February 12, 2015

General Membership Meeting Minutes 02 -12

February 12, 2015, 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

Board Roster: Jenny Bjorgo, Rosie Cruz, Mary Gonsior, Jean Howard, Linda Leonard, Ali Micalin, Carol Pass, Cesar Prado, Earl Simms
Board Members Present: Mary Gonsior, Linda Leonard, Jenny Bjorgo, Rosie Cruz
Board Members Not Present: Ali Micalin, Cesar Prado, Jenny Bjorgo, Jean Howard, Earl Simms, Carol Pass,
EPIC Members: Brad Pass, Laura Dale, Harry & Dana Dewilde, Michael Green, Maggie Ewing, Mahamed Cali, Margarita Ortega, Margaret Kirkpatrick,
Guests: Don Greeley, Tammy Johnston, Shirley Heyer

6:35     Introductions-
  •       Greetings and Introductions, share your favorite winter sport.
    • Discussed games, activities, food, and inviting neighbors to attend.
  •       Declaration to meet as a committee of the whole; approved by consensus. 
  •        Approval of Agenda: Agenda was accepted by consensus.

6:55     Crime and Safety – Don Greeley

Despite having made sections of East Phillips part of a focus zone, it has been pretty quiet. 3 robberies and 1 arrest was made. 6 weapons related incidents; in 4 arrests were made, one was an incident where someone shot themselves in the foot. Crime map was distributed.

Tammy Johnston, Midtown Safety; probation officer. Attending to be a resource to East Phillips. Caseload is 58 right now and 6 of them are in long term treatment.

7:02     Approval of Minutes from January EGM:
Approval of minutes with follow up for December minutes (see note on January minutes): Someone needs to review the November minutes and update with notes from the video. (M. Green: there was some discussion in January as to what Karen Clark said at the December meeting, and someone needs to determine whether the November minutes need to be updated.)

7:10 Announcements
  • Next Financial Literacy Class in SPANISH, March 17th
  • Next EPIC Board Meeting, March 7th (10 am)
  • Next EPIC General Membership Meeting, March 12th (6:30 pm)
  • Annual Meeting, April 25th, 2015
  • Nominating Committee
  • National Night Out; it is not too early to register.
  • Grant for $10,000 from Headwaters Foundation; environmental organizing

7:20     Somali American Community – FM Rado 101.7 FM

MC reported that the Somali Community received a permit to run a radio station, which will run 15 mile radius around the Phillips’ neighborhoods, and about 20 other S. Minneapolis neighborhoods. Invites participation from the community to help build this station. Hope this station will broadcast neighborhood meetings, and more.

FCC opened the window for 10 days for applications for this station. The Somali application won its own license while four other MN organizations are sharing one station. This is the culmination of a five year process to obtain a license. Mahamed was invited to return on March 7th with a more formal presentation for EPIC members.

7:30     EPIC Updates (see agenda)
There was a long discussion about whether the handout “East Phillips Affordable Home Ownership” was in contradiction to the December motion:

MOTION: (JB, ES) EPIC will set aside $120,000 to build UP TO 8 new houses on 8 empty lots and that we seek contracts with PRG and GHMC. Approved with 1 opposed, no abstentions.

M. Green expressed the opinion that the lots noted in the handout had been selected contrary to the motion, and that it also seemed to set aside $15,000 per house, instead of $120,000 for up to 8 houses. In addition, M. Green pointed out that EPIC should invite PRG, GHMC and other organizations to make presentations to EPIC community, including an opportunity to ask questions and participate in planning to the fullest extent possible.  LL responded out that the process is not far enough along for PRG to make a presentation.

7:45     Discussed the effort going on by Public Works Dept. to buy Roof Depot:
By consensus, all present EPIC members agreed to EPIC sending a message to the City and CM Cano to cease immediately, all negotiations by the Public Works Dept. to purchase the Roof Depot.

7:50     South Metro Service Area Master Plan. 35W to the River, south to city limits (Crosstown). The Park board has put together a committee (CAC) and the way the members were selected was that each CM could appoint a person, the four Phillips neighborhoods appointed Mary Watson (Ventura Village), different “groups” of neighborhoods could appoint a person; with 19 total. There are five other areas around the city that have CAC’s. The idea behind this is that the 19 members of the South service area, will attend different neighborhood meetings to find out what people want with their parks. This is not about programming but is about infrastructure. 

