ANA Meeting Minutes
Annual Meeting 5/19/21 / 6:30 PM / ZOOM
Samantha Bild, Adriana Dobrzycka, Joel Federer, Vikisha Goberdhan, Ethan Komoroski, Nikki Lindberg, Sharla McIntosh-Ziegler, Donté Mearon, Kevin Ross, Judy Vecere
NOT IN ATTENDANCE: Janhel Leandre
Lauren Anderson (Coordinator), Rachel Ireland-Henry (Accountant), Jordan Nelson (Armatage/Kenny Park Director), Linea Palmisano (City Council Member), Marion Greene (Hennepin County Commissioner), Jaime Long (District 61B State Representative), Kevin Brown, Tara Brown, Tara Carson, Charlotte Crabtree, Colleen H., Anne Hacker, Jennifer, Eli Johnson, Eric Magnuson (AREA), Mike, Veronica Soria Miller (AREA), Aryca Myers (NCR Neighborhood Specialist), Kristi Palmsten, Linda Ridlehuber, Jay Schiltz, Stephanie Vigen
April meeting minutes approved via email. Updated financials were sent via email.
6:30 Welcome and Introductions
6:40 Connect with Elected Representatives
- Council Member Linea Palmisano (Linea.Palmisano@minneapolismn.gov)
- As part of the Vision Zero initiative, the city reduced speed limits on most street throughout the City. “20 is Plenty” signs are available near the City Works facility at 60th and Harriet or on Linea’s back deck (email her).
- A tree levy is set to expire at the end of the year. This levy helped fund a full-time arbor crew to help rebuild the city’s tree canopy destroyed by Emerald Ash Borer. However, there are still many areas that are in need of trees, especially the areas of north Minneapolis hit by the tornado in 2011. The city is looking at ways to continue to address this need including through a carbon credit program (Star Tribune article). She hopes a future program can expand beyond boulevards and park lands, and be able to help with issues related to environmental justice, heat islands, etc. [Comment made about a pilot program in the city of Edina that was successful on this topic. Someone also mentioned carbon offset programs in Dakota County and St. Paul as potential resources.]
- Linea strongly condemned the recent incidents of hate speech in Armatage. She has spoken with the resident, and they filed a police report, and the incidents are under investigation. It is Linea’s hope that we can use any learnings to better inform city conversations around hate speech (reporting and response).
- $271 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) will be allocated to Minneapolis. The city plans to quickly distribute $40-50 million to existing programs. Public input will be involved in the allocation of the remaining funds. Ideas/suggestions can be sent to Linea’s office (email above).
- Concern raised regarding the degrading asphalt around some of the USI ground vaults, in particular one at 54th and Penn, and its impact on accessibility and pedestrian safety. Report specific incidents to her office or via 311.
- County Commissioner Marion Greene (firstname.lastname@example.org, 612-348-7883. District Aide Laura Hoffman, email@example.com, 612-348-0963)
- The county is engaged on several fronts to address issues around homelessness. Street Voices of Change and Align Minneapolis are a couple of the local organizations they partner with in addressing this issue. In the past year, funding for such programs has increased to support increased staff, 24-hour shelter operation, increased outreach, more robust case management, additional meal support, culturally specific shelters, etc. More than 2,100 people have left shelters in the past 12 months for homes, and more than 120 of those people were considered chronically homeless. They currently have 140 fewer children in shelters this year. All signs that 2021 should continue to see improvements over the devastating impacts of Covid-19 and homelessness in 2020. The county recently purchased the Metro Inn (56th & Lyndale) to be used as a shelter, and the program has been going very well.
- She stressed that if you are facing housing instability, mental health concerns, etc. it is easier to help people at the beginning of challenges, so please do not hesitate to reach out to her office for support.
- Hennepin County Climate Action Plan: 1) driven by priority of reducing disparities and addressing environmental justice; 2) updated goals to reach net-zero emissions by 2050; 3) as a densely populated county, we have an added responsibility to address these issues in support of state-wide goals and reduce by 20% vehicle miles traveled; and 4) prioritize transit, pedestrian and bicycle routes, many that use county streets. They are in the process of hiring a new director for this department. After that time, she hopes to have better answers to questions raised regarding the county initiatives around expanding solar and wind and how, as a neighborhood, we can best engage around and support these efforts. She also envisions a webpage where metrics and updates will be posted to help people track action and ensure accountability to the climate action plan.
