March 7, 2015

Board Meeting Minutes 03 - 07

March 7th, 2015, 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. -Unknown

Board Roster: Jenny Bjorgo, Rosie Cruz, Mary Gonsior, Jean Howard, Linda Leonard, Ali Micalin,
Carol Pass, Earl Simms
Present board members: Jenny Bjorgo, Rosie Cruz, Mary Gonsior, Linda Leonard, Carol Pass,
Absent board members: Jean Howard, Ali Micalin, Earl Simms
EPIC Members: Andrew Fahlstrom, Patty Zanski-Fisher, Kyla Sisson, Michael Green, Eric Immler, Brad Pass

10:00   Introduction:
·       Approval of March Agenda:

10:10   Conflict of Interest: Read and sign, some discussion

CP read Article VIII from the EPIC Bylaws, and board members signed this pursuant to a request from NCR. This signed document is to be made available upon request.

10:20   Financial Report: Applied for headwaters Grant for $10,000.  Have spent almost no money since last report.

CP reported that EPIC has applied for a grant to assist with the environmental issues we are trying to address. These funds are somewhat flexible, and EPIC may be able to use these funds in partnership with other organizations working on these same issues, using EPIC’s partnership agreement guidelines.

10:30   Office space: We agreed to put up money to create an office space for EPIC. Problems and opportunities.

MOTION: Rent the space at 2433 Bloomington for $400.00 per month up to six months as a repository (storage space) for EPIC documents while we work out a solution. (JB, RC, approved.)

10:30   Transfer of Home Loan Program – The company with whom EPIC had its Home Loan program is cutting back and EPIC elected to move our program a few months ago from Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) to Greater Metro Housing Corporation (GMHC). We need to make some changes since we are doing a contract amendment in any case.

MOTION: Approve the following changes to EPIC’s Home Improvement and Homebuyer Program: (1) Combine the Emergency Loan Program with the Rehab Support Program– efficiency and avoiding duplication. (2) Change the income cap to a generic $96,845 for all households up to 10 dependents, this is what MHFA uses and they will be offering combining loans, also efficiency. (3) They don’t do research to find other options, so we need to vote to accept that. (MG, JB, Approved.)

10:45   Land Use Plan: EPIC would work with consultant Dean Dovolis to create a Land Use Plan for the area that meets our needs and projects our future. Money set aside in our CPP grant for this kind of use.

MOTION: Allocate $10,000 already budgeted 2015 CPP dollars for Community Engagement to work with consultant Dean Dovolis to create a land use plan for the Cedar/28th St./Hwy 55 site we can rally around. (MG, JB, Approved.)

Discussion: public comment expressed a desire for community engagement to include participation by community in developing a process for identifying deliverables for the work done with the consultant.

11:17 Jenny had to leave.   
          MOTION to meet as a committee of the whole. MG, CP, Approved.

11:18 Grievance: Current situation.  Four grievances need to be negotiated. NCR issues are completed. Concerns with the issue of grievances and Career critics. Chair’s remarks. Update on City’s Actions

We have concluded our work with NCR regarding the grievances. CP asked Minneapolis to help us find ways to address “career critics”. A log of just one of these critics shows 4 emails a day. Legally, responding to these demanding and time consuming claims is hurting the work of multiple neighborhood organizations, bogging down work and board members. Much of this seems harassing, and we are seeking legal advice regarding EPIC’s obligations in these situations.

We have a timeline for carrying out face-to-face negotiations regarding our current grievance issues, however, the deadline is not yet clear to us. NCR has not provided recommendations for mediators. LL was appointed by board to identify a qualified mediator, and schedule the negotiation meeting.

11:26   Michael Green - Grievance

11:28   The Disposition of the Roof Depot site, Removal of Asphalt Plant and Foundry and Environmental justice Issue (Discussion)

Where EPIC stands: Remarks by the Chair: This was a difficult time because a number of EPIC members felt left out of the process and are hoping that can change. EPIC would like to move in tandem with other’s concerned about these issues. EPIC has an environmental task force.

JoseLuis VillaSenor 's organization has taken on a big role in the fight against pollution and the effort to remove the asphalt plant and foundry and produce a more pollution-free future for East Phillips. EPIC welcomes his contribution to this effort. That other organizations also join in this fight in no way diminishes EPIC’s role and responsibility in any of this. Recall our motion passed in November, 2014.

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.

This motion put EPIC on its own path. EPIC has been working since then and before, providing our residents with information, showing our power point, attending Government Pollution Control Agency meetings, planning with Rep. Clark and preparing for a long struggle. Many all over the neighborhood have now written letters to the City decision-makers and are ready and equipped with information to do more. They all need to know that we need and embrace everyone of good will for this work. It is too big for any group to not welcome help.

We also need to reflect that EPIC remains tasked by the government and by our commitment to this job entrusted to us to provide community engagement for East Phillips for all residents, understood inclusively, for situations such as this and to continue to look after this area and the well-being of its people. As usual, we need to get busy.


RC: we need to find a way to work together.
MGreen: Who are Karen Clark and Alondra Cano listening to for direction?
LL: If EPIC takes the lead in representing the neighborhood, we are likely to get lots of ideas from a wider community.
CP: What can EPIC do? What are we trying to change? This is what we can do. We can’t be opposing other groups
AF: I’m hearing turf war mentality. Jose and Tamales are neighbors…
LL: We got off to a rocky start. What do we do now?
·       We have passed a motion to hire a consultant to begin working on a land use plan
·       We need to ask questions, what is feasible? (Re: Tamales e Bicicletas…how do we deal with each other now, after we have had a difficult time?)
RC: We have to fix the problem
·       Do you want to work alone?
·       Do you want to work together?
KS: I have been working with JoseLuis/Tamales to improve communication and be part of the planning for the March 14th meeting.
PZ: It would be helpful to meet with JoseLuis/Tamales. It would be helpful to have guidelines from the board regarding the task force. I think we have the same objectives and goals. We need to be working together for efficiency’s sake.
LL and MG will work together to put together a task force charter.
Task force will report at the general membership meeting.

12:25   Bylaws Discussion

EPIC recognizes that EPIC bylaws require that the following individuals must be dropped from board membership:
Jean Howard, Ali Micalin, Cesar Prado

Nominations for new board members may be received from present Board members and the general membership by the Secretary (LL) two weeks in advance of a Board meeting. (Bylaws, Article VII, Section 10.)

EPIC will schedule a special board meeting to consider bylaw changes that have been recommended by members, and NCR. EPIC will establish an attendance sheet form to record board member attendance and easily facilitate compliance with EPIC bylaws.

Approval of the February 7th EPIC Board Minutes: Not approved.

·       EPIC General Membership Meeting, March 12th, 6:30 to 8:45 pm at East Phillips Park
·       Next Meeting Tamales Y Bicicletas, March 14th Saturday,  9:00 am at Open Arms
·       Next class in Financial Literacy will be in Spanish. Starts on March 17th from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm at the                   Park and runs for 5 weeks.
·       March 16th CPED Community Planning Meeting where we can speak
·       IT Hub Meeting, March 27th
·       Opening of the Garden Meeting, Saturday April 11th, 10 pm at the Community Center

11:50   Self Evaluation

12:55   Adjourn