May 11, 2017

EPIC Community Meeting Minutes 05 - 11

05-11-2017, 6:30 – 8:55 pm.
Phillips Park Cultural & Community Center, 2307 17th Ave S.
EPIC web address:
Office: 2536 18th Avenue S., Minneapolis, MN 55404
Phone: (612) -280-8418

Board Roster: Jenny Bjorgo, Rosie Cruz, Laura Dale, Mary Gonsior, Linda Leonard, Carol Pass, Tom Harris, Linda Vermillion, Cassandra Holmes.
Board Members Present: Laura Dale, Mary Gonsior, Linda Leonard, Carol Pass, Tom Harris, Cassandra Holmes, Linda Vermillion, Rosie Cruz.
Board Members Not Present: Jenny Bjorgo,
Members: Brad Pass, Steve Sandberg, Kathy Strobel , Margaret Kirkpatrick, Alfonso Cruz, Mahamed Cali, Tina Alston, Harvey Winje
Guests: Shirley Heyer, Park Chief Jason Ohotto, Brett Nyman, Adam Arvidson 

6:30     Social Time/ Greetings and Introductions

6:45     Approval of Proposed May 11th Agenda: LD, SS, approved.
            Approval of General Membership Draft Minutes from April 13th , SS, CH, Approved.

6:55     Announcements:

o  Third Garden Meeting of the Year. Gardening will be starting a month earlier this year. Next meeting is Saturday, May 13th. 9:00 am at the Community Center. Come if you want to garden. Some open plots; there are 33 plots total. See Brad Pass for more information.

o  Little Earth Mother’s Day PowWow on  May 13 (Saturday) from 1-9 pm. Everyone is welcome. Celebration will be held at Cedar Field on 18th Ave.

o  Barrier Discussion Meeting, May 22nd, East Phillips Park, 5:30 to 7:00. Let your ideas be known. What to do about the barriers at 25th Street between Bloomington Ave and 16th Ave. Calming traffic and reducing crime.

o   Summer Festival, Sunday, June 25, 2017. Planning meeting on Tuesday, April 25th, at the Park, at 11:30 am. Lunch is served.

o   Woonerf design May 25th, 10 am – 1 pm. Midway Greenway Coalition office. A steering committee will meet to discuss the design. EPIC participants are sought for participation on this committee. Design will impact cars, pedestrians, and livability based on Dutch concepts. Along 29th St between Bloomington and 18th Aves. If you are interested in serving on the steering committee, contact Midtown Greenway Coalition,

7:05    Introducing EPIC's new board members.

  • Cassandra Holmes. Resident of Little Earth, serves on the LERA board, attends college.
  • Tom Harris, 16th Ave S. 30 year EPIC resident, just opened a business about 2 years ago. Personal goals are to help neighbors, and to expand the business. Business works with Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Ghana. Also works with several churches.
  • Linda Vermillion. Resident of Little Earth (meet her tomorrow at the Little Earth Mother’s Day Pow Wow.)

7:20   Considering proposed changes to Cedar Field Park: Adam Arvidson. Next to last design will be available for comments until Tuesday, May 16th at EPPCCC (Survey form at Park.)

Working on a new master plan (1.5 years) for all parks on the south side of town. More recently was able to connect with the community around the Cedar Field park, and do a better job of getting information from the community.

Began with listening sessions; designed two rough concepts and solicited feedback; created a “preferred concept” which was presented today. Has also been posted at EPPCCC and Little Earth for the past couple of weeks. Feedback is still possible, but the next design will go to the Park Board for approval.

The design is exploring non-sand surfaces, and while some of the “crumb rubber” product in the news lately is used mostly in schools, the Park Board does use this product in athletic fields, and both the schools and the Park Board are re-examining this in light of recent reports. In this design, if a rubber surface would be used, there would be a “crumb rubber” product serving as a “bedding material” that would be completely covered by a “new synthetic rubber” surface.

The design also includes a full-court basketball, a small volleyball court, a seating area with a nearby water feature, and a skateboarding sidewalk. Picnic tables are located on the Cedar Ave. side of the park to move them closer to “eyes” on the area and to distance tables from crime potentially occurring on 18th Ave.

Questions and concerns:
·       Concerns were expressed about the location of picnic tables.
·       Separate play areas for different age children.
·       What about a fence on 18th Ave?
·       What about lighting and cameras? (The master plan doesn’t usually get into specifics such as lighting, or cameras.)
·       Parking – working with the city/traffic.
·       Work with Crime Prevention officer to address crime concerns in the park.

7:45    Alley Newspaper Future Youth – Kathy Strobel (Chair of Alley News Board of Directors.)

