February 13, 2014

General Membership Meeting 02-13

February 13th, 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: Jenny Bjorgo, Lindal Leonard, Mary Gonsior, Rosie Cruz, Carol Pass, Earl Simms
Board Members Not Present: Sherdl Kordian, Ali Micalin
EPIC Members: Margaret Kirkpatrick, Laura Dale, Alphonso Cruz, Eric Immler, Hannah Lieder, Jaden Bjorgo, Brad Pass, Alondra Cano, Maggie Ewing, Mickey Sheu 
Guests: Alondra Cano, Don Greeley, Shirley Heyer, Segundo Chagllo, Rita Diaz, Ruth Vazquez, Edith Vazquez, Italo Vazquez, Lt. Mike Taylor, W. Alvarado, D. Farlkor, Naomi Mohammed, Mateo Castro

Linda Leonard Chaired; Mary Gonsior was minute taker.
Linda explained that anyone living, working or owning property in East Phillips can be a member of EPIC by saying “YES” in the last column on the sign in sheet which asks if you are, or want to be an EPIC Member.

6:45            Introductions:

·       Greetings and Introduction
·       Approval of Agenda (Passed)
·       Approval of January 16th, 2014 minutes with additions: Guests, add Shirley Heyer; correction to crime report, there were actually two homicides in 2013, from 2011 to 2012 there was a reduction from 4 to zero, and there was an increase from 0 to 2 from 2012 to 2013; correction to page 3 “things ahead”, lighting which will be “along Bloomington Ave. from Lake St. to Franklin Ave.” instead of “on Lake St.” (JB, MK, Passed.)
6:55            Announcements:
·       Greenway (Margaret Kirkpatrick); On May 3, Arbor Day, Tree Trust is organizing a planting of trees on either side of the ramp going up the Sabo Bridge. Volunteers are needed 9 am – Noon. Volunteers can just show up. Come early for coffee and rolls.

7:00              Crime & Safety: Don Greeley. Issues, drug dealers and prostitution near kids bus stops. Plans? New patrols? Cameras?

Lt. Mike Taylor (daywatch – point person for Phillips), discussed the “beat” assigned to East Phillips operating
Introduced Officers Alverado, and Volks, two of five officers working in Phillips, 4 pm until 2 am. You may see them around the neighborhood.

Greeley discussed work going on to obtain a resolution for La Que Bueno. Any agreement that is reached will be a public document, available to anyone. Hoping to be able to implement some restrictions.

Continue to have prostitution problems on Lake St. Officers are issuing citations (arrests without going to jail). Targeted enforcement areas are being worked. Don has been putting in a lot of time related to a sexual assault on Franklin Ave on Jan. 17th…Almost 2,500 crime alerts were distributed, there has not been a repeat incident, which is good because it was a stranger assault (rare.) Don will be doing some personal safety workshops with area businesses and their employees.

Today a targeted enforcement area was moved out of Phillips due to a shooting on 38th St.

CP reported that we have invited a Somali-speaking officer to come into a building that has been experiencing severe level of crime, to talk about safety and reporting issues.

(L***, 27** 18th Ave.) reported a home-break-in when she was home with her children. The assailants put a gun on her and she had to plead for her life. She was screaming and her children were near. My friend and my brother were upstairs. I live with my sister in the basement. They came down because they heard my screaming…there were four assailants, and they had guns. The pointed them at everyone and said if we call police they will kill us. They took our computer, cash, jewelry, about $2,000, the dishes, they cleaned the house completely. They pointed the gun at my neck. Her brother was injured and is not able to work right now. The family reported the incident to police. (L***) is afraid, not able to sleep, and really needs help. The family is afraid they will come back. RC will help coordinate help from members to recover some goods, and file insurance claims, etc.

RC reported for Matheo Castro, who requests a letter from is EPIC to Catherine Johnson for help. Matheo was a victim of crime, an assailant held him at knifepoint. Asking for a support letter to Catherine Johnson to help people who don’t speak English. Catherine Johnson will not sign a letter stating that he was a victim of a crime. The incidents occurred July 2013, and July 2011. Lt. Taylor recommended that RC phone C. Johnson and speak to her directly, asking her to set up a meeting with RC and Matheo.

LL asked Greeley to work with EPIC to arrange a safety/reporting workshop for Nepali residents to discuss calling 911 and personal safety.

CP and Greeley talked about trying to get into 2909 Bloomington and it has been very difficult to find the owners.

