July 14, 2016

Community Meeting Minutes 07 - 14

July 14, 2016, 6:30 p.m. – 8:50 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
Phone: (612) -280-8418

Board Roster: Jenny Bjorgo, Rosie Cruz, Laura Dale, Shawna Dillon, Mary Gonsior, Kristin Hanks, Linda Leonard, Margarita Ortega, Carol Pass.
Board Members Present: Jenny Bjorgo, Laura Dale, Shawna Dillon, Mary Gonsior, Kristin Hanks, Linda Leonard, Margarita Ortega, Carol Pass, Rosie Cruz
Board Members Not Present:
Members: Brad Pass, Margaret Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth H., Lupe Castillo, No Start No Finish, Britt Hower, Ashley Hicks
Guests: Shirley Heyer, Aisha Gomez, Mohamed Cali, Sofia Hernandez, Thalia Garcia, Aracely Garcia, Heidi Hafermann

6:40     Introductions:

·      Greetings and Introductions: What country is celebrating independence day today, and why is this important to us? France; their independence helped America gain independence from England.
·      Approval of Agenda: Approved by consensus.
Approval of Minutes from June 9th, 2016, JB, CP, Approved.

6:45     Announcements:

  • Houses for sale…Strong Home Buyer' help. Potential $40,000 write down on new home.
  • First Annual Pan-African Arts and Cultures Fair, July 23rd, 11am-6pm Peavey Park, Chicago & 22ndSt East, Food, Music
  • Celebrate the new Downtown City Commons, July 26, Thursday, 11:30-1:00, a short program with City officials plus performances by Asian Dance Team. The event will also feature food trucks, free yoga by Core Power Yoga.
·      National Night Out is on Tuesday, August 2nd. Register soon to avoid hefty fees. Each registered block may request reimbursement of eligible expenses up to $100.
·      Next EPIC Board Meeting will be August 6th, Saturday at the Park 10:00 am to 12:00 am
·      Suggesting August Community meeting be cancelled.  (No one agreed).
·      SummerFest: see the article in the Alley.
·      MN Legislative Manuals (available free).
·      CM Cano is teaming up with CM Glidden and CM Gordon to create a space to come together where CM’s can listen to people express feelings and needs with respect to recent violence in this city. Tuesday, July 26th from 6-8pm at Plaza Verde. There will be food and snacks. 

7:00     Presentation from the Native Youth Arts Collective, the CIF Grant recipients. Come and support Little Earth's budding artists.         
Aracely, Thalia, Sophia and Ashley visited on behalf of the Youth Arts Collective and shared why this program is important to them. The students visited MIA and Walker art center, creating crafts and learning different methods of creating art. At MIA created art and explored the diverse cultures on display at MIA. They saw a lot of different cultures using similar motifs in different ways. Observed different expressions of religion and spirituality. Had an opportunity to express their feelings in front 
of them. They commented that it was like a form of meditation. The student’s work is still on display, and is free all day, everyday. Contact Whit Siasoco (works with youth programming at MIA.)

They participated with a large feminist group (Guerrilla Girls), and could relate to the activism but the youth are more focused on different issues. Worked with a videographer to write out their concerns into a video story, which was shown at the Walker and downtown. Invited into a print-making facility to explore different printing methods. Youth have had a lot of opportunities to partner with local organizations. Youth have had opportunity to form relationships with these organizations.

Will continue the program this fall and the Walker Art Center has offered a special internship for this youth collective. Heidi and Joe have really done a good job of stretching the dollars, and are seeking another grant to keep the program going, and talking with community partners.

Youth would like the program to continue on. The program is affirming of the gifts the youth have, and confidence to overcome the “inner critic.” They believed it was a way to do something productive instead of falling into trouble; and said they could gain a sense of responsibility and strengthen mentally, spiritually, physically and emotionally. They saw you can make anything into art.

They want the program to go forward and be there in the future - an opportunity for their younger brothers and sisters. Since joining the program they said they have learned to love art and have become passionate about it.
There is a Facebook page: Little Earth Arts Collective. They told us “But don’t just sit and look at social media – get out there and see it in person!” People applauded and it deemed very affirming. Heidi used a lap top to show us pictures of their work. Everyone wanted to meet again.

7:55  Update on commercial building on 2701 Bloomington Ave.

Owners received all the variants needed and construction will begin.

7:57 Discussion of meeting with Greg Goeke about the Roof Depot site. History of our commitment to the area. Future vision. Where do we go from here?

GCP gave a brief history of EPIC’s involvement with this property, pollution concerns and the recent purchase by City of Minneapolis, which was in planning for over 10 years without telling the community. EPIC’s goal is to clean up pollutants, and create a space that adds positive benefits rather than negative costs to the community. We asked the city to save half the building for the community to build an urban farm, and wrote a proposal which we sent to the state, requesting $3M to begin funding the proposal. We haven’t  given up on this, but it  is currently stalled.

The city purchased the property, and when the city authorized staff to make the purchase, they directed staff to work with neighborhood residents to identify opportunities for creating space for community space. CM Cano worked to try to limit the space used for municipal purposes, but most of the council was opposed.

City will offer a request for proposal for a designer for the building. CM Cano has a call scheduled for Goeke tomorrow to discuss RFP.

The meeting on Monday: Goeke was at the meeting to negotiate between the city and the neighborhood.  His staff will do the interviews and recommend one team to the city council, and the neighborhood will have an opportunity to comment after the architect team is chosen.


MOTION: Whereas EPIC wishes to remind the city of their commitment and duty stated in the City’s Core Principles of Community Engagement (adopted by the Mpls. City Council, December, 2007). EPIC is to have a:
Right to be involved Public participation is based on the belief that those who are affected by a decision have a right to be involved in the decision-making process. and,

Whereas East Phillips residents have been left out of the planning and decision-making process since it started more than 10 years ago,

Therefore, the neighborhood demands that the city provide a voice to the community in identifying qualifications and requirements for the RFP to hire the planning team for the roof depot site. Qualifications the community insists to be included in the RFP are (1) competency on Environmental Justice, and (2) that the position they hire be divided into two positions:one, an industrial designer with expertise in environmental justice issues, and two, a person who is an urban community designer*. BP, MO, Passed unanimously.

*EPIC will verify this is the proper name for the type of architect/designer desired here.
Alondra requested that this motion be sent to CM Cano/Alondra on Friday morning (ASAP.)

Whereas EPIC objects to the introduction of major additional traffic, pollution and noise into our residential neighborhood, and
whereas current traffic has already reached epidemic proportions on E. 26th, E. 28th Streets, and Cedar Avenue, resulting in increased chronic traffic jams, serious accidents, and is at present risking the safety and lives of thousands of child and adult pedestrians and cyclists,

Therefore, EPIC demands that an exit and entry way be created from Highway 55 to provide access to the property at 1850 28th St E and 2717 Longfellow Ave., commonly referred to as the “roof depot properties” via the Highway 55 side of the current Public Works facility. MG, RC.  Approved.

See Diagram

8:45     Clean Sweep T-Shirt Design Contest 
13 entries and the selection committee chose the first place, and runner up winners. The winner will receive an award, $50 and have their art featured on the T-Shirt.

8:47     Announcement: Mohamed Cali
Somalia-American radio will broadcast all over Minneapolis, and wants to partner with EPIC to promote activities of EPIC through the station. Requesting time on the agenda next month, if possible.

8:55    Adjourn