August 16, 2019

EPIC Community Meeting 8-8

EPIC Community Meeting Minutes
August 8th, 2019, 6:30 – 8:57
East Phillips Park Cultural & Community Center, 2307 17th Ave S.
EPIC web address:
Office: 2433 Bloomington Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55404
Phone: (612) -280-8418

Board Roster: Rosie Cruz, Laura Dale, Mary Gonsior, Cassandra Holmes, Shontal Lajeunesse, Abah Mohamed, Carol Pass, Steve Sandberg, Sarah Santiago. 
Board Members Present: Cassandra Holmes, Laura Dale, Mary Gonsior, Shontal Lajeunesse, Abah Mohamed, Carol Pass, Steve Sandberg, Rosie Cruz, Sarah Santiago
Board Members Not Present:
Members: Viviana Rgz, George Kennedy, Brad Pass, Agustin Arce, Luce Guillen Givins, Rob Czeinck
Guests: Shirley Heyer, Mark Granlund, Carol Hill-Kennedy, Courtney Mason, Sandra Carona, Diego Calzada, Maliyah Papish-Jackson, Samantha Calzada, Daniel Solls, Shay Flanigan, Jose Alvarez

6:30     Social Time

6:41     Greetings and Introductions
6:50     Approve tonight’s agendas LD, GK, Approved.
Approve minutes from July community meeting. LD, RC, Approved.

6:55     Announcements

·       PECE (Public Health, Environment, Civil Rights and Engagement) Committee meets Monday 8/12/2019 at 1:30pm at City Hall. We hope to pass a motion requesting CM Cano to introduce a request for an EAW at this meeting
·       Next Board Meeting will be: Saturday, September 7th at 10am at the EPIC office (2433 Bloomington Avenue)
o   Board Meetings are open to the public
·       Next Community Meeting will be: Thursday, September 12th at 6:30 here at East Phillips Park
·       Open House at Colin Powell Center on Wednesday August 21st from 4-6pm on the Midtown Greenway and 5th Avenue
o   Talking about the 35W project
·      Next Wednesday August 14th is a crime prevention at the Adult Learning Cafeteria 2015 E. Lake 3-4pm
·      Wellness Fair Wednesday August 14th at the Waite House – all are welcome and there is a free lunch, kids activities and free health screenings 10am-2pm
·      Mike Sullivan is leaving the 3rd Precinct
6:57     Roof Depot Update and EAW for Hiawatha Expansion Project
·      City council meeting – Public Health, Environment, Civil Rights and Engagement Committee – Monday, August 12th at 1:30pm
§  Asking city of Minneapolis to do an environmental assessment worksheet for the Hiawatha Expansion project
§  We requested that CM Cano bring before this committee a motion to do an EAW
·      We have heard from CM Cano’s office that she will not be bringing a motion before the committee to do an EAW
o   What are our next steps??
§  Plan to make press release and show up at the meeting to let the city know they need to listen to us
§  Press conference on steps of City Hall at 12:45pm
§  Carol and Brad will write press release
§  Brad will send out to e-mail list
§  Cassie will contact WCCO
§  Steve has contact info of City Pages
o   Requires civil disobedience
MOTION:      Whereas: the City on Minneapolis’ Public Works Hiawatha Expansion Project will add considerable air-born pollution to the already heavily polluted air of East Phillips and adjoining neighborhoods with the addition of its fleet of commercial vehicles, employee vehicles, hot mix asphalt storage, and heavy equipment operators instructional “Sand Box”; and
                        Whereas: this additional traffic will add to the already dangerously congested city streets and bicycle crossings; and
                        Whereas: the currently encapsulated arsenic from the adjacent Arsenic Triangle Super Fund site will potentially be released into the air and water runoff during the planned demolition of the former Sears warehouse and encapsulating asphalt parking areas; and
                        Whereas: the severely arsenic polluted underground water plume will be affected by the infiltration of rainwater through the planned green space and holding pond; and
                        Whereas: the East Phillips neighborhood is located in the South Minneapolis Green Zone which was created to promote Environmental and Economic Justice for its multiethnic and economically challenged residents; and
                        Therefore: the affected people of East Phillips and Neighboring areas request that an Environmental Assessment Worksheet and an Environmental Impact Statement and a Health Assessment of this project’s affects be accomplished prior to the issuance of any project permits and prior to the demolition of the existing former Sears Warehouse. MG, GK, Approved unanimously
MOTION:      EPIC will send a letter to CM Cano to inform her that we are withdrawing our support due to her lack of support, engagement and concern of the welfare of our community. The letter will be emailed to Cano and copied to everyone on the EPIC e-mail list, the other council members, the mayor, the Alley, WCCO, Southside Pride, Star Tribune. MG, RC, Approved unanimously
·      Steve believes that we need to be specific about the actions she made that led to this letter
·      Mary would like to read the letter before it is sent out
7:28     Metro Transit Mark Granlund
·      Mark is in charge of the public art on metro transit lines
·      There is a problem with the neon marquee on the Franklin Light Rail Station
o   The neon sign hasn’t worked for many years
o   Needs repair
§  Question of whether to remove to repair or simply repair it
§  To repair the cost is $37,000 – more than what the piece cost
·      Mark has three questions:
o   Who has noticed the art work before? – 2 people have noticed it
o   Does it represent the community? – few people aware of the art, so no.
o   Are there any strong rejections to the removal?
§  Carol would like it replaced if it is removed
·      Mike says the community would be involved in the process of a new art piece
Contact Mark with additional comments:
You can also fill out a short survey: (
7:38     New Bike On Project – Rosie Cruz and Augustin Arce
·       Crime is increasing, many children are staying inside due to this
·       Bike On was a program years ago to get adults and youth on bikes on the Greenway
o   Previously the Midtown Greenway Coalition secured a grant, which we don’t have access to anymore
·       The program is a way to get neighbors together to prevent crime between Bloomington and 17th Ave and 29th and Lake Street
·       16 people have already signed up
·       Shirley will help with funding to get helmets, t-shirts, knee pads
o   May need fiscal agent
o   Want it to not be a one-time program
o   There are many studies saying how white the greenway is
·       Requesting EPIC to help with funding
o   Right now Shirley and Rosie want a motion of support with no financial commitment yet
MOTION: EPIC enthusiastically supports the Bike On Program for the benefit of East Phillips’ families and will encourage the community’s efforts to reinstate this program. MG, AM, Approved unanimously.