Follow up on Prostitution on Lake Str. Most involved are drug users. There are geographic restrictions on most of the prostitutes. When users end up in the criminal system they are offered options to avoid the workhouse by entering treatment instead.

Greeley reported that there seems to be one pattern of crime related to Latino speaking people, the bad guys know that Latinos may be carrying a lot of cash. Police are encouraging folks to get checking accounts.

7:40             Alondra Cano: City Council Member
Plans to attend or send a rep to all neighborhood meetings. Settling in at the council and participating in several committees. Meetings with Mike Sullivan about Police infrastructure so officers can respond to issues concerning Phillips residents, and suggests EPIC invite him to attend a meeting. Listening to business owners on Lake St and working on development of Latino business association. Also working on the Midtown transportation plans for rail or car going down that corridor. Improvements on Lake St. buses; timing, barriers, etc.

7:46            Creating the 2014 East Phillips Priority Plan: Consider some options. What do we want to do next?             Broad Plans. Coordination with NRP Phase II plans

CP gave an overview of the three major projects that were completed with Phase I and Phase II funds, including the apartment building on the Greenway, the only affordable housing built on the Greenway, funds provided for architecture development for the swimming pool, and the soccer fields at our new park. In fact, the soccer fields were paid by unexpected funding that came in at the last minute and we have $50,000 now that we can direct to another project. We are so excited that the family apartment building is rising now, and we will continue to work to bring the kind of housing EPIC residents want, in spite of pressure from the city to continue increasing density in our area.

CP distributed copies of EPIC’s Phase II Plan and explained that we have spent about $185,000 of our Phase II. There is still a chunk of funds left to be spent, and with current and future funding (2014-16), we can do some pretty big things here in East Phillips. Because it has been two years, we need to do additional community planning in order to continue spending these funds. As a diverse neighborhood, this will take a lot of work. The process will not be designed to identify specific projects necessarily; instead, our goal is to identify some broad concerns and areas where these funds should be spent. We hope we will want to continue to expand our past projects, such as our youth sports teams, as well as make progress on crime issues and projects that will reduce crime and enhance safety in our neighborhood. EPIC should consider bringing in some staff, but the cost is great, and consideration must be given to how staffing will affect the big projects we dream of doing.  Specific groups that come to mind as we think about developing plans include youth, elderly, and new Americans.  CP invited the group to each contribute three priorities that EPIC should focus on for spending the money that we have in the 2014-2016 Planning period.

·       Financial audit; hired an accountant to review financial records and reformat reports, going back three years. Will finish soon.
·       Review of EPIC Bylaws. Considering changes to present in March before final vote in April.
·       A new Community Participation Program (CPP) plan - it’s been two years now.

8:16            Request to consider funds for Phillips Fitness Center: Hannah Lieder
Running Wolf left the fitness center last year, and it closed. The park board took it on in spite of financial difficulty. It is currently open the same hours, and they’ve made some changes, including a stretching room. They plan to operate classes. HL believes the park can fund the center for a smaller cost than anyone else.

MOTION: (HL, MK) EPIC to provide $5,000 to MPRB to support the operations of the fitness center. For: 3, Against: 8. Motion failed.

CP: Judy Duffy; conversations with downtown have been focused on how this spending on the Running Wolf partnership was funded…the city is questioning our funding on this agreement. Until this is resolved, we should slow down and figure out where potential funding is coming from.

We will put this on the March agenda again, and invite a MPRB representative to present information about their plans.

8:00             Update on the pool: Hannah Lieder
The pool project is in dire need of funds needing $500,000 to do the small plan. There is still hope. EPIC has some ideas and wants to work together with Mpls. Swims and other neighborhoods to meet with funders and get this fundraising done. Mpls. Swims hasn’t had money for staff. CP reported that we may have additional funds available with the $50,000 funds unspent by the Park Board. RC suggested the HL attend all EPIC meetings and communicate the needs of Mpls. Swims. LL suggested that HL tell us what EPIC can do to help connect and lobby donors and funders. HL says that her time is too limited to attend every EPIC meeting, and she has no staff to send. Feels like the first time in four years she is making progress by connecting with a group of people who are connected to funders and legislators.

$500,000 (or $700,000) for capital for the smallest plan.
$500,000 over five years – commitments for scholarships
$250,000 x 5 years guaranteed usage fees (Minneapolis Public Schools, Augsburg

8:15            East Phillips Programming Partnership, Standing Committee Report: Brad Pass
8:20            Adjournment