April 10, 2014

General Membership Meeting Minutes 04-10

April 10th 2014, Thursday, 6:30 pm

East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center
EPIC web address:  www.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.”

Present board members: Mary Gonsior, Carol Pass, Rosie Cruz, Linda Leonard, Earl Simms, Jenny Bjorgo
Absent board members:, Sherdl Koridan, Aisha Gomez, Ali Macalin
Members: Brad Pass, Alfonso Cruz, Alondra Cano, Mickey Sheu, Maggie Ewing, Hannah Lieder, Margaret Kirkpatrick, Eric Immler
Guests: Shirley Heyer, Don Greeley, Segundo Choglio, Mateo Castro
Linda Leonard Chaired; Mary Gonsior was minute taker.

6:45            Introductions:
·       Greetings and Introduction
o   Because a large crowd was present, introduced directors of EPIC
o   Shared “Hello, neighbor” in several languages.
·       Approval of Agenda (Passed)
o   Added item for petition for allowing all Minnesotan’s to apply for a Driver’s License
§  Petitions passed around by consensus approval of the group
o   Add Antonio Lopez to the report from RC on Matheo Castro.
·       Approval of March 13, 2014 Minutes (Passed)

6:55            Announcements
·       EPIC Annual Meeting – Saturday, April 12th, 9:30 – 11:30
o   Volunteers needed; Building opens at 7:00 am, food/cooking begins at 7:30 am.
o   Answered questions about nominations process, and gave a short history of EPIC’s rise from the ashes back in 2006.
·       Greenway. 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 9:00 am – Noon. Volunteers can just show up. Come early for coffee and rolls.

7:40            Elements of a Crime focused Priority Plan – Brainstorming

End of 2013 we saw a significant decrease in crime in Phillips neighborhoods and south of Lake street precinct. Since March there has been an increase, especially in assaults and robberies.

Crime map. While dots on a map do not reflect how crime affects a community or how a crime victim is affected. But wants you to know how the wider area is affected, and how E. Phillips specifically is affected by crime.

The entire greater Phillips neighborhood is represented on the crime map. The blue triangles and blue squares are robberies and aggravated assaults. You can see that E.Phillips has experienced several of each over the past month (March). Another hot area for these crimes is Chicago and Franklin. Turning the map over, you will see “nails” indicating   locations for part 2 crimes, which represents prostitution, johns, and narcotics arrests. You can see where Police are doing proactive work making arrests, especially Franklin Ave and the Lake St & Hiawatha intersection. Police want to install a camera at Bloomington Ave and Lake St, to get an eye on the street. These cameras generally give an eye on the street, and also provide a deterrent to crime. We don’t have the cameras yet. All cameras were   removed from the street over the winter, as they don’t operate well in cold weather…

Our beat officers (5 diverse individuals) are moving around in the prioritized areas. This was the most officers that I could obtain. There is some diversity, and they are all volunteers to this “beat”. This is a hard position, because it covers the large area of “greater Phillips”, but these are the neighborhoods that need the most attention. When they come and walk, they are not here for a long time because they are getting pulled away to other areas. But we understand that we need officers of diversity for this area. We also understand that the neighborhood is interested in providing some bicycles for these officers. We have three officers now who have completed training, but don’t have bikes right now, which cost about $1,500. These officers would be riding bikes in Sector 1 (Greater Phillips neighborhoods), not just East Phillips.

Precinct just doesn’t have the staff to provide 8-10 beat officers as we’ve had in the past.

CP. Neighborhood ran a patrol on the worst corner for 2 .5 years, and we don’t know if we could do that again. We would like the police to provide enough patrols to keep the crime from becoming entrenched in specific spots in our community.

RC. Bus stops at 29th and Bloomington at 6:10, 6:30, 7:10 am is a real problem area.

Q. If someone calls about someone experiencing an overdose, response is to arrive and assist medical; nothing else. An OD report will be written up, but that report is not for the purpose of follow up for charges. EMT’s carry narchem, but officers do not.

Q. Does the crime camera push crime out to the surrounding blocks. Yes, and so does having police focus on specific areas. But that is why the police watch the activity closely and plan appropriate changes. The goal is to send the message, don’t come back here.

Q. (Translated) We all know that the Latino community in the neighborhood is very significant and we don’t trust the Police. Understanding there is no trust, what can we do to avoid crime and to help to reduce crime?

(LL, Nepali community is coming from a culture where police oppress the people, but are learning to trust the police.)

A. I’m saddened to learn that that is how you and others feel. I understand and believe you, and I’m sorry. It is on the police department to reach out to the Latino community to let you know that we care. And we want to work with you. To repeat, I’m sorry that there isn’t that trust, and as the commander of the precinct, I will work on that with my supervisors and my officers to fix that. But for tonight, I can assure you, please do not be afraid to call 911. The police department does not keep track of who calls 911, for ANY purposes for retribution, or to get back at anybody. We will work with you.

RC, Thank you for being here, and I would like to see you more often here. Thank you for every resident who is here – I want to see you here more too. Her God-daughter was walking home and was attacked, raped and cut with a knife. Only becfause there were some children witnesses, the assailants ran away. The woman is now too afraid to leave her home, sit on her porch or go out into her yard. All neighborhoods have groups that fight sometimes, but we have to stop; we have to be united, stop fighting with each other. Let us try to see how we can resolve our differences. Please talk to one another. Language is a problem, sometimes. We need more police patrolling, we need more lights, there are many dark places in the neighborhood. It is true that sometimes people don’t report because they are afraid, because they have a warrant, etc. They don’t want to sign any papers. Language and culture is the barrier. Translations are not always communicated well, or understood clearly, correctly. We need to work together (community and police department.

Q. Number of Spanish language police officers in the Department (4?).

Alondra Cano Updates:

AC. Committing bringing the policing aspect together with the health aspect and the community aspect of crime prevention, to work on holistic approaches to addressing crime.

Update on request for Crime Camera for Cedar Field Park.
There is a very limited budget for Cameras, costing about $36,000-$38,000. Ventura Village is working on a purchase of a smaller semi-portable camera, but also needs to pick up the cost of maintenance and moving the camera. The police are the only ones who can view the footage but the community can decide where to mount the camera. Xcel Energy would not allow these cameras to be mounted on their Poles, The Park Board decided to provide the pole for the camera. Once Ventura Village completes this project they will have a blueprint that other neighborhoods can use, for less than half the cost.

Little Earth is in need of outside sources for helping with security to bolster their own security budget.

Translation of Nominations documents before the annual meeting.

8:00            Problem Property – Possible purchase by Linda Leonard

LL requesting permission to negotiate the purchase of a long-standing problem home. Normally the building would go up for auction. In an attempt to prevent this property from going to a “negative” owner, Linda would like to negotiate for purchasing this property. There is no guarantee that the sale would be finalized, but negotiations would release information needed such as a Truth in Housing, and other reports. This has taken a ton of work, to get the county to release the property from the auction, and we have our council member’s approval, and now need the neighborhood’s approval. Now that we have figured this out we might want to do this again.

MOTION: Grant permission to LL to negotiate to purchase this property. (Passed.)

8:30            Annual Meeting – Volunteers needed

Nominations, if turned in by Friday, can be printed on the ballot
Friday starting at 7:00 PM
Saturday morning at 7:00 AM
Meeting starts at 9:30 am.

Regular meetings are the 2nd Thursday of each month.

8:45            Adjournment