May 14, 2015

General Membership Meeting Minutes 05 - 14

May 14th 2015, 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, Margarita Ortega, Carol Pass, Gloria Reyes,
Board Members Present: Jenny Bjorgo, Mary Gonsior, Jean Howard, Linda Leonard, Carol Pass,
Board Members Not Present: Rosie Cruz, Margarita Ortega, Gloria Reyes,
EPIC Members: Laura Dale, Kyla Sisson, Hindolo Okawa, Chana Ware, George Kennedy, Carol Hill Kennedy, Kathrine Guimaraes, Michael Green, Brad Pass, Margaret Kirkpatrick
Guests: Don Greeley, Heidi Hafermann, Shirley Heyer,

6:40     Introductions:
·      Greetings and Introductions
·      Approval of Agenda: approved by concensus
·      Approval of Minutes from EPIC April 9th Annual Meeting: Tabled to next month.
·      Approval of Minutes from EPIC April 25th Annual Meeting: JB, MO,

6:55     Announcements:

  • Next EPIC Board Meeting, June 6th
  • General Membership Meeting, June 11th
  • Potential Date for EPIC Summerfest, June 22nd 
  • Arbor Day Celebration was at Stewart Park today; planted 150 new trees. Contact Phil about a dead tree near the Park Board stage at EPPCCC. If we don’t replace this tree we can bring in a stage without damaging it.
  • Midtown Phillips – Youth; youth want fair access to the Stewart Park soccer field and will be holding a meeting with city staff. This is an issue for all residents concerning Minneapolis parks.
  • June 20, 2015. Sierra Leone Foundation for New Democracy will host a luncheon; everyone is invited. RSVPs are required; look for more information from EPIC.

7:10     Introduction of the New Board Members
·      Margarita Ortega
·      Gloria Reyes  

The board met on Saturday, May 2, 2015 and elected officers:

President: Carol Pass
Vice President: Margarita Ortega
Secretary: Jean Howard
Treasurer: Mary Gonsior

7:20     Discuss the Community Innovation Grant (CIF) in partnership with Little Earth: Deadline to file by June 3, 2015.
HH: Working with Joe B, Director of College Prep at LE, have developed a plan for expanding a Native Youth Art Collective program. Working out of the existing program with youth, the program would retain a Native  American lens and focus, but would open to any interested teens. This work and the collective would place a lot of responsibility and leadership in the hands of the teens. The emphasis would be placed

on skills that relate to college readiness. A key component would have the kids set up a Tumbler page that allows a group to have a visibility and presence as a group.

The value for both LE and EPIC is that the funding requires that there be components related to reaching out to a larger community. We envision that there would be several school term “events” in addition to a summer long program. Bi-annual reporting requirements could be presented to EPIC. This program will be designed to become a replicable program and leave room for growth.

CP: The funding is competitive and is available only to neighborhoods. There are 81 neighborhoods in Minneapolis. The collaborative aspect of this program will be critical. EPIC has worked to develop criteria to “share” our money and we have a document addressing criteria for collaboration. This project seems like a very good fit.

The board will have to work out a budget, and collaboration will need to be a component to the extent that the project will succeed in a competitive environment.  EPIC’s own collaboration documents require that there be real collaboration, and not just on paper. If passed, a grant proposal will have to meet all these requirements.

JH: Exciting to collaborate with LE on this grant. Not only will LE youth be benefiting from this program, but the larger community will benefit as well, by learning about the traditions and culture of the Native American community. Starting with the youth is good because it is a new generation. This should help join our communities into one.

RC: This is a great opportunity for EPIC and LE to get to know each other, and she is very supportive of this program.

MOTION: EPIC will enter into an agreement with Little Earth to make a collaborative partnership program, and EPIC will submit a CIF grant request for $30,000 as well as serve as fiscal agent if the grant is received. MGr, KS; Approved.

7:50      Don Greeley, Crime prevention specialist

MG reported an incident on the 2400 block of Bloomington Ave. DG will try to find out about that incident.

