Monday, December 31, 2007

Blog Annual Statement 2007

Name of Blog: East Phillips Community Blog
Organizers: Kevin Chavis

Purpose: To disseminate information about the happenings in East Phillips in an accessible digital format. No profit is made (apart from knowledge) and sources are always stated explicitly.

Participating with this blog is available to others interested. Please e-mail KevinChavis AT Yahoo dot com with subject line:"East Phillips Community Blog"

54 visitors from 3 November 2007 until December 31, 2007

Sunday, December 30, 2007

EPIC Agenda 2008

Happy New year EPIC Board Members, Volunteers, East Phillips Residents and Interested Parties-

Regardless of the Holidays, all things do keep moving. I am sending two StarTrib articles that you undoubtedly would not want to have missed if you are a resident in Phillips, care about your neighbors and neighborhood and want your voice to be heard, one way or the other. Please check out the attached articles. This issue is crucial for us and we need to determine a united response as much as possible. Send me your comments and opinions at my email address. I am hoping to get the Website going so I can post your comments.
Carol for EPIC

I will also try to keep you posted regarding the most serious issues facing East Phillips in the next months. A near as I can understand, these are:

- The Biomass Plant- should it happen and if you think not, what should we do to prevent it from happening.

- The potential elimination or radical downsizing of neighborhood funding and the loss of our independent voice. The potential control of all neighborhood destinies by primarily the Mayor's office with some City Council input.

- The creation of the East Phillips Park Community Center

- The building of Town Homes on the Greenway with some Live/Work homes on Bloomington.

- Continued work to stop crime

- Working on Programs for youth

- East Phillips NRP Phase II


Biomass plant not supported:

Council member Lisa Goodman profiting from burner:

This message was originally e-mailed out by Carol and Brad Pass

Thursday, October 11, 2007

EPIC General Membership Meeting

Draft Minutes 10/11/2007

The next EPIC meeting is:
Thursday, November 8th, 2007 @ 6:30 PM
Holy Rosary Church
2424 18th Ave. S.
Enter door on 18th Ave. side under the “OFFICE” sign.

EPIC Board Members Present:
Rosie Cruz (RC), Carol Pass (CP), Linda Leonard (LL), Paul Wichman (PW), Aden Awil (AA), Juliet Thompson (JT).
EPIC Members Present:
Alfonso Cruz (AC), Brad Pass (BP), Hannah Lieder (HL), Erin Wolaner (EW).
Guests Present:B
Gary Schiff (GS).

CP Lacking a quorum, CP called the meeting to order as a committee of the whole at 6:45 PM and did introductions.
MOTION: CP Moved to juggle the agenda to accommodate Gary Schiff and the quorum. Passed by acclamation.

Announcements and Reports:

LL Waite House Donation. After the bridge collapse, EPIC voted to authorize $999.00 for staff medical expenses and overtime expenses necessary because so many staffers were unable to work due to their injuries. Since then we have determined that there is adequate money for the Waite House and there is no way for us to direct our donation because the Minneapolis Foundation is holding all donations and will distribute them as they see fit.
MOTION: LL Whereas: there is adequate money available for the Bridge Collapse victims and Whereas: there is no way for EPIC to direct its donation, Therefore be it resolved that EPIC rescind its authorization to donate $999.00 to the Waite House.
NOTE: Motion was postponed until a quorum is present.
LL Garden harvest Party: Oct. 6th was our East Phillips Community 17th Ave. Garden Fall harvest party. The party was very well attended with many children. The best estimate was that 150 people came. We went through 120 hot dogs, 5 gallons of Apple juice, several large bags of marshmallows and 40 miniature pumpkins. There were games for kids in the blocked street, pony rides in the alley, a petting zoo with many small animals in the garden and a campfire for roasting (incinerating) marshmallows. A couple of gardeners allowed kids to pick their carrots and etc. to feed the animals. This led to somewhat wholesale carrot picking and some gardeners were upset. The animals were very happy and the kids were ecstatic.
JT Street Lights: JT reported that East Phillips streets seem unnecessarily dark at night. She asked how many lights per block and what intensity are provided by the city. This was determined to be a Gary Schiff question. She also reported that the barricades on 25th St. just moved the problem South to 27th St.
CP Weed & Seed Money: CP reported that Weed & Seed had money for an additional Portable camera but this money was inexplicably removed from the Police/Weed & Seed Budget by 3rd Precinct Inspector Lucy Gerald.
EW Holy Rosary parking lot vandalism: Holy Rosary is having a serious problem with vandalism and vehicle break-ins in their parking lot. It happens in broad daylight and night time. Volunteers, staff and parishioners are becoming afraid to leave their vehicles in the area. Many Hispanics are afraid to report crimes perpetrated against them for fear of ICE retaliation. Resident remarks were that this could cripple the church.
(NOTE: After this EPIC meeting three vehicles parked on 18th Ave. S. just outside the church were vandalized with broken windows and stolen contents and car sound systems.)