Meetings. Determine what physical changes and improvements need to be made to the parks in the South Service Area, and form a South Service Area Master Plan, concerning infrastructure. The park board has a finite budget, and almost infinite needs. EPIC should show up and support the swimming pool, improvements to Stewart Park, and a building at Peavey Park.

  • Monday, Feb. 23, 2015, Anderson School. 6-8 pm.
  • Thursday, March 26th, 2015, Central Gym. 6-8 pm.
  • Thursday, April 30th, 2015, Longfellow Community Center. 6-8 pm.
8:10     Progress on the November Motion: Next steps, task force


MOTION: Establish a Clean Air Task Force to repurpose the heavy industry areas of East Phillips to the goals of transit oriented residential housing, to disallow any further introduction of heavy industry and ultimately eliminate heavy industrial polluting enterprises from within the boundaries of East Phillips.

Task Force signup:
Maggie, Kyla, Eric,

The task force has not yet met, thus has not selected a chair. EPIC has distributed news articles and fact sheets regarding the laws passed by Roseville that prevented the move of Bituminous Roadways into property located in Roseville. Our task is large; we have multiple goals: 

  • Stop the Water Dept. from moving here.
  • Clean up and prevent future heavy industry associated pollution.
It is not enough to be “against” something, we have to be “for” something better. What can we propose for these lands that would be a better use than Water Works, and existing industries? We must also remember that some or the entire site may not be suitable for housing due to the Arsenic Triangle.

CP discussed making conditions for Water Works, which could be of assistance in removing heavy industry and reducing pollution, while not our ideal solution.

8:10     Nominations Committee

In order to provide a more open process, and create more opportunity for increased participation in EPIC’s board, MG proposed that we consider forming a nominations committee.

We had an informal discussion of leadership challenges and discussed the East Phillips Park Programming Partnership. Margarita Ortega, Division of will attend the next meeting.

8:40     Adjournment

February 7, 2015

Board Meeting Minutes 02 - 07

February 7th, 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. -Unknown

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

10:00   Introduction:
  • Approval of Agenda:
  • Approval of the January 3rd EPIC Board Minutes:
10:10  Announcements:
·                February 14th Valentines’ Day Celebration of East Phillips Potluck, Bring Ethnic Entrees.
·                Next class Computer Literacy is currently going on. People still can come. Next Financial Literacy                Class in March and will be in Spanish. These are evening classes.
·                Phillips IT Hub Meeting, March 27th
·                Some of us will re-initiate the Ambassadors Program.

10:15   Finances: Updates on Contracts- NCR concern that we organize and contract our funding.
Completed contracts- CPP 2014 – 2016, NPP Public Safety
Contract being written & letter gone out for Swimming Pool Money,
Contract for EPIC Loan Program- part way thgough transfer from CEE to GMHC
Contract for New Home Construction- Ready for submission to City
Audit is complete: Cost was $3,600. City paid.

10:30   Anti-Pollution Task Force Update – Headwaters Grant for $10,000, Meeting at Maggie’s- passed out jobs, need minutes, went to two meetings of the MPCA…to discuss strategies for neighborhood more free of pollution. We will arrange a neighborhood meeting. . EPIC will show the Power Point to other near by Neighborhoods. See Jan 3 Board  minutes.

10:45   25th St. Barrier - Need to address block Clubs if we are to make this happen. We will ask to meet with them.

10:55   11:30   Grievance from Lieder’s, inform the members of the email where Hannah offered to rescind grievances for $10,000. Inform Community of meeting times.  Update on City’s actions

11;20` EPIC/NCR Meeting: Next steps
            We reject Lissa Jones report. Bias, no objective fact. Discuss EPIC’s issues with NCR. No fact finding.
            MOTION: NCR do professional investigation i.ei fact finding  re June 12th Meeting. Organizational capacity assessment now being imposed on EPIC does not issues from the June letter and a lot of money is spent on one unsubstantiated claim that we have no copy. Quality of Report, Wilder Foundation Response,

  • 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
  • Relationship to EPIC is unknown (though we do know in the case of five interviewees apparently selected by NCR Staff, who were either not there at all or only casually there one or two times.)
  • 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.

11:50   Self Evaluation
12:00   Adjourn