RC reported ongoing problems on Lake St. between Cedar and Oakland. DG can’t guarantee that MPD can keep a camera here.

JH reported a gang that has been giving Little Earth residents a hard time. They are actually trying to rob people right in Little Earth, beating them senseless and sending to the hospital. This gang seems to have no standards; very young (13-14). Very frightening. MO reported that the shooting on Lake St. was MOMA (money over everything). DG reported that their graffiti is around; there was a shooting incident with a gang called “10s”. DG reported that the next Little Earth court watch meeting is May 22nd at 10 am. MO reported one individual who is on “trespass” and no one comes...the individual is still there at Little Earth. MO observed a woman beaten in front of residents and her grandchildren, called police 4 times, and they finally arrived, but let the man go. DG will look up the call and see if a report is written. SH reported that Midtown is also dealing with problems with gangs. An incident occurred involving about 15 juveniles;
because they are juveniles, the community can learn nothing about what happened. Midtown residents reported there is an African American group that comes onto the soccer fields during Somali matches and threatens them and police do not come when called.

MOTION: EPIC will request the presence of the Mayor, chief of police, 3rd precinct inspectors, and head of 911 to attend a near term EPIC membership meeting for a discussion of policing in East Phillips. MGr, JH; Approved.

MG asked what will this meeting accomplish?

JH feels that holding this meeting will bring visibility to our community, and give EPIC the opportunity to
LD thinks upon additional information from DG, we should confront them with this incident, and ask them to explain what happened.
RC we want to hear what they are going to do.
GR they will hear the concerns of the neighborhood, and can make a plan to address the problems.

7:20     Moving ahead with our Neighborhood Priority Plan: Police Bike, Ambassador Program, cross walks, for starters.

CP gave an update on EPIC plans and discussions. EPIC will start chipping away at the programs that were developed as part of the Neighborhood Priority Plan.

Crime and Safety committee: sign up on attendance sheet tonight.

MOTION: EPIC will reconvene the Crime and Safety committee and it will address the items in Exhibit A of the NPP budget, including engaging the city of Minneapolis on the prior motion to attend a community meeting. MGr, GK;

JH, as secretary, will convene the first meeting.

8:30     Somali radio station (added by consensus.)

Mohamed Cali announced the radio station agreement that was granted to his nonprofit community organization. There is equipment and administration that remains unfunded. EPIC should support his efforts to apply for funding, possibly working with neighborhoods to write a CIF grant for this project. SH reported that Midtown voted to support the project. The radio station is located in Ventura Village, and Mohamed Cali is a resident of Midtown. 

MOTION: EPIC will support the concept of a multi-cultural programming radio station and will work with Mohamed Cali to achieve that goal. MGo; GK; Approved.

CP: ideally all four of the Phillips neighborhoods will be involved and support this project.

8:45     Progress on the Water yard/Roof Depot site and Asphalt Plant/Foundry Industrial Site. Seeking a Site for the Asphalt Plant.

The asphalt plant wants to move and has the funds; trying to find a location. If anyone knows a real estate agent, or someone who can help, especially outside the metro,  contact CP. They need 3 acres.

8:50     Progress on Housing Loan Programs. 

The housing loans are for rehab and for purchase. No interest, and no payments until you sell the home.

8:50     Support 2900 16th Ave Block effort to put speed bumps on 16th Ave. They need a petition for their  Block.

MOTION: EPIC will support the effort of the 2900 16th Ave block and the 2400 18th Ave block in their efforts to get speed bumps and will help them with their petitions. CP, GR; Approved with 1 abstention.

MGr offered a friendly amendment that would include any block that formed a group to get speed bumps, which was declined.

GR reported that the 2900 block of 16th Ave has a terrible burden of drug dealing and traffic at all hours of the day and night. With many children, it is a very dangerous situation.
MO reported that the 2400 block of 18th has a school, an early learning center, and lots and lots of children going back and forth to along with much more traffic related to the new, popular East Phillips Park; the day cares serve multi-neighborhood residents bringing lots of extra traffic to the area.