7:45     Violence Prevention Grant 2nd Community Vote
MOTION: Pending approval of the contract with the program coordinator and receipt of the Violence Prevention Grant EPIC will provide up to $2,000 of additional funding for youth program costs if needed. MG, GK, Approved unanimously.
·      Notes from August Board meeting:
o   EPIC will ask Bob Cooper if we are still eligible for funds once we have insurance and if so whether we can have an extension once the funds are available to us
o   Need to create contract as soon as possible, because once we have the funding, we will have a shorter window to do the project
o   Carol will ask attorney whether Devika needs insurance coverage
·      Update from Violence Prevention Grant Committee meeting:
o   Received timeline and contract from Devika
o   The committee is making needed adjustments to these documents
o   Carol is discussing with attorney whether we need insurance coverage for Devika as an independent contractor
·      Next VPG Committee meeting is Wednesday August 14th at 6:30pm at 2433 Bloomington (EPIC office)
7:52     SCOUT Survey Update
·      SCOUT received the funding from EPIC and purchased gift cards for incentives for Little Earth residents who completed survey (SCOUT Champions, including youth, were trained in crime prevention and survey door knocking)
·      Huge response rate already – only 58 of 400 surveys are left to complete (as of Saturday)!
o   Of 212 units – 89.9% response rate
·      Cassie brought copy of survey to share
o   Cassie offered to share SCOUT’s approach with Devika for the Violence Prevention Grant
·      Data entry is beginning August 30th
·      Community sharing will begin soon
8:00     Arsenic Triangle Super Fund Site
·      Discuss EPA’s decision to end their involvement in the Arsenic Triangle Super Fund Site – was in article in Star Tribune
o   People in the next generation will not recognize that there was arsenic on this land
o   If the Roof Depot site is demolished, arsenic will be spread once again throughout our neighborhood
o   Process is moving very fast
o   This would say that the problem has been solved – which it is not
o   Water table underground is heading toward Minnehaha Creek, eventually to the Mississippi
·      Comment period ends 8/30/19 – write to them and let them know what we think of their plan – CONTACT RANDOLF CANO and phone number: 312 886 6036
8:13     39 Unit Development at 17th and Lake
·      Developer did not get the proper paperwork done
o   So the developer will need to reapply
·      Make motion to request that the developer give a preference to residents of the neighborhood
·      Make motion to seek special parking district status for 2900s of 17th and 2900s of 16th
o   Residents need to pay a fee per year and get a sticker for car, signage on street states no parking without sticker
·      Devika suggests the motion(s) include the #1 concern of neighbors – affordability of rent and accessibility of units, as well as blockage of the alley
o   Petition language to consider for our language for the motion:
In regard to any development at the aforementioned site, we (the petitioner) demand:
1.     Affordably-priced housing comprising a majority of the units, with “affordability” determined based on median income of the immediate surrounding neighborhood (East Phillips), rather than AMI.
In keeping with the City’s current priority of insuring continuing housing affordability, and being that median income of the surrounding neighborhood is substantially lower than for the greater metropolitan area, this downward-adjustment is necessary to prevent a trend toward displacement of the neighborhood’s current residents.
2.     No closure of the East-West alley currently connecting 16th and 17th Avenues South.
Closure of the alley would by design drive business-related traffic, including customers and delivery vehicles, through the adjacent North-South residential alley, as illustrated in the developer’s proposed plans.
3.     Additional parking spots sufficient in number to reasonably accommodate the dozens of new residents and commercial tenants the development expects to attract.
The immediate surrounding blocks are already overburdened by traffic and parking congestion beyond the current capacity of the area. Further, the proposed development will by design reduce available parking for current residents, as it will build on a currently vacant lot commonly used to accommodate the neighborhood’s overflow parking needs.

·      Question of whether it is viable to ask for all units to be affordable?
·      Carol states that this is expensive land and has been vacant for many years
·      Remember we are representing all of EPIC – not endorsing the above petition
·      What are the metrics of closing the alley?
·      Want to know the percentage of the people in the radius around the proposed development who signed the petition
·      Bring planners to next meeting – Steve will contact
o   Get something in writing from them – when do they need to notify neighbors?
·      Continue discussion at next meeting and bring petitions – get stats from them
8:55     National Night Out Reflections
·      Did your block have an event?
§  How did it go?
8:56     Upcoming Events:
·      Phillips Community Clean Sweep – October 12th
·      Garden Fall Harvest Party Saturday, October 19th
o   Expand our October Harvest party (block off the street)
·      Ideas?
8:57     Adjourn