NOTE: At 7:00 PM a Quorum was acquired.

Waite House Motion:

MOTION: LL Whereas: there is adequate money available for the Bridge Collapse victims and Whereas: there is no way for EPIC to direct its donation, Therefore be it resolved that EPIC rescind its authorization to donate $999.00 to the Waite House.
Motion passed by Acclimation.

New Board Member Ratification:

CP The EPIC Board has nominated Juliet Thompson to replace retiring Board Member Cynthia Aguirri. The term will be from ratification to the next EPIC Annual Meeting.
MOTION: LL EPIC moves to accept Juliet Thompson as a new member of the EPIC Board of Directors. The term shall start immediately after ratification and continue until the next EPIC Annual Meeting is adjourned. Seconded by RC. Motion passed unanimously.

NRP Electors:

MOTION: BP: EPIC moves that the NRP elector for EPIC be Mary Gonsior and the Alternate NRP elector be Rosie Cruz. Motion Passed by consensus.

Soccer Stipend:

CP Reports that there is $999.00 of CDBG money available which could be used for youth and family outreach.
MOTION: BP: EPIC moves that $999.00 of its CDBG money be used youth and family outreach. RC seconded.
Discussion: Midtown Phillips provided gym space free in a partnership with East Phillips. EPIC hopes to share costs for some gym rental space with Midtown on additional days.
PW At a rental fee of $100 per week for the second gym (The fist gym is free), will this money last for more than 10 weeks?
BP No, but EPIC will be sharing this burden with Midtown Phillips. As an outreach program of EPIC and Midtown, we will need to raise more money and that seems possible.
Motion Passed unanimously.

Garry Schiff Report:

Vacant and Boarded:
2908 16th Ave. S. has been boarded for over a year and it therefore has lost its
variances and as such it is now recognized as a duplex instead of a six-plex. The owner, Phil Owens, has apparently sold the building and it is now occupied illegally. It is also unclear as to whether or not the new owner is aware of the zoning change. In any case GS will call the police and have the building vacated.
2909 16th Ave. S, has sold.
1537 26th St. has been vacant and boarded for more than a year and has therefore lost its variance which no longer allows it, (a four-plex) to be the second building on a single lot.
2923 16th Ave. S. is owned by a collective of California of Mortgage Companies. Ownership is changed every few months to avoid any ownership penalties. RC sees people entering the property from the garage and probably the house.
GS will board the garage.
Gustavous Adolphous – 1626 E. Lake St. will be torn down if owner cannot apply for rehab permits by Nov. 8, 2007.
Stately St. Three murders on this street this year. 1836 Stately St. is on the demo list.
2422 16th Ave. S. was demoed today.
19 boarded homes in East Phillips- 12 were a result of foreclosures. 11 were rentals purchased with $0 down. No maintenance – no water bills were paid and no mortgage payments were made.
Barriers on 25th St. will be removed within two weeks. GS will hold meetings on other traffic calming strategies in the area.
Cameras: CP NRP and perhaps Weed & Seed money is available for another portable camera.
GS Except for Stately St. which is the worst block in the City, Hannah’s block is now the worst in East Phillips (27th St. between 16th and 18th Avenues S.). we need a creative strategy for providing staff and funding to monitor existing and new cameras.
MOTION: RC Moved EPIC authorizes up to $15,000 of its NRP money to buy another portable camera for the MPD to be used in the East Phillips Neighborhood. Motion was seconded and passed.
It was noted that this would require another vote at our next EPIC GM Meeting.
HL What is current police staffing?
GS It is the highest in 5 years. When Bush eliminated Clinton’s Dollars for Cops program we lost a lot of cops. The City is incrementally increasing police budgets to compensate.
GS All variances will be denied for 2603 Bloomington Ave. S. There are many issues including parking. Another this to consider is that every Event Center” in the 3rd Precinct has at one time or another been cited as an illegal night club – EXCEPT Plaza Verde.
GS left the meeting.

