MPNAI Community Meeting Minutes Tuesday March 22, 2016 Stewart Park, 2700 12th Ave, S, Minneapolis
Board Members Present: Peter Eichten, Geu Xiong, Suzanne Blum Grundyson, Beth Hart, Ismail Haji, Abdul Mohamed Others Present: Emma Buechs, Don Greeley, Joseph Spangler, Lt. Gary Nelson, Robert Thunder, Caroline Devany, Jennifer Reid, Raquel Bloom Board Members Absent: Mahamed Cali, Lesley Schack, Jana Metge I. -
Introductions Beth moved to approve the agenda seconded by Joseph Spangler, motion passes
II. 3rd Precinct Report - Don Greely: last couple of weeks really hit hard with robberies, 17 in this last week alone in 3rd precinct – arrests were made in 2 of the robberies; update on meetings to switch to violent crime at the precinct; group has been meeting at the Midtown safety center (twice so far) – Phillips west and Midtown Crime and Safety Committee, working meeting – first concern is about community resident and business relationships – Thursday night the group is going out to door knock and start those relationships with businesses along Lake Street – with beat officers and Lt. Nelson – open to everyone. 6:30, Thursday 3/24, meet at Safety Center. - Lt. Nelson: Late night beat teams – 3 teams of 2, working on improving business relationships, have really made a lot of headway on this, letting businesses know about resources. A couple initiatives of MPD: all officers are going through crisis intervention team training (for people suffering mental health crises to get those folks help that they need); whole team is going thorough procedural justice training – 8hrs – one of six cities doing it, from department of justice – giving officers tools to be seen as a legitimate policing strategy, emphasize that folks are being treated fairly. Community response team was dissolved Oct-Jan, this team was reconstituted on January 10th – have been doing lots of good things in Midtown, plain clothes, work on livability and nuisance crimes. - Questions: o Marj: What is the role of a beat cop? Haven’t seen people out on the street engaging folks; never sees officers get out of cars. -> not restricted to 911 calls, beat teams focus is with the community - Joseph: idea to be discussed – half hour before the membership meeting to address crime and safety concerns - Beth: There needs to be more traffic enforcement around 24th at Elliot/10th/11th - Caroline: Had a small child go missing at our block today, police car close by and they were very helpful and found the missing child. III. Stones Throw Urban Farm Update - Ally to farmers outside of the city and grow food within the city – grow food on 16 or so lots, majority in Phillips, many lots are cycling through public entities - 2432 14th Ave S - have been farming on the lot for 4 year – majority of that time it has been under County ownership – recently been transferred to City – now on list of fast-tracked
development site, negotiating a lease with the City - able to garden until proposal comes forth, 90 days to leave any development proposals need to come through us – they would appreciate a head’s up if that lot got a bid – would love to be in communication about land-use and when proposals come to the fore, complicated issue, would like to be at the table. Community and Board Members agreed that this is a good idea and will be keeping track of this lot if it comes forward for sale.
IV. Events (Festival, Clean Sweep, Back to School) - Abdul: bring kids from the neighborhood – to do a free backpack and back to school event with free school supplies – to do for the kids and make them happy, for the week or two before school starts; Suzanne commented that she got backpacks from local churches in Chicago – we need to get data on how many students; Beth added that Abbott has been doing backpacks in Phillips West, so they will probably be up for it - Beth: daughter doing gold award – 3 little libraries within Midtown Phillips, teaming up with banyan to do a book drive - Joseph: Festival is very important for the identity of the neighborhood; this year it is on July 23rd - Joseph: Clean Sweep – one of the greatest events that brings our neighborhood together – we truly get great turn-out - Pete – YOU can join the Events Committee - Abubakar Masjid Open House – Wednesday April 6th, 3-7pm 2824 13th Ave s, free refreshments and dinner, panel, entertainment; to bridge understanding, ask questions about Islam and Somali Culture - Stones Throw provides neighborhood events with fresh veggies and salads – can definitely do that for us. - Raquel: Is there anything that we can do to help with the traffic issues on 24th; signs in languages that are understood? Ismail commented that parking law needs to be enforced; Action: Emma to look at the TDMP and how it is being enforced V.
“Phillips Sound” Partnership Proposal – Steve Herzog not present, so Emma briefly shared the idea of a youth music project to learn the skills to play, promote, and perform their own music; the community raised the following questions to come to the board meeting in April: How is the outreach being done? Schools, word of mouth – coverage of the neighborhood with partnerships we already have – park Age-range? Where will they rehearse? What happens if there are more than 20 youth? Do they have criteria for picking youth? Is it a lottery systems?
VI. Continued questions for the Police officers present: - Q: Robbery went up in the last couple of weeks – is there a reason? A: Most of them have been on the street (not businesses or homes) so they are stepping up plain clothes surveillance, often correlates with good weather - Comment from police: They need to do an audit of cameras, never really been a long term strategy, some cameras are obstructed, would like to slow down on this and do this more thinking before continuing project - Q: Can you talk about street prostitution? A: Lake street is probably the highest concentration of prostitution, heavily tied to narcotics – we have a pretty serious heroin epidemic; prostitution is
a challenging crime to enforce, need to prove offer for sex ask; a lot of these women are vulnerable and are victims; post-arrest they have the GIFT calendar and resources; some women are being sex-traffic-ed; working with PRIDE, to simply do outreach; we are not going to arrest our way out of this problem. Q: How are we dealing with John’s? A: There are lots of problems from a legal stand point in trying to arrest them – need to have money exchange. Q: Are you looking into strategies being used in Ramsey County and St. Paul? A: Sex trafficking – huge problem – most of the street prostitutes are “feeding addictions”; just about all women were sexually abused at young ages, really kind of broke them; then they get into addiction issues; need to do more John details; female officers under cover are easily found out because they won’t get in car right away Comment: 109 citations or arrests for prostitution – 100 in 3rd precinct; this problem and we need to concentrate on this - it is a tricky cycle to figure out how to break. Beth moves to adjourn the meeting, Geu seconds