November 13, 2014

General Membership Meeting Minutes 11 - 13

November 13th, 2014, 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

Board Roster: Jenny Bjorgo, Rosie Cruz, Mary Gonsior, Jean Howard, Linda Leonard, Ali Micalin, Carol Pass, Cesar Prado, Earl Simms
Board Members Present: Jenny Bjorgo, Mary Gonsior, Jean Howard, Linda Leonard, Carol Pass, Earl Simms, Rosie Cruz
Board Members Not Present: Ali Micalin (work), Cesar Prado (work)
EPIC Members: Brad Pass, Lee Samelson, Laura Dale, Abdi Aldihakim, Alfonso Cruz, Maggie Ewing, Byrdine Falcon, Margarita Ortega, Paul Nettles
Guests: Michael Sullivan

6:35 Introduction:

·      Greetings and Introductions

6:40      Crime and Safety -

22nd St. to 29th St. and 18th Ave to Hiawatha, been focusing extra patrols in this area. Over the past two weeks there were no violent assaults, but there was one robbery; on Nov. 7 a Latino man was assaulted and robbed here at the park (soccer field); there were four arrests related.

Investigated a building that was open and had a lot of activity (2527 18th Ave.) and officers called in and had the building boarded up.

The Cedar Field camera is a Park camera, and there was some activity about 3.5 weeks ago.


·      Greetings and Introductions
·      Approval of Agenda (no objections, the agenda stands.)
    Approval of October 9th, 2014 minutes: (no objections, minutes approved with the addition of all who attended the meeting to the minutes. )

7:00             Presidents’ Report-

·      EPIC Community Harvest Party Report
·      Clean Sweep Report
·      Press Release for EPIC’s $50,000 contribution for a match from Mdewakanton Sioux Community to create for the pool $100,000, also  there was a $75,000 donation from Wells Fargo
·      East Phillips Somali Team City Championship, 11u, 13u, 18u all won city championships, the girls team and 15u did well also. Photos of the celebration of the 11u and 13u teams were circulated. Coaches, players and parents were complemented on the great season.
·      Ambassador Program update/sign up sheet,
·      Dec. 3 (Wed.), Little Earth Gym; Board of Directors at Little Earth is starting up a Safety Task Force. There was discussion of collaboration with the EPIC Ambassadors.

7:25             Secretary’s Report-
             Review of correspondence
  •  Email responding to cancelled meeting of Octobr 22nd with NCR. EPIC board members responded by having the meeting anyway at the Elder Housing Apartment building. Linda pointed out that an email was received from Carrie Aspinwall stating that it was essential for the meeting that all board members have the report from the consultant Lissa Jones and that since that did not happen the meeting was cancelled. Linda pointed out that that was not their obligation so the cancelation of the meeting was the fault of NCR, and probably consultant Lissa Jones, since Robert Thompson did not receive the report summa until the day before the meeting.
  • NCR Rescheduled the meeting for November 10th.
  •  When November 10th arrived and there was still no report, the EPIC Executive Committee cancelled the meeting since it had been declared by  Carrie Aspinwall that it was essential for the meeting to go on that the board have the report for review and they did not have it.
  •  NCR cancelled the meeting at the same time and emails crossed between NCR and EPIC, both cancelling the meeting.
  • A letter from Executive Committee to Professional Evaluation Agency for NonProfits re: NCR Process and Report seeking an evaluation of NCR’s conduct and capacity and of the report summary from Lissa Jones.

JH asked why the executive committee cancelled the meeting with the city, our funders?
LL responded (1) NCR was to provide an updated report, in advance of the meeting, which they did not provide, and (2) EPIC requested a review from a consultant as to the initial report, which both NCR and EPIC’s consultant described as inadequate for EPIC to prepare for the meeting. Since there was never a full report submitted to EPIC, there was no reason to meet.

CP responded the NCR cancelled the meeting simultaneous to EPIC preparing our email to cancel the Nov. 10 meeting; in both cases, the reason for cancellation was that no full report was provided to EPIC. In the words of Robert Thompson, “there is no full report.” That there was no report was not EPIC’s doing. This was the responsibility of the consultant.

