purchased by the Green Institute with EPIC NRP funds before EPIC had our 501(c)(3), and held onto it until EPIC purchased the property for $1. It is owned by EPIC and is in a conservation easement and cannot be developed…it will remain a garden.

Phillips Fitness update. The Mpls park board is in partnership with the Native American ?? and the operations continue with the same costs and hours as before.
8:20            Adjournment