8:55     Adjournment.

May 7, 2015

Board Special Meeting Minutes 05 - 07

May 7th, 2015, Thursday, 7:00 PM
Perkins Restaurant, Franklin & 27th Ave.
EPIC web address:
Office: 2536 18th Avenue S., Minneapolis, MN 55404

“Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt the people doing it.”
                                                                                          –ephemer, inc

Board Roster: Jenny Bjorgo, Rosie Cruz, Mary Gonsior, Jean Howard, Linda Leonard, Rita Ortega
Carol Pass, Gloria Reyes

Present board members: Mary Gonsior, Jean Howard, Linda Leonard, Carol Pass, Gloria Reyes, Rita Ortega, Jenny Bjorgo

Absent board members: Rosie Cruz
Visitors: Heidi

7:05     Introductions:
·       Introductions
·       Approval of May 7th Agenda  

7:15     The CIF Grant: EPIC in partnership with Little Earth
Heidi presented a proposal for EPIC to partner with Little Earth in an application for a CIF grant up to $30,000 to provide a two year program for Native Youth Arts Collective. The program would be an internship-like part of a college prep program providing stipends for participating youth. Working with 10-12 youth, ages 14-19, the program would operate from LE facilities, and run during the summer months, with a few school “break” activities that might partner with the greater community of East Phillips. Key components of the program would address how a partnership with EPIC could be achieved, as well as providing a replicable program that might be expanded.

MOTION: EPIC will co-write with Little Earth a proposal and submit for the CIF Grant up to $30,000 for a 2 year Native Youth Arts Collective program. RO, JH. Approved.

8:15     Michael Green’s Grievance
MG presented her report of her investigation of Mr. Green’s grievance along with proposed comments and remedies.

MOTION: EPIC accepts the report and approves the comments and proposed remedies as amended at this meeting. The motion was approved by consensus. Mary will prepare a response to Mr. Green for the board.

9:15     Report on Attorney search
LL presented a report of her research on hiring an attorney to specifically represent EPIC in determining a ruling on EPIC’s election results. Options could include hiring an attorney suggested by MAP at $650 per hour, finding a less expensive attorney and submitting a request for a ruling with a parliamentary organization at $100 per hour. Discussion included whether EPIC should wait and see what the city attorney has to say, and seeking a pro bono attorney who specializes in this area of law. The board decided not to authorize any expenditure at this time; EPIC will see what the attorney contracted by the City says, and LL will investigate whether a pro bono attorney may be found.

9:58     Adjourn

May 2, 2015

Board Meeting Minutes 05-02

May 2nd, 2015, Saturday, 10:00 am
East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center
EPIC web address:
Office: 2536 18th Avenue S., Minneapolis, MN 55404

“Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt the people doing it.”
                                                                                          –ephemer, inc

Board Roster: Jenny Bjorgo, Rosie Cruz, Mary Gonsior, Jean Howard, Linda Leonard, Rita Ortega
Carol Pass, Gloria Reyes

Present board members: Mary Gonsior, Jean Howard, Linda Leonard, Rita Ortega, Jenny Bjorgo,
Carol Pass, Gloria Reyes

Absent board members: Rosie Cruz
Members: Michael Green, Maggie Ewing, Chana Ware
Visitors: Carrie Day Aspinwall

10:20   Introductions:
·       Introductions
·       Acceptance of Grievances – Michael Green (4)
·       Approval of May 2nd Agenda  
·       Approval of April 4th Board Minutes
o   JH asked for information about the presentation by DD on March 28th, and a discussion of the motion to approve $10,000 was held. The motion was passed at the March 2015 membership meeting.
o   JH &RO asked for a copy of the NCR recommendations and draft response noted in item 5 of the business report.