7:40    Treasurer’s Report-

·      EPIC’s Agreed Upon Procedures for Audit were handed out– Parts of the list of necessary documents were read aloud and a thorough explanation and analysis was given by Treasurer Mary Gonsior

7:50            Public Safety Neighborhood Priority Plan (NPP) Approved
·      The NCR approval letter, contract and NPP Plan was handed out with an explanation of each. T was approved by NCR and by theNeighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) Policy Board
·      NCR David Rubedor
·      Referred to NRP Phase II Plan

Earl reported Crosswalk Requests
28th Street between Cedar and Bloomington, 18th, 17th, 16th.
26th Street between Cedar and Bloomington, 18th, 17th, 16th.
27th Street across Bloomington (Fire Station)
25th Street across Bloomington (Hardware Store)
24th Street across Bloomington
24th Street at 17th Avenue

8:05            Our Heavy Industry Dilemma-The Asphalt Plant, Foundry and Roof Depot Site-Power Point
            The Issues: One, the Asphalt Plant, Two, the Foundry, Three, The Water Works Move to Roof Depot.

BP presented a powerpoint discussing links between pollution and ADHD in children. A recent article published by the StarTribune highlighted the connection between PAHs (a component of the pollution released by the asphalt plant), and a disproportionate incidence of ADHD diagnoses in children living in East Phillips.

One step that must be taken is to change the zoning from heavy industrial; without this change, East Phillips will never be able to prevent these heavily polluting industries from locating here. How? Start campaigning to change this zoning. In the past, Little Earth campaigned with EPIC to block the location of The Burner along Hiawatha Avenue and to stop the Xcel Energy high voltage power lines.

MOTION: (ME, LD, Approved) Establish a Clean Air Task Force to repurpose the industrial areas of East Phillips (east of the intersection of Cedar and 28th Street) to the goals of transit-oriented residential housing,  to disallow any further introduction of heavy industry and to ultimately eliminate heavy industrial polluting enterprises within the boundaries of East Phillips.

8:36            East Phillips Vacant Lots and Boarded Buildings

CP described the actions of EPIC regarding the saving of money from 2012-2013 CPP for the purpose of rebuilding our NRP Phase II new home construction strategy that was eliminated by the Mayor’s action of co-opting our funding for City tax relief two years ago. We have located a deal where we can fund the gap to build a new house for $15,000. Both PRG and GMHC will build us these houses. We have enough money to do all eight lots that are city owned (these can be purchased for almost nothing.) The houses are nice but inexpensive, and will be considered affordable for modest income households. EPIC has learned that it is important to take care of the infrastructure if the neighborhood is to survive and flourish. We didn’t spend this money just so that we could have money to rebuild housing and keep the area going for low income and modest income residents.

The city is not providing funds to do this job. That is why EPIC needs to do it.

MOTION: (CP, ES, Approved) EPIC will set aside $120,000 to build 8 new houses on 8 empty lots and that we seek contracts with PRG and GHMC.

This motion requires a 21 day review, and will be presented again in December.

8:45              The 25th St. Barrier- Leaders from each adjacent block

MG reported that there hasn’t yet been a meeting. Will work to get a task force meeting in November or early December. 

8:48            Standing Committee East Phillips Park Programming Partnership: Financial and Computer             Literacy Classes

BP presented information about the new classes, and requested that people hand out the flyers.

8:52            Adjournment- Consensus

November 1, 2014

Board Meeting Minutes 11 - 01

November 1, 2014, Saturday, 10:00 am
East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center
EPIC web address:
Office: 2536 18th Avenue S., Minneapolis, MN 55404

The opposite of poverty is not wealth, the opposite of poverty is justice.

Board Roster: Jenny Bjorgo, Rosie Cruz, Mary Gonsior, Jeanne Howard, Linda Leonard, Ali Macalin, Carol Pass, Cesar Prado, Earl Simms
Present board members: Carol Pass, Linda Leonard, Mary Gonsior, Jenny Bjorgo, Rosie Cruz
Absent board members: Earl Simms (son's football), Cesar Praedo (Work), Ali Micalin (coaching), Jean Howard
Members: Brad Pass, Alfonso Cruz, Will Gilman

MOTION: Meet as a Committee of the Whole. LL, JB. Approved.

10:00             Introduction:
·      Approval of Agenda: LL, CP. Approved.
·      Approval of the October 4th EPIC Board Miutes: LL,CP (with corrections to last pargraph on page 1 (delete). Approved.


