November 12, 2015

General Membership meeting Minutes 11-12

November 12th, 2015, 6:30 p.m. – 8:50 p.m.

East Phillips Park Cultural & Community Center, 2307 17th Ave S.
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, Laura Dale, Shawna Dillon, Mary Gonsior, Jean Howard, Linda Leonard, Margarita Ortega, Carol Pass.
Board Members Present: Rosie Cruz, Laura Dale, Mary Gonsior, Jean Howard, Linda Leonard, Margarita Ortega, Carol Pass
Board Members Not Present: Jenny Bjorgo, Shawna Dillon (E),

EPIC Members: Abdi Abdillahi, Brad Pass, Craig Seifert, Erica Schultz, Karen Clark, Lee Samuelson, Margaret Kirkpatrick, Emrys Stramer

Guests: Aisha Gomez, Shirley Heyer

6:50     Introductions:

·       Greetings and Introductions.
·       Approval of Agenda (MG, RC); approved by consensus.
·       Approval of Minutes from October 8, 2015 (BP, MG); approved by consensus, with clarification regarding Q&A regarding trespass: Little Earth “management” or any “property owner/management” can “trespass” anyone for any reason; also, strike the line: 17 incidents just in one block alone (2500 block of 18th).


7:00     Announcements:

  • International Holiday: Diwali; Hindu tale of the triumph of Good over Evil
  • EPIC Membership Meeting, East Phillips Park, December 10th, Thursday 6:30 pm,
  • EPIC Board meeting, East Phillips Park, Sat, 10:00 am, December 5th.
  • December 7th – 1:30 PM: City Ways and Means committee, City Hall,  Vote on the Condemnation of Roof Depot,
  • December 11th -9:30 AM: City Council votes on condemnation Roof Depot Site, City Hall Council Chambers
  • Read the Alley Articles – EPIC posts in every issue.
    • If anyone wants to write an article about East Phillips news, send them over to EPIC & the Alley.
    • If you want to write a general article, contact Harvey Winge at

7:20     Recent Public Safety Issues  -

Problem Properties - Houses 

2512 17th
People living in a garage. Housing orders have been issued. Owner has 30 days to complete the work.

Comments: Why does it take 2 months and dozens of phone calls, and still no one responds to reports of problem properties until they have escalated to an extremely dangerous and hazardous situation? This is an example of unjust treatment of our neighborhood, just ignoring our concerns and failing to respond or provide city services in a timely manner.  There were about 15-20 calls to 911 since summer on this property.

Since calling 311 and the systems that are in place to address these issues have failed, residents must, in addition to calling 311 or police, contact CM Alondra Cano’s office and report these problems to Aisha Gomez: 612-673-2209

2527 18th
Garden shed broken into. Police refused to board it, and CPED refused to board it. It was open for an entire week, and was being used for drug dealing. Yesterday it was set ablaze – likely in retaliation for boarding it just as a business got going.

2522 17th
Not discussed

Speeding Cars and Reckless drivers intersection of 26th St and 18th Ave
Neighbor at 2600 18th has had 6 collisions on his property in the last 10 years. On the other corner (2548 18th) there have been probably 4 collisions in the last 10 years. These have been major incidents. Is there anything that can help/slow down the traffic here?

26th and Bloomington Bike Lane
The city will be removing the big concrete bumps out from intersections due to problems related to design. (Difficult to navigate turns, unable to keep clear of snow.)


Vandalism sites have included: Southside Family Nurturing Center, Homes, Daycare, Community Garden

Aggravated Assaults – not discussed

What to do?
  • EPIC Ambassadors
  • Solutions? Home lighting.  Repair street lights
  • Hire park employees at Cedar Field to be out and about to help with safety/crime issues.
  • Stipend based “ambassadors”
  • Stipend based “home lighting” – would need a vendor.
  • Report on Lights Out – we turned in a list of lights out on all EPIC streets to Aisha Gomez. MG and MO will make another trip through the alleys to record more lights out. SH suggestsed that we also note any properties with no fences and those that have no lights; these would be go candidates to contact for home lighting.

7:45     Condemnation of Roof Depot of Site

What’s Wrong with this? What should we do?

MOTION: see handout, as amended. (BP, RC) Passed unanimously.

Whereas, the city of Minneapolis passed a resolution [“…to work with the residents of East Phillips…INCLUDE THE ENTIRE QUOTE OF THE CITY COUNCIL MOTION HERE”], therefore, EPIC calls upon City Council Members to refuse to authorize to pursuit of condemnation and acquisition of the property by eminent domain, on the basis …[continue with the original board motion]…To allow this process to go forward, will have an adverse affect on the “vibrancy of the East Phillips neighborhood and its residents.” Please see US Supreme Court decisions…[citations here]. We demand that the City Council honor their own Core Principles of Community Engagement as outlined in [citation].

There was a long discussion of the motion, history of EPIC’s actions to gain this property to enhance the community, and reworking of the motion. There will be no opportunity for the public to speak to the council.

Craig Seifert suggested that EPIC could file a writ of prohibition; a legal action that would “prevent” the city from taking an action.

Discussion of EPIC’s involvement in the history of the city’s plan to purchase the property to house the water works. The property department of the city will come to the city council for authorization to seek to take the property by imminent domain.

KC mentioned a resolution that was passed that the city would work with the neighborhood on this property, so there may be a legal basis for objecting to the condemnation if there is documentation of the city’s prior agreement to work with EPIC.

8:15     EPIC NPP Housing Project-East Phillips Infill Campaign (EPIC), TABLED

First two homes: 2424, 2422 16th Ave. are going in. Foundation is being dug tor 2424 16th.
2600 to 2606  - 4 lots combined to make two buildable lots to be used for two new homes.

8:50     Adjournment