January 12, 2017

EPIC Community Meeting Minutes 01 - 12

01/12/2017, 6:30 – 8:50
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, Linda Leonard, Carol Pass, Mary Gonsior
Board Members Present: Carol Pass, Linda Leonard, Laura Dale,
Board Members Not Present: Mary Gonsior (E), Jenny Bjorgo (E), Rosie Cruz (E)
Members: Brad Pass, Jose LuisVillaSenior, Carlos Parra, Steve Sandberg, Doug VanderVeen, Rep. Karen Clark
Guests: Shirley Heyer, Michelle Chavez

6:30     Social Time and Introductions

Winter jokes.

Add to the agenda a grant report from JoseLuis
Move crime up to after the announcements until Rep. Clark can be here

6:55     Approval of Proposed Jan. 12th, 2017 Agenda, Approved by consensus
            Approval of December 8th General Membership Draft Minutes, consensus

7:00     Announcements:

o   Next EPIC Board Meeting will be February 4th, 2017, Saturday at the Park 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.

  • Next EPIC Community meeting will be February 9th, 2017, Thursday at the Park 6:30 to 8:45 pm.
    This meeting will include a major discussion of the reconstruction of Cedar Bridge. Figure out your concerns
  • Nominations for the Board: Members of East Phillips seeking election to the Board of Directors, whether nominated by themselves or another, should pick up the eligibility papers, sign them and turn them in to an EPIC Board member in the next few weeks.
  • Cedar Field Redesign – Still working on the Cedar Avenue Field Park Master, Watch for time & place
7:05      Crime discussion:
General comments. We can discuss and tell stories but we really need a strategy about what we are going to do and who will do “it”. The police don’t seem to be willing to locate problem housing and hot spots. They will investigate if we persist and give information.
How can we identify the problem houses?
SA ?
2600 18th
Near Cedar Field
25th difficult August through September….heroin; Alleys used a lot for the exchanges.
Doug is not sure the cameras are being used by the police. The big lights put in on the corner of 16th and 25th have helped.

What about the barricade? Discussion to have in light of the summer activities.

5th of January 10-20 shots fired into a home across from Jose Luis; 18 hour hold out and FBI involved there earlier.  A shooting of a relative in the home. Home is owned by an ex-wife. May be gangster disciples involved. Linda has had intimidating interactions with that family.  A three year old almost shot by drive by.

Carol talked about shutting the house down.  There are other homes in the operations that JoseLuis knows about.
JoseLuis thinks unemployment is a contributing factor.
Police and regulatory services can assist.
Problem properties unit. You must call 911 EVERY time you see something and get a case number. They can arrange a housing inspector; police officer and contractor. The county attorney can also help.
612 673-2233 problem properties. Noah is the head of regulatory services.
27th and 12th house is associated. Another one is near Tim Springer’s house.

We need a replacement for East Phillips community liaison crime prevention specialist.

2900 17th block is really difficult…..all the 2900 blocks off Lake are problematic. Swat team has acted.

7:30     Legislative update from Rep. Karen Clark
Karen’s car broken into the third time. People seem to be looking for money or drugs. Her car is alarmed and they don’t break windows to get in.

Karen working on opiod crisis and there is a coalition working on treatment options. It’s called the “pill tax” in legislation. It goes to the pharmacies and physicians writing excessive prescriptions. It’s to question and restrict the number of pills and refills.  The registration helps control abuse.  The bill isn’t drafted yet for treatment options.
State level health care is targeting relief to huge deductibles and copays.  The governor is wanting financial relief asap but the Republican version will take longer and perhaps even until next year.

Real ID is being discussed. A federal data bank for state ID is perhaps mandatory. A number of states has not complied. The current bill goes beyond the minimum by requiring undocumented people by law must have legal status before getting drivers’ licenses.
The Catholic and Episcopal church are helping with this real ID bill. An ag group and hospitality and housekeeping group as well. The Chamber of Commerce supported legal licenses last year, but not this year.

The governor is the only one who can veto the bill. He is supportive of documentation for people without legal status.

Affordable Housing.  Only 57 Democrats in the House this year.  Renters’ issues and renters’ rights is a problem. Her bill says landlords and home sellers have to disclose if it’s in the building. Test and tell and then it has to be cleaned up. It has to do with “right to know”.

Job initiatives include the fact of over a billion dollars of surplus.

The governor has promised to veto huge tax breaks to the most wealthy.

