July 5, 2014

Board Meeting Minutes 07- 05

July 5th, 2014, Saturday, 10:00 am

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.”

Board Roster: Jenny Bjorgo, Rosie Cruz, Mary Gonsior, Jeanne Howard, Linda Leonard, Ali Macalin, Carol Pass, Cesar Prado, Earl Simms.

Present board members: Jenny Bjorgo, Rosie Cruz, Mary Gonsior, Linda Leonard, Ali Macalin, Carol Pass,
Absent board members: Jeanne Howard, Cesar Prado, Earl Simms.
Members: Brad Pass

10:00             Introduction:
·      Greetings and Introduction
·      Approval of Agenda – approved with addition of announcement for Little Earth to be clarified by Jeanne. (JB, MG) Approved.
·      Approval of the May 3rd Board Minutes; Approved with corrections, page 2. “Also be aware that most neighborhoods have zeroed out the priority plan budget line.” And “We will try to reschedule the July board meeting to late June.”

Little Earth: There is a dispatcher on site from 5 pm to 7 am that monitors cameras and takes phone calls for emergencies or to report a crime. Police response is immediate. The phone number is 612-729-9361. We will not announce this until Jeanne explains and clarifies it.

10:15    Review Crime and Safety Proposals
·      EPIC Ambassadors
·      Patrols
·      Block Clubs

There was a lengthy discussion about the EPIC Ambassador proposal. Some strengths noted were that it isn’t like having a “job” or specific assignment; that the time commitment is flexible; that it includes friends of the ambassadors; that it is a great way to build relationships; we can start with a few people; the group chooses its own leadership; there is balance between board oversight and EPIC Ambassador self-determination.

The purpose is “To foster positive communication and relationships among and between all stakeholders in the EPIC community by serving as a public relations and informational resource; and by inviting further participation by collecting contact information for announcements and invitations.”

MOTION: EPIC will establish a crime and safety initiative, EPIC Ambassadors, including an initial budget of $500. (CP, JB) Approved.

CP will send out information about block club training on this Wednesday coming up. Encourage people to attend.

CP proposed that EPIC include a formal patrol program in the CPP Program draft.

This is a beginning of programs and elements to the CPP crime and safety proposals, and others can be added.

10:30            Outreach to the Native American Community:
                        Beginning Discussion, Jeanne Howard
Tabled; Jeanne was not present.

10:40            Consider CPP Submission for 2014, 15, 16: Discussion
                        Review and consider our finances

Reviewed and discussed the draft program proposal for 2014-2016.

We noted that a number of the questions seem redundant for us because our general population is already so multi-cultural that our programs and responses often overlap the questions.

Together we added notes about a number of relevant traditional activities for item #4 : building neighborhood relationships” and  #5 “Involvement of under-engaged stakeholders”. We looked carefully at the estimated CPP Budget and made clarifying comments about the contract and neighborhood priority line totals.

MOTION: EPIC will submit the Draft 2014 CPP Proposal for review and approval by EPIC membership, as discussed (LL, JB) Approved unanimously.

11:40    Review the EPIC Event on the 22nd, SummerFest
We skipped this for time constraints but noted that it was large, multi-cultural, and a big success

11:45    Review the Powderhorn Crime Summer Kick Off Event on June 16th
CP reported that there were 3 EPIC board members in attendence, and 7 from Powderhorn. Considering that this event was organized by Powderhorn staff, it seemed there was a very poor turnout.  For those of us who attended at the urging of Council member Cano, we found it ironic that it was a staff-created meeting, according to Cano, that was supposed to generate a lot of participation because of a recent shooting in the park, but there were fewer than ten residents present and no participation of what would appear to be ethnic diversity as constituents.  We can see that even without any paid staff members, EPIC’s board members with their diverse and various natural communication networks in the neighborhood can produce a much larger turnout.

11:50            Review Correspondence from NCR

RC reported that for all the years that she has been involved in EPIC (1995?), “I’m insulted as a Latino. I feel disrespected.”  …”because of the many years of service given, working closely with Carol over years, with many communities, Native American, Somali, African American, Nepali, Latino, and others, CP is the first one to come and approach and say, ‘let’s meet and talk; let’s see how EPIC can help you.’ I am SO offended.

RC wants to invite David Rubedor to attend a meeting and discuss this – this is so insulting.