10:20   Introduction of the new and old board members

JH asked about election of Edwin Gonzalez and the letter that was sent from EPIC stating that Edwin was not eligible for nomination for the board. CDA shared NCR’s involvement in researching the eligibility of the candidate. LL stated that the nominations committee acted in accordance with EPIC bylaws, and a motion is not required to follow the Bylaws. CP discussed EPIC’s experience with individuals in identical situations, namely wishing to be on the board, but who have not been able to serve on the board because they are not eligible, either because they did not live here or because they had not been to a previous General Membership meeting in the past year. The requirements for residency, or representation of a business located in East Phillips, along with attendance of at least one previous General Membership meeting have been in place for years, and should be followed consistently for all individuals seeking candidacy for EPIC’s board. RO feels that the communications to Edwin “came from the board,” but was done without consultation with board members. RO proposed that a better resolution would have been to call a special meeting, or to wait for the board meeting. CP pointed out that they thought there would be additional issues to resolve if we seated Edwin and thought we did not want to add more problems. LL pointed out that the executive committee has authority to conduct business between meetings and that the executive committee as nominating committee was still to carry out their obligations. CDA reported that NCR conducted a review of Robert’s Rules (newly revised) for clarity regarding eligibility for elections, and responses to EPIC concerns about an elected director’s eligibility. MG stated that EPIC’s policies and procedures contain clarification regarding both eligibility and response to an election of an ineligible candidate, and proposed that written policies and procedures have more weight than Robert’s Rules.

MOTION: EPIC will schedule a special meeting along with a consulting attorney and the city’s attorney to assist the board in navigating a resolution regarding EPIC’s board elections. MG, CP  approved.

Note: a special meeting is open to the public.

By consensus, LL will engage a consulting attorney independent of the city’s attorney.

11:48   Business -  
              1. Presentation of 990 Tax return and Annual Charitable Organization Report to the MN Attorney General. We need a Resolution to approve the filing of the AG report. The filing deadline for Form 990 is May 15th; the filing deadline for AG Report is July 15, 2015.

MOTION: Approve the filing the 990 and AG report. MG, CP. Approved.

              2. Approval of CPP Annual Reports 2013 and 2014.

MOTION: Approve EPIC’s Annual Reports to CPP for 2013 and 2014, and submit them to NCR. CP, MG. Approved with a counted voice vote:

In favor: LL, GR, MG
Opposed: JH, RO
Abstain: CP

CDA stated NCR concern about potential amendment of the reports if the reports are distributed at meetings, or online, can create confusion.

MOTION: Extend the meeting for an additional 15 minutes (until 12:40). MG, RO.

12:25   Presentation of Board Notebooks to new members.

MOTION: Proceed to election of officers with an explanation of responsibilities. MG, RO. Approved.

11:40   Election of Officers-

MOTION: Extend the meeting until 1:00 PM. MG, RO. Approved.

President: CP and RO. CP approved. 3 for CP; 2 for RO. 1 abstain.
Vice Chair: RO. RO approved unanimously.
Secretary: LL. JH. 3 for JH; 2 for LL. 1 abstain.
Treasurer: MG by Acclamation.

MG reported that she had investigated 2 grievances filed by Michael Green in March, and she copies of the grievances, and distributed a report of the investigation containing comments and proposed remedies for resolving the grievances. Meeting with Michael on April 2, 2015, Michael graciously granted the board an extension of time until the May board meeting to respond to the grievances. As the board does not have suffiecient time to address the grievances, investigation and proposed resolutions at this meeting, present members received copies of the materials, and the materials will be distributed to absent board members. EPIC will call a special board meeting at Perkins Restaurant on May 7th at 7 pm, to discuss the report and decide on a final board response. EPIC bylaws provide that the board may hold a closed meeting to discuss grievances. MG will contact Michael and inform him of the boards’ progress.

MG reported that EPIC has been considering policies and procedures for addressing board attendance, and has instituted a board attendance roster to facilitate better awareness of board member absences. EPIC is developing letter templates to be used.

1:20     Self Evaluation-
At the close of the meeting, board members were asked to complete a self-evaluation form.

·       Discussion of the EPIC Bylaws
·       Discussion of Policies and Procedures of EPIC
·       Obligations of a board member- Duty of Care, Duty of Loyalty, Duty of Obedience, Getting along

1:25     Adjourn