Community Development Committee Meeting Thurs. Aug 20

Seward Neighborhood Group’s Community Development Committee
August 20, 2020  |  7:00-8:30 p.m.  |  Zoom (instructions at bottom)

7:00 Introductions, Sign-In, and Pass July Minutes
7:10 CDC Leadership Change – Peter
Alexis Troschinetz has stepped down from the SNG Board at the end of July. She took on the CDC chair role in late winter 2020 to make sure the committee was tending to the then-pressing Agra development timeline. Peter D’Ascoli, new SNG board member, is chairing tonight’s meeting and will likely be stepping into the role of CDC chair going forward.

7:15 Agra Development (proposed for 27th and Franklin at Former Perkins Site) – Alexis
Newport Midwest (the developer) submitted funding applications for Agra in June and July. They expect funding awards to be announced in October/November of this year. The project team is awaiting receipt of funding awards to proceed, since the feasibility is so strictly tied to those awards. When/if the awards are secured, that will be the time for re-engagement with the community for feedback inline with our design process.
As noted in the letter that outlined SNG’s engagement on the project, SNG needs to collaborate with Newport Midwest to create “a page on the SNG website dedicated to the project proposal. This webpage will offer an opportunity for residents and constituents to find updates to the project’s status and design as well as submit feedback/comments on an ongoing basis.”
All of this said, good progress was made on a draft list of “asks” that the SNG CDC could finalize in the months before October/November. The SNG Board received community development training from Seward Redesign in February, wherein we were reminded of the Franklin Vision 2009. It may be a good resource to draw from while working on the list of “asks.” 

7:25 Seward Business Relief and Rebuild Fund Update – Alexis
In June, SNG, SCCA, and Redesign set up a GoFundMe to accept donations to help businesses recover from physical damage sustained from the unrest. The three implementing organizations and volunteers have met weekly in July to carry out disbursement of funds. Alexis will continue to carry out this fundraiser work as a volunteer of SNG. Money is available from GoFundMe now and $500 checks will go to businesses damaged shortly.
The group meeting weekly is also addressing other ways to support businesses in Seward, such as how to address the recent uptick in theft / robberies at businesses. SNG’s Interim Executive Director, Michael Jon, shared these two resources on another set of groups broader than Seward meeting to support small businesses: June 23 Notes, Small Business Support Matrix
From July meeting: Any additions to the list of affected businesses? Has the $500 initial offer gone out?  Will distribution occur by the end of August?

7:35 From July Meeting: Have the holes been repaired in prior boarded businesses

7:45 Potential CDC Task #1: Develop a set of Equitable Development Principles & Scorecard – Michael Jon Olson
1-Interim Executive Director, Michael Jon, brought this idea forward. It might be an opportune time to have a high-level discussion about how the redevelopment landscape has changed in the aftermath of the protests and in light of COVID – in terms needs, challenges, and opportunities. This could perhaps be done in partnership with Redesign.  Here’s an excellent template developed by an alliance of Twin Cities organizations and a specific example from the Westside Community Organization, adapted from the template.
2-In late February, SNG board met with Redesign to get a training on community development (noted above with the Agra item). At that meeting, a SNG board member brought forward the Westside Community Organization’s scorecard. So, this concept was briefly introduced to SNG this year. Action to this effect could still be taken.

8:05 Potential CDC Task #2: Create a Community Investment Cooperative – Michael Jon
We need a primer on this from Michael Jon Olson. 
Given current development and redevelopment opportunities we might want to look into this possibility. Forming an investment cooperative is a significant amount of work, but well worth it for gaining more say in development in the neighborhood.
The best local example is the Northeast Investment Cooperative

8:15 Seward Redesign Update – Chris Romano

8:22 Councilmember offices update – Robin Garwood, if present

8:30 Adjourn

Topic: CDC Meeting
Time: Aug 11, 2020 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Every month on the Second Tue, until Oct 13, 2020, 4 occurrence(s)

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