The Minneapolis American Indian Center needs repairs and Karen had people that deal with bonding and the governor put planning grant money in his proposed budget. It would take 7 million dollars to rebuild it because of structural flaws.

The City of Minneapolis learned that some representatives will not support city requests to the state unless the city works with the neighborhood about the Roof Depot site.  Perhaps 30% of the unused space should go to neighborhood priorities. Karen may not get a hearing about it but could at least get a “people’s hearing”. The Governor is supportive of people concerns.

Last year there was an urban agriculture initiative and those words are now in the state department of agriculture mission. We lost a 3 million dollar pilot project when the budget fell apart last year. There was no special session either. The new bill will call for some funding. The Republican chair of the house Agriculture Committee is supportive and we should be able to get some funding for urban ag again. Hopefully it would be applied to our neighborhood. Metro State in St Paul, Duluth, and north side are also interested.

8:00     DOE Solar Challenge Application was initiated by  Property Services and Bryan Milbrand in the energy department wrote it after getting some resources from Carol Pass. Carol sent information to Aisha in Council member Cano’s office. If the city gets the grant they will have to include the neighborhood. It’s a $40,000 competitive planning grant. It could lead to $500,000 implementation grant. Greg helped us defeat the burner some years ago and now seems to be a bit of an ally.

U of M and Tamales and bicycles pilot fish farm project and looking for an Urban Farm Institute for urban justice. Find markets and corner stores, etc.  It is $50,000 to study the impact of healthy food and diets in the city. Healthy living and healthy food institute.

Our new county commissioner Debbie Goettel is former mayor of Richfield and still interested in moving ahead with these proposals and finding investors and participants in the project.

Karen is hopeful that both parties will see the the potential of urban farming and be supportive.

8:12    JoseLuis asked for East Phillips financial support. There was some discussion about what it takes to be a partnership and build the community as a proposal that will gain funding. The neighborhood can’t just hand out money like a grant.
Carol gave an example of a Waite House partnership for children’s programming.
 Michelle Chavez explained NRP phase 1 and 2 plans. If it’s within an already approved strategy.  Community engagement dollars every three years is different. Portions can be set aside for project based dollars.  So if we already had NRP strategy for environment this would work.

Carol did explain that staffing and office eat up so much of many neighborhood budgets that there isn’t a possibility of project dedicated funds as priority plans. She mentioned possibility of joint efforts with Midtown to save overhead costs of staff and office.

We can submit a budget application with dollars set aside for projects without knowing what the projects all are going to be under which priorities. 2017-2019 can be written now. How much for engagement and how much for priorities.

We can list our strategies and Michelle can send it out. It is public information. Linda can forward the links from Michelle to others.

8:30     Discussion: Barrier at 25th and Bloomington
Shirley said the barrier helped Midtown immensely because 25th was the runaway corridor for dealers and prostitutes all the way to the freeway. Midtown doesn’t want that traffic again.
There is a curved berm by the liquor store on Lake and about ?...
41st and Cedar and another intersection on 17th near  42nd
Also down by the light rail stop near Minnehaha falls.

Without loitering laws the police won’t even enforce no trespassing for the block next to SA.

It seems that SA management goes back and forth about their degree of concern. Doug reports that 16th Avenue residents really want the barricade to stay up. The Native American community has a petition to take it down and we don’t know their rationale.  Carol reported that she wrote the council member a fierce letter about the criminal activity that was there before the barricade. She conveyed information about people who died in that location.
Doug is asking how people can openly deal drugs with cameras on both sides of the intersections…it seems law enforcement is allowing it.

We may need another meeting with SA leadership and see if we can get cooperation. Stop and Shop and SA have cameras but the dealing inside still seems rampant.

[There is going to be a big meeting about Cedar Avenue and the Bridge on February 9. We have got to be here to talk about the traffic problems. ]

8:40    Q and A about Bylaw Revisions
The board still wishes to make additional revisions. Once the board approved revisions have been incorporated into a new red-line version, it would go to NCR for review. Once the review is complete, the board would publish a FINAL version of the new Bylaws. EPIC would present an overview to the community (hit the significant changes), and then there is a vote (yay or nay.) 

8:55      Adjournment

In the interest of Public Safety, please consider the following:

  • Alert: Are any of your street lights out? Feel Safer and call the following numbers.
If the poles are metal, call City of Minneapolis 311