All-volunteer run newspaper. All of the information that is in the news, is contributed by East Phillips residents. Editor, Harvey Winje is retiring in September, and so the paper is seeking a new path forward. The paper is interested in looking at alternate models (cooperative, for example). If you have an interest in seeing the publication continue, call Kathy Strobel at 612-387-7679 or email to

The mission of the Alley Newspaper is to give voice to neighborhood residents and the paper has been a useful tool for the neighborhood to voice concerns and organize together on many causes in the past. The mission of the newspaper is to give voice to neighborhood residents.

7:55     Body Cameras – Park Chief Jason Ohotto. With the Police Dept since 1995. Spent almost all of his time in S. Minneapolis on patrol.
·       Since 1887 there has been a separate distinct police department for the parks.
o   35 licensed officers with over 200 parks across the city.
o   Mission: to make these parks a safe place.
·       9 independently elected park commissioners that are responsible for the parks, and are not part of the city council and don’t answer to the mayor.
·       Responsible to acquire, develop, and maintain parks.
·       2 years ago, all Minneapolis police officers wear body cameras. (Worn in the center of their chest, about 4”x4”.)
·       The MN legislature recently made law changes that impact the data privacy act.
·       5 years ago, there were not any body cameras in Minneapolis.
·       The Park Police Dept. included body cameras in their 2017 budget.
·       Before implementing, there must be a public comment period (ends June 20th). There is a survey available online. There is a public hearing coming up on June 7th (at Park Board HQ/Broadway and West River Rd) – usually start at 6:30 pm. Officers are visiting various neighborhood centers and groups.
·       Model policy was distributed (also available online:
·       Please read and submit your comments through the online survey (handout distributed.) Left some paper copies of the survey also.

Questions and Concerns:
1.     Privacy; footage from a body camera could include people in bathing suits, etc.
2.     What do the officers think about this? (Officers have found that in most cases, the recordings from car cameras actually validate the officer’s reporting and are very useful in prosecuting crime.) Another advantage is that every officer will be wearing one of these.
3.     Public record? In general, no. By law, established by the State.
4.     When officer is recording, will they tell you? They may, depending on the situation.
5.     Citizen’s also have the right to record everything that happens in a public space.
6.     Victims of crime may ask the officer to turn off the camera.

Again, please read the Model Policy online ( and submit your comments through the online survey (

8:25    EPIC Infrastructure…. Traffic, Updates, etc.
a)     What is happening on 24th and 18th?
a.     No one is telling us what is happening
b.     Other changes are happening all along 24th St.
c.     Calling 311 didn’t help
d.     Called Alondra Cano’s office
b)    Cedar Bridge closing (Issues??)
a.     Posted online that this work is expected to go until December.
c)     Discuss the barrier on 25th St. and possible solutions to bring the special meeting on May 22nd, at 5:30 at East Phillips Park.
d)    Other places needing speed bumps-2500 block (Cedar Field Park), 2800 block of 16th Ave.
e)     Possible loss of Greenway Bridges, removal from the CLIC budget.  (Possible motion)
a.     CLIC (Capital Long Range Improvement Commission) – advisory only
b.     They are looking at a budget that only addresses the Portland and Cedar bridges.

MOTION: EPIC supports the restoration and preservation of all the greenway bridges of Phillips. MG, LL, Approved.

f)     Green Zone Project Location
a.     East Phillips & Midtown
b.     Ventura Village
c.     Not clear what the project will be but there will be some funds spent in these areas.
d.     EPIC would like to see an indoor urban agriculture project providing healthy food, and local employment
g)    Roof Depot Update
a.     The building will not sustain the trucks and things they want there.
b.     The city will remove the Roof Depot building.
                                               i.     Some EPIC residents have been able to get on the advisory committee, which is run by Greg Goeke (who wrote a grant to get $$ to do a solar array, in a low-income neighborhood.)

8:44     Crime Committee- Identifying Problem Property Owners….Start one? Volunteers? Projects?
Our Crime Prevention Specialist, Brett Nyman (612.673.3482)

Issues reported on E. 29th Street and 17th Avenue
  • People shooting up on the street in front of homes
  • Dealers park and wait for their drug customers

Meetings that you can attend:
  • Banyon Community – monthly breakfast for block clubs (training), 18th AM, 13th Ave at E. 26th St.
  • Block club training, coming soon.
  • Safety Center at Chicago and Lake or office at 3rd Precinct

Other ideas?
  • Hold a separate monthly crime meeting
    • Ventura Village and Midtown Phillips each hold regular separate crime meetings

8:45     Adjourn