·      Upcoming Meetings on future funding of neighborhoods
Committee Members:  Cam Gordon (chair); Andrew Johnson (vice-chair); Jacob Frey; Elizabeth             Glidden; Alondra Cano; Lisa Bender
            Monday, November 3 @ 1:30, City Hall, Council Chambers, Room 317
            The NCR Department to present on budget and TIF funding
            2)            NCR Meeting for Neighborhood Organizations?
            Wednesday, November 5 (Time and place not know)
            The NCR Department to present to neighborhood organizations on Budget                                       and TIF funding
            3)            Health, Environment and Community Engagement Committee     
            Becky Timm, Ex. Director, 612-722-4817, 821 E. 35th St
            Monday, November 17 @ 1:30
            The NCR Department to present on NRP and CPP
            4)            Budget Hearings (Carol to add details.)
·      Nov. 10th Board Meeting with Lissa Jones

10:25            Future funding for neighborhoods: Increase in the funding pool. How should the city divide it up?    There will be budget hearings on Nov. 18 and Dec. 10

The city’s general fund is decreasing and the tax increment financing (TIF) is increasing. The TIF used to fund NRP and it still funds some of it, but it is now funding CPP. The TIF is to be split 50-50 paying off the Target Center debt, and Neighborhood Revitalization Purposes. "Purposes" is undefined and controversial.

CP: the question is, is this TIF funding a “city” program or a “state” program. The city has been eating away at these funds ever since 2011, and it seems they are expanding the view that the city (NCR) gets a large chunk and the neighborhoods get almost nothing.

 10:40  Garden Diversion Project Goals
            Research the berm idea presented at the October EPIC Community Meeting.
            Previous MOTION:Committee to implement the Garden Diversion project in the 
            CPP/NPP Crime and Safety Budget (2014).  (CP, LL) Approved. 
 Beautified Barrier
  Planning committee: Mary, Doug, Carol, Brad
·      Approved EPIC design to submit to the traffic department.
·      Ask Naomi to sit on the committee to represent The Banyan.
·      Find a representative from adjoining blocks.
·      Linda will take pictures of examples.
·      See if Public works is okay with this.
·      Traffic dept. needs a form completed and a plan. (Doug).

Postponed, as MG had no time in October to get the committee off the ground.

10:45      Updates: Crosswalks, Phoning 311 and 911,

There have been too many children injured by vehicles. EPIC will partner with other neighborhoods and apply for a competitive grant to paint crosswalks.

311 has told CP they will change their menu so that translation services will be first. Houston is an example.
Linda reported that there are 6-7 minutes of announcements before any options are presented.

CP, this is an equity issue…it affects who gets to talk to the city; people are excluded by language.

911 is more complicated. We will press ahead.

10:55     Transfer of Housing Loan Program from CEE to GMHC, Pool Money, Contracts for NPP and CPP, Letters

There are three steps for spending our CPP funds:
1.     Allocate our funds for admin,  programs, and/or projects  (community engagement).
2.     Contract
3.     Implement the plan/project.

Quorum achieved 11:05 am. Rosie Cruz
MOTION: Ratify the motions of the committee of the whole. (CP, LL) Approved.

11:25   Ambassador Project Update: Vests are back, Packets? Start up walkers?

Will Gilman reported: Haven’t really gotten started, but we basically have everything we need. Need to develop some procedures such as monitoring who is part of the group, how to distribute vests, etc.

11:30 Computer Literacy classes:  Starting Date?  Stipends for class completion. People already recruited.

Free “Financial Literacy” classes to start in November, 5:30 – 6:30 pm (Nov. 10, 17, 24, and Dec. 1.) A four-week program. The first class will be taught in English. If there is interest in other languages, and a banker is available, other languages could be presented. Contact Linda regarding this November class.

The Computer Literacy class provides a certificate of completion that is helpful for employment.

CP distributed a flyer introducing the new classes with Meghan Muffett (Computer Literacy) and Shoua Lee (Financial Literacy). Based on responses a schedule of one or two classes per week will be established. 

MOTION: (LL, CP) For anyone who completes either one of these Literacy programs, EPIC will present a $10 Target gift card for completion of 4 or 6 classes. Maximum $400.00. Approved.

11:05       Office Finance – Design and furnishings
CPP budget was passed out and discussed. Changes to outfit our office. We aren’t paying any rent yet. Cheaper than most neighborhood offices. Board worked with Mary to estimate use of 2014 funds.

MOTION: (LL, RC) Move $2K from 2014 Other Services, $3K from 2014 Outreach Partnerships, $3K from 2014 Community Events, $2K from 2014 Development to 2014 Occupancy for putting the office together. These funds will cover the cost of updating/changing wiring, electrical, office equipment including computers, fax, etc. Approved by consensus.

11:25       Roof Depot Site – Tour – Results

MOTION: (CP, JB) Further research, invite Steve Kotke to next EPIC meeting, have another tour, check out Fridley site and our own site. Approved by consensus.

Land use plan???

12:05       NCR Meeting of Nov. 10th, Our concerns as the EPIC Board?? Changing rules. Changing Reports? The use of our time? The point? Is there clarity about that?           


12:05            Adjourn