Clean Sweep Report:

BP Clean Sweep 2007 is this Saturday. Come to the Welna Parking lot or the Messiah Community Center Parking lot at 9:00 AM, have breakfast and pick up your T-shirt, gloves, trash picker-upper and instructions and go out with your neighbors and sweep clean Phillips. Meet at Stewart Park at noon for lunch and music provided by Mad Dads.
A flyer is attached.

MOTION: BP Moved to accept the agenda and the 9/13/2007 minutes. Motion was seconded and passed.
Revisiting the Biomass Plant:
JT reported that a meeting on the Biomass Plant was held at the Franklin Library. Many opponents were there but no representatives from East Phillips attended.
CP EPIC had not been informed or invited. Lets decide that we research the pros and cons.
TO DO: JT Concurred and suggested we get both sides of the issue and make an informed decision.

Allina Jobs Program:

CP In Jan. 2006, EPIC voted to give Allina $5,000.00 NRP Phase 1 money in exchange for jobs, training and housing. This incentive for Allina was to be a forgivable loan program dependent on Allina’s performance and the longevity of the jobs. At that time West Phillips contributed $100,000.00 to the program. Over the year the other neighborhoods all pulled out. We don’t know what is still in the original contract. If we put $5,000 into this what will we get? If we don’t, what will we loose?
TO DO: BP suggested we research this issue as well. All agreed.

Future Funding of Minneapolis Neighborhoods through NRP:

CP reported she on a trip to Des Moines, Iowa, taken by NRP Staff and members of the NRP Policy Board and many other neighborhood workers. The mission was to learn from other cities about how to better serve our neighborhoods and explain how NRP works. People in Iowa were very impressed at how innovative and successful the program has been and they were astonished that Mayor Rybak is intent on terminating it. CP stated that when the Des Moines city staff hosting the conference were asked if they would consider just giving the funding to the neighborhoods for them to decide on their own projects (as Mpls. does under NRP), they remarked,”Oh, we would never do that!”
TO DO: CP explained that NRP ends in 2009 if it is not renewed for another 20 years. This coupled with the Mayor’s determination to end the program makes it imperative that EPIC very quickly spend its NRP allocation. Unspent funds may end up going back to the City.

MOTION: Motion to adjourn. Motion Passed

Submitted by Brad Pass on 6/24/2007

Saturday, May 5, 2007

May 2007 Garden SC Meeting

East Phillips Community 17th Ave. Garden

Steering Committee Meeting Minutes


Present: Eric Refsell, Brad Pass, Kevin Chavis, Cynthia Aguirre, and Linda Leonard

The meeting was called to order and the committee approved the draft agenda with a few additions; sub-groups in the garden, the mural and common harvesting, and a plan for trees.

Officers were elected by volunteering/consenting; Brad Pass - Chair, Kevin Chavis –Vice-chair, Cynthia Aguirre – Treasurer, Eric Refsell – Secretary, and Linda Leonard - GI liaison.

The garden’s financial spreadsheet was looked over and discussed. Exact numbers for assets and expenses will need to be determined. Cynthia as Treasurer has taken the responsibility to re-calculate the spreadsheet/financial statement.

Sub-groups in the garden
The steering committee was unanimous in the belief that allowing sub-groups in the garden fosters a divisive environment non-conducive to core community garden principles. It was then determined that a policy would have to be enacted and applied across the board, including participating school groups, bringing up safety and liability concerns. Garden rules and regulations are binding, and interested gardeners must show up to at least one meeting personally in order to pay plot dues and sign the “Garden Use Agreement”. Gardeners will be assigned plots according to the stated conditions and if there are more interested gardeners than available plots, prospective gardeners shall have to draw lots. It was noted that sub-groups of gardeners all “occupying” the same plot may give rise to unfair voting practices and new voting guidelines were briefly discussed. Additionally, the distribution of literature was discussed and the committee was concerned about misrepresentation of the garden. So far, the committee has resolved itself to the following actions: contacting Nathan Secor to discuss safety and liability issues regarding the children under his care, and asking the general membership to make a decision regarding the herb garden, the butterfly garden and other areas that can be potentially used as arable plots. Further action and discussion was tabled in light of time constraints.