- State Representative Jamie Long
- The legislature is still in budget negotiations (originally scheduled to be completed yesterday). The hard deadline is the end of June, but hope to reach agreements yet this week.
- Currently, the proposed budget includes lots of funding for education and student support (targeted toward losses due to Covid-19); healthcare; and expanding broadband access. Minneapolis is expected to receive funding to promote investment in areas damaged during the unrest in 2020. Funding for police accountability at the state level is also included in the current proposal.
- Jamie, a member of the Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Committee, sponsored a bill to establish “sign and release warrants” prompted by the deadly traffic stop of Daunte Wright.
- Jamie, Chair of the Climate and Energy Finance and Policy Committee, passed the cost-effective energy improvements bill that increases goals and expands programs, including support for low-income residents, further solar installations at schools, solar rewards programs, expanding electric vehicle infrastructure, rebate program, etc.
- Governor Walz extended the peacetime emergency to continue supporting statewide testing programs as well as efficient and equitable distribution of vaccines. The governor also ended the statewide mask requirement, as per new CDC guidance.
7:15 AREA (Armatage Reparations & Equity Action) – Eric Magnuson and Veronica Soria Miller
- Mapping Prejudice (www.mappingprejudice.umn.edu) project reveals homes with racial covenants. Made unenforceable in 1961, these covenants have stayed on people’s homes and were largely forgotten. More than 8,000 homes were mapped in Hennepin County, and work has begun in Ramsey County.
- Armatage and Kenny neighborhoods
- Our heavily segregated city is a direct result of these covenants. Our city has a 60% white population, while covenant neighborhoods are typically 80-90% white. By pushing BIPOC families into redlined neighborhoods, they were systematically denied the ability to build equity through homeownership. Segregated cities also create other problems, including increased police violence towards BIPOC communities (BU study), health disparities, education gaps, etc.
- While we didn’t ask for these covenants to be on our homes, simply by living here, we have inherited and received benefits from their existence. The AREA group sees the renunciation of these covenants as the first step of reparations for systemic racism through acknowledgment. (Strib article about AREA)
- In 2019 State Rep. Jim Davnie helped pass a bill to make it easier to remove these covenants, and more cities and states across the nation are picking up this cause as a part of broader discussions and actions around reparations.
- The language of these covenants will always remain in the historical record, as well as the date the language is removed. It is your personal decision to request its removal, and the project, Just Deeds (www.justdeeds.org) makes it easy to do just that. Their volunteers will help you, and they currently have over 1,000 applicants (so you may need to be patient). If you are in the Pennhurst development, AREA has the information to make it even easier. Veronica is willing to help, too, if you have questions (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- If you renounce, you can request a yard sign (send requests to email@example.com) to help increase awareness. Plus, please share on social media. AREA has distributed flyers to homes in the Pennhurst area and has considered doing more flyering. A comment was made to mail postcards to specific addresses to raise awareness.
- In support of the second step in reparations, redress, AREA is supporting a national bill, H.R.40 – Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act. Tina Smith has signed on as a co-sponsor along with 185 members of the House. AREA is currently working to get Angie Craig to also co-sponsor, and are asking for support through her constituents.
- AREA is also looking at ways to support reparations through giving opportunities, fundraisers, supporting black-owned businesses, partnering with the City of Lakes Land Trust, etc.
- The impact of these covenants was highlighted through the story of a family from 1982 who moved to Armatage and found the language, although unenforceable, personally hurtful as a Jewish family. They attempted then to remove the language but were faced with bureaucracy and prohibitive costs. After 58 years since being made unenforceable, and the new homeowners had the language removed. The family from 1982 had always carried the hurt of that language with them and were thrilled to know that it has finally happened. It is more than a symbolic gesture to remove these covenants, but a true community action towards righting wrongs, and showing that Armatage is a community for all today and always.