“How can he question our passion and commitment, our intentions for EPIC. All board members have been tarnished by this decision. “

MG – grateful to RC for stating her views, making them part of the official record.

LL is offended that David would say that EPIC doesn’t know what help from CPP is available to EPIC. This is a false accusation that we are uninformed. Personal comment about CP – I consider this decision unprofessional, and disrespectful by David to discipline the board and CP based on hearsay.

RC finds it hard to express how SAD this makes her – there is no appreciation for what we (board volunteers) do for this community, in terms of bringing our community together – we are sisters and brothers.

RC – we have 1,000’s of pictures that illustrate the diversity of engagement with EPIC’s community over many years.

AC – if CP was racist, she wouldn’t spend all the time and work that she  has working in the community among every group of people, so many activities over many years…it doesn’t make sense.

LL: CP has supported Native American home ownership and proposals to bring funding to support it. She has taken initiative to bring forward programs and spending to assist and support Native American home ownership and did that with Council Member Cano this month. She took the initiative to locate empty lots on Stately Street and homes for sale on E 26th adjacent to Little Earth’s boundaries.

11:12            Consider responses.

LL sent a personal response to David Rubedor. This requested copies of notes and specific details about who reported complaints and what those individuals claimed to have heard.

Board members expressed a desire to have David Rubedor  come present his evidence to the board and to carry out an investigation about the truth of the claims people have made.

The Board authorized the secretary to send a board response with an opportunity for all Board members to personally sign the letter. Copies should go to everyone who received NCR’s letter and perhaps to David Rubedor’s supervisor. There is no due process and the neighborhood leadership is being bullied at a time the Board is committed to being inclusive and careful of funding disbursements.

12:05:            Review and send our Codes of Conduct to NCR.

EPIC has a code of conduct and board members sign several agreements stating that they have read and agree to EPIC Standards and Conduct, Duties and Responsibilities, and Board Contract.

MOTION: EPIC will forward our code of conduct, and relevant documents to David Rubedor with a note that Robert Thompson has seen them in the past. (LL, MG) Approved.

MOTION: The neighborhood specialist can make presentations to the board when there is new information or at the board’s request. (RC, AM) Approved.

Board members agreed that EPIC has already provided more than sufficient time for Carrie Aspinwall to distribute information and to explain her point of view at meetings about our finances for months. It is the board’s responsibility to present finances to the community. EPIC policy states that handouts be reviewed by the Board before membership meetings, and must be given to the chair prior to the membership meeting.  We agreed that we must be more consistent in following our policies and are committed to doing so in the future.

12:15            Board looked at the additional funding NRP Phase 2 Plan
 Board members stated they were very familiar with the NRP Phase II Plan, since we had worked on it for a year and then spent time spending some of it…the pool money and the money for the balconies on Greenway Heights Apartments  …and some of the programming money. We discussed again the summary of the EPIC/NRP Draft Phase II Action Plan which had clearly identified two potential budgets based on the Mayor taking funds from the neighborhoods in 2010. We reviewed some of the plan modifications we made after we lost the funds. We also noted that the Park Board is still contracted for $75,000 which they have not completed paperwork on to draw out the funds. We could have an opportunity to redirect those allocated and partially contracted funds. CP pointed out that when the plan budget was written, $58,000 that was in Housing Object #4 for “new construction” was changed to Zero, because the fund was too small for any real opportunities. 
CP reminded the Board that the money went to the Home Rehab, because that fund also was reduced to an almost insignificant size.

Comments about the neighborhood specialist

RC – based on her notes from the last GMM she observed that Carrie Aspinwall (CA) has been angry for a long time, and is not there to help EPIC’s board and community – She stated that “Carrie wants to take control over the meeting every time she comes. Not in a positive way, but always attacking CP. When Alondra left, CA followed her out. When Carrie came back she was sweating and red and angry. When CP started talking, CA got angry and started arguing with CP”. RC said she asked Carrie if she was alright, she was fanning herself. Rosie claims she left the meeting because CA had taken over the meeting.

Linda has notes from several members who were at the meeting and who were upset about the conduct of Carrie Aspinwall and Councilmember Cano.

MOTION: We request the reassignment of a new neighborhood specialist. (RC, JB) Approved.

12:50             Adjourn