The meeting was convened at 7:30PM
Members Present: Lee Clasper-Torch, Erik Christiansen, Grant Dulgarian, Anneliese Grennier, Kerry Kohring, Michael McGlynn, Britt Page, Tom Schmeling, Emily Spitzman, Mark Tracy, Sherry Lee Waldman, Dean Weinberg
Members Absent: Jim Barfoot, Vishal Jain, Dan McClellan, Sheila Perlow, Karina Holyoak Wood.
Guests: (Jody Glass, Commission on Prejudice and Bias). Maureen Reddy, Doug Best, Alexandra Batista (Mayor’s office) Carol Cancro, Martha Fraenkel.
Minutes for the September meeting were unanimously approved on a motion by Mark, seconded by Anneliese.
Special Topic: Racist flyers. Carol Cancro reported that, last Thursday, racist pamphlets appeared on lawns on Methyl Street. It is unclear whether there was an intention to target any particular households or individuals. She urged that issuing a response is important so as to not give impression of apathy.
Maureen Reddy described the flyers as recruitment materials from the Militant Knights of the KKK They were both racist and anti-Semitic. Police say they were random, non-targeted and local. She noted that the same flyers have been distributed in other places.
The question was raised whether the police are prosecuting this as a hate crime. Alexandra Batista offered to ask a police officer from the area to attend any meeting.
Sherry moved, and Lee seconded, a motion that SNA issue a statement that the Board condemns the racist and hateful flyers that were distributed and celebrates our diverse and unified neighborhood. The statement should be printed in our newsletter and distributed on our website, over our email list, and in a press release. Kerry will draft the statement and circulate it to the Board by email. The motion was approved by a unanimous vote.
Lee encouraged us to follow up as information is gathered to ensure that if possible this is prosecuted as a hate crime.
Mark suggested that this might be an appropriate topic for the lecture series that he is working on. He asked who might be appropriate to invite to discuss the issue. Suggestions included Jody from “Not in our Town”, Don Anderson from the state council of churches. PJ
Fox (CEO of Institute for Practice of Non-violence), and Rafael Zapata from Providence College.
President’s report. We sent the previously authorized donation to Church of the Redeemer in recognition of their allowing us to use the church grounds for our yard sale. The 5th annual cook-off is Wednesday, Oct. 28th.
Treasurer’s report. It was a quiet month. We need to clarify what portion of our deposits were yard sale proceeds and how much was membership dues. We are not sure whether the grant from the city for the music festival will materialize. The head of Arts and Culture has left that post and grant’s status is uncertain. If it does not materialize, we will still have made a profit on the festival, but we will not be able to provide the donations we had planned to make. Mark’s motion to approve the report, seconded by Britt, was unanimously approved.
Annual Cook-off. Wednesday Oct. 28th. The featured ingredient is apples.
Zoning. Grant distributed and sought approval of a brief statement urging Miriam Hospital to build parking decks. Michael made the motion for the purpose of discussion, and Grant seconded. Grant reported that Miriam official Arthur Sampson was adamant that Miriam would not build ramps. Several Board members expressed the view that, if the goal of the ramps is to return the land to residential housing, Miriam would be unlikely to go along.
After some discussion, Lee moved and Sherry seconded a substitute amendment to the original motion to the effect that SNA should send a Statement to Miriam expressing that in light of concerns about land use, environmental impact, neighborhood character, and the city comprehensive plan for reducing surface parking, we encourage Miriam to consider possibility of reducing surface parking though decks or other means.
The motion to amend was unanimously approved, as was the amended motion. Tom volunteered to draft the statement.
Membership Committee. Michael reported that we now have envelopes and post cards with our return address printed. The membership database will be complete by November.
Education Committee. The Committee is finalizing arrangements for the first SNA education forum next month.
Newsletter. The newsletter is nearly ready for production. Kerry is waiting for confirmation of the information regarding the education forum and the statement regarding the KKK flyers.
9th Street Park/Garden/Tot Lot: The city has received two bids for work on the water line to the garden.
Traffic: Erik and Tom reported on their meeting with will Francisco Lovera (RI-DOT) regarding the traffic problems at the Speedway entrance on North Main. We were joined by Rep. Regunburg. Nothing can be done without a very expensive study. The process will be fast-tracked if the request comes from a public official. Tom and Erik will draft a request to Aaron Regunberg.
The observatory neighborhood community group held its initial meeting. Crime, traffic and trash were discussed, but no organization was formed.
Advisory board. A discussion of this is postponed until our next meeting.
Meeting adjourned 9:29 PM.
Respectfully submitted: Thomas Schmeling, Secretary