7:35 Neighborhood Update
- ANA Highlights from the past year
- Halloween and holiday tours — self-guided; open to all; online voting, with prizes to top 3 vote-getters
- Welcome Bags relaunched — Kevin and Ethan have been delivering these to new homeowners and renters. With many people working from home it has been fun connecting with our new neighbors. Expect with the hot housing market, we will need more volunteers to help deliver bags. Also looking for more info or swag from local businesses to include. Eli volunteered to help.
- Neighborhood Funding Update
- Received an increase to $25,000 for 2021 (over 160 Armatage residents responded, and helped us get this additional funding)
- 2022 and beyond funding is uncertain, but the ANA will keep residents notified
- Committees — are open to all and encourage involvement at any level
- NEW Community Engagement Committee (meets first Thursday of the month at 5:30pm via Zoom) / Chair, Sharla
- Its mission is to create meaningful opportunities for our community through events, activities, and programs
- Events from the past year: Sweet Treats in the Park (Aug 2020), Fall Food Truck Night (Oct 2020), Spring Tea & Blooms (May 2021)
- Upcoming events: Summer Food Truck Night (Aug 2021)
- Green Team (meets second Thursday of the month at 7pm via Zoom or outside location TBD) Co-Chair, Ethan
- Its mission is to nurture a just, climate-resilient future for the Armatage community through accessible action, education, and advocacy opportunities
- Events from the past year: Neighborhood Clean-ups (Oct 2020, April 2021), Rain & Native Garden Program, Incentive Programs (Native Plant Rebates, Adopt-a-Drain), Zero-waste Monitoring at Events, Education (Organics workshops, Let’s Talk about Plastics series, Solar workshop)
- Advocacy/Awareness events: Reading circle, All We Can Save has helped activate us to think about how we can act as a community ie) opposition to Hiawatha Expansion Project
- Member of Minneapolis Citywide Green Teams (great for ideas and networking)
- NEW Safety Equity and Outreach (meets first Saturday of the month at 10am zoom or near kiddie pool at the park) Co-chairs, Sam & Nikki
- Formed to address gaps in our community work and includes public safety, mental health, community relationships (police and others), and how we can support our community members who need it most
- Recent projects: Social media best practices campaign; Safety and trial info hub; Incentive program (Safety Rebates)
- Upcoming events: Community walk (June 19, 2021), Meet Your Community Helpers (Sept 2021), Community Anti-racism Discussion (Fall 2021)
- Will have All Are Welcome Here signs available for purchase at the June event (and while supplies last)
- Mini-Grants Committee (paused) Co-chairs, Adriana & Stephanie
- Covid made it hard to implement this programming, and they want to re-imagine the program come Fall 2021. Watch for info in our communications
- Originally designed to support projects that directly benefit the neighborhood
- NEW Community Engagement Committee (meets first Thursday of the month at 5:30pm via Zoom) / Chair, Sharla
- The ANA’s future funding is declining, and we are unsure of how long we can sustain operation without the city support. Currently, we operate at about $30k/year, and the city cuts will drop to $15k. We are a 501(c)3 and rely on donations, city funding, volunteers, and one part-time paid staff.
- As Covid restrictions ease, we will look at options for returning to in-person meetings, perhaps outside this summer at the park. The ANA meetings are always open to all and are held on the 3rd Tuesday of every month at 6:30pm.
7:55 Election Results
- Joel H. Federer
- Vikisha Goberdhan
- Ethan Komoroski
- Janhel Leandre
- Judy Vecere
- Newly elected
- Eli Johnson
8:00 Door Prize Drawing
- 6 attendees names were drawn and awarded a $25 gift card from an Armatage business
Meeting adjourned at 8:12
- Jun 3 – Community Engagement Committee (5:30-6:30pm, Zoom)
- Jun 3 – Reading Circle Meeting #5 (7:00-8:30pm, Zoom)
- Jun 5 – Safety, Equity & Outreach Meeting (10:00-11:00am, Armatage Park Play Area with masks on) Jun 10 – Green Team Meeting (7:00-8:15pm, Outdoors – email firstname.lastname@example.org for address) Jun 15 – Monthly Meeting & Safety Update (6:30-8:30pm, Zoom)