January 3, 2015

Board Meeting Minutes 01-03

January 3rd, 2015, 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 opposite of poverty is not wealth, the opposite of poverty is justice.

Board Roster: Jenny Bjorgo, Rosie Cruz, Mary Gonsior, Jean Howard, Linda Leonard, Ali Micalin,
Carol Pass, Cesar Prado, Earl Simms
Present board members: Mary Gonsior,  Linda Leonard, Carol Pass, Earl Simms, Jenny Bjorgo, Rosie Cruz,
Absent board members: Cesar Prado, Earl Simms, Ali Micalin, Jean Howard
Members: Brad Pass

10:00   Introduction:
  • Approval of Agenda: passed
  • Approval of the December 6th, 2024  EPIC Board Minutes:
·                Budget Hearings on Dec. 10th, EPIC Chair spoke at the hearings on greater revenue sharing with the               neighborhoods.
·                Next classes in Financial and Computer Literacy coming soon.

10:15   Conclusion to the Audit Report –
Robert and Carol had to make lots of corrections to the audit and it was disappointing that a professional audit had so many errors. A question still remains about the membership rolls and how we maintain them. The auditor didn’t seem to acknowledge that.

10:25   Update on the Office - Pictures
One concern is about handicap accessible. We may have to redesign the entrance.

  • We need a new website
  • We need to post affirmations from others; document what we do well.
  • We need to habitually provide press releases and post them.
  • We need a communication specialist.
10:35   Updates on the Park Classes: FinanciaL and Computer Literacy
·       Success of First Class
·       MPRB Park Staff taking it to next level   
·       We need to ask for a letter of commendation.

10:45   Next steps for the removal of the Asphalt Plant and other heavy industry out of East Phillips
                        1)  Inventory of polluting industries
                        2)  Put together available information on emissions from each one
                        3)  Available information on their permits and when they expire
                        4)  Research Zoning issues.
                        5)  Learn what is needed by different agencies, City, County, MPCA, MDH, DEED how they   can help.
                        6)  What are the attitudes toward moving, (Are they profitable, do they have alternative locations that would not create injustices in other communities, is there economic development money available that would help them move. Do they provide valuable employment to locals,
                        7)  Where to show powerpoint.
                        8)  How much political clout do           they have?
                        9)  Would an official “Health Impact Analysis be useful or just get in the way?
  • Call Gary Schiff and ask about zoning.
  • Talk with Allen Muller about consulting. Waiting for a fee structure. Maybe we could write a grant.
            Water Yard: 68 Diesel trucks are more polluting than gas vehicles. Sometimes the health impacts of vehicles going to and from a facility might be greater than the emissions of the facility itself. .
                        How much coming and going? At what times?
                        What route would they take?
                        Number of employees and where do they live?
                        What do neighbors in present location say about their activities?
                        Consider other locations
            Actions: Write a Petitions, begin to circulate.
                        Organize a big group.
                        Write letters to elected officials, meet with owners.
                        Consult with a professional.
            Talking points:
  • Point out that the heavy industry is located at the intersection of Minneapolis’ highly touted light rail system, Greenway, Downtown, and more…why would the city allow a large intersection of pollution at City gateway.  
  • Slogan…Welcome to Murky Minneapolis.
  • Needs to be all about “equity”…and then they allow this.
Ø  Mary suggested sending out an RFP to find out what it would cost to get someone to guide the project/strategy.
Ø  Hiring a communication person would help us with talking points.

11:00   Implementing the Ambassador plan and some of the other parts of our Safety strategy
            Purchase of Bike and Camera? Placement of Camera

Carol had copies of the NPP plan for the camera and bikes. Linda asked how we get it to happen. Carol has to finish the 2013  CPP report and then we can do that.

The total cost for the audit was $3,600. Not $3000 as in the last meeting.

We approved the minutes by concensus.  Insert “organizational capacity assessment now being imposed on EPIC only addresses issues from the June letter and a lot of money is spent on one unsubstantiated claim that we have no copy of” for “This” at the end of the minutes as part of the discussion about Rubidor’s letter and Jones’ report.

The recommendations have nothing to do with the one claim against EPIC.

They have unnecessarily and inappropriately blended the fact of one unsubstantiated complaint with the much broader question of organizational capacity and compliance with NCR expectations.  The effect has been bias, punitive actions, and biased the organizational assessment. 

The city should have a standardized and equitable methodology that is consistent for every neighborhood for organizational review.

The city claimed participation issues and claimed there was due process on TV and claimed a conclusion to the situation before even conducting an investigation.

Lissa Jones appears contracted to legitimize the bias of NCR and the undue punitive actions.

There was no separation between organizational assessment and a complaint.  There is no way to separate the bias, which is adequately reflected in the organizational assessment when questions and references to Little Earth abound.

11:20   Self Evaluation Plan- Discussion of Document
Adopted for use by concenses with a suggestion for reformatting. Mary will send the revisions back.

11:35   Conclude the issues and meeting with NCR
            Some talking points:
  • Of 19 Interviewee’s; how many actually had significant interaction with EPIC? First interviewees were chosen by our critics and had almost no contact with EPIC.
  • No statistics regarding interviewees’ remarks or what their comments were are included in the report.
  • Exposure to EPIC is unknown (though we do know in the case of five interviewees apparently selected by NCR Staff
  • There is no data of any kind presented in the report.
  • No objective data in the report.
  • There are no objective conclusions drawn from data to validate them included in the report.
  • Lissa Jones did not attend a single EPIC meeting. She may have viewed a small portion of the June 12th meeting, which is the meeting where all of this controversy with the city started.
  • EPIC Board responded positively to all requirements of the June 27th Letter. The assessment by Ms. Jones  was not one of the requirements.
  • EPIC Board positive response to all requirements of the June 27th Letter was never acknowledged by NCR and NCR did not pull back punitive actions as stated would happen if conditions were met in the June 27th letter.
  • NCR staff appear to have financial, political and/or personal reasons for fostering complaints against EPIC.
  • Blame was placed on EPIC’s board without due process, examination of the facts, or investigation of any kind, before issuing a verdict. NCR staff resisted calls for any objective inquiry.
12:00   Adjourn