Eric will be spearheading a compost clean-up initiative and will report back.

Parade of Gardens
The decision to enter the Parade of Gardens will be passed on to the general membership. If gardeners chose to enter the Parade, it was emphasized that work toward this goal should start sooner than later, including the organization of a committee.

Group Work Days
Committee members acknowledged that the last plan for group work days did not work. A new plan, then, will have to be devised. It was noted that there is no definitive list of group chores and responsibilities. It was also noted that any new plan must require all gardeners to contribute. There were no conclusive actions taken as this topic requires further discussion and input from the general membership.

Trees in the Garden
It was noted that there is an existing report regarding trees in the garden. The committee decided to review this report and pass it along to the general membership for discussion and voting.

Fiskars Tools
Discussion centered on bringing new committee members up to speed on the background. It was decided that the steering committee will need to talk to Lynne Mayo personally to try and resolve this situation outside of general garden meeting time.

Announcements to the general membership:
Brad Pass will be donating a rain barrel in order to collect and use rainwater that lands on the garden shed. It will be located on the West side of the shed, and any plantings that are located there will have to be removed.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Phillips East Yahoo Group Started

Just started the Phillips East Yahoo Group that can easily be found in the regional section under Minneapolis.

The site is at:

Instead of participating in a Blog that the entire world can see, one can communicate solely with local members of the community.

East Phillips at a glance

Comparison statistics for the City of Minneapolis are shown in [brackets].

SIZE 0.4 square miles [54.9]


  • Individuals: 4,147 [382,618]
  • Households: 1,090 [162,352]
  • Families: 751 [73,939]
  • Children under 18: 1,697 - 40.9% of population [84,169 - 22.0%]


  • Native American: 943 - 22.7% of population [8,378 - 2.2% of City]
  • Black: 967 - 23.3% [68,818 - 18.0%]
  • Latino: 1,121 - 27.0% [29,175 - 7.6%]
  • Asian: 309 - 7.5% [23,744 - 6.2%]
  • White: 975 - 23.5% [249,186 - 65.1%]
  • Total non-white: 3,172 - 76.5% [133,432 - 34.9%]


$24,049 [$48,602]


$23,346 [$37,974]


260 - 34.6% of neighborhood families [8,868 - 11.9%]


665 - 40.8% of all neighborhood children [20,477 - 25.1%]


187 - 11.5% of workers [12,778 - 5.8%]


  • Total number of housing units: 1,162 [168,606]
  • Vacant units: 72 - 6.2% of neighborhood units [6,254 - 3.7%]
  • Owner occupied units: 342 - 29.4% [83,408 - 51.4%]
  • Renter-occupied units: 748 - 64.4% [78,944 - 48.6%]

Data source: U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000

prepared by community design group //

Why this blog?

The East Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis has no website. Nor does the community organization that serves it have a website and make clear what its operations are. Therefore this blog is meant to be a community asset and improve local communication.

Anyone living or has had lived in East Philips neighborhood of Minneapolis is welcome to join this blog.

EPIC Board of Directors Application Form

The following is a requisite form for applying for a board position on EPIC. Anyone in East Phillips that is interested should submit this to EPIC if they want to have a neighborhood leadership position.

Submit to:

2536 18th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Carol and Brad Pass will let you know if you are in.

East Phillips Improvement Coalition
Board of Directors Application Form

EPIC is interested in people with diverse backgrounds, and a variety of skills and experience. Please submit your completed qualifications form attached to this form.

Home Address:_____________________________________________________
Home Phone:______________Work Phone:____________Cell:______________
Email:_____________________________________ Business/Occupation:_________________________
Please state why you are interested in serving on the board (use another sheet if necessary):

In addition to meeting the qualifications on the qualifications form, what skills, related experiences, and accomplishments would you contribute to the board?

What skills do you feel you would be unable to contribute to the board (e.g. grant writing, parliamentary procedure)?

Describe any relevant experience or accomplishments that would make you an effective board member.

Endorsements (businesses, block groups, other organizations)
Affiliations (memberships, communities)

Please provide the names, phone numbers, and your relationship to two references with whom you have worked with professionally, in the neighborhood, in a community of faith, or other volunteer situations.