Summit Neighborhood Association

Board of Directors Meeting

October 16, 2017


Present: Erik Christiansen, Lee Clasper-Torch, Anneliese Greenier, Britt Page, Laura Ramsey, Emily Spitzman, Sharon Lee Waldman,

Absent: Kim Clark, Ethan Gyles, Anne Holland, Kerry Kohring, John Pettinelli, Tom Schmeling, Dean Weinberg

Guests: Grant Dulgarian, Margie Smith, Paul Smith, Ted Dawson. Ted Dawson mentioned his interest in getting more involved in neighborhood, especially concerned with shabby areas on N. Main St., particularly the former Rite Aid and area behind Yama Fuji and the empty lot where Ethan Allen store used to be. Ethan suggests writing up the problems in an email or letter and SNA can facilitate communication with city councilor.  Further discussion held for New Business.

Minutes: Approval of September meeting minutes. Sharon moved to approve, Britt seconded.

President’s Report: Ethan – Good yard sale in September. Thanks to Anne, who will be able to give the official debrief next month.  Sharon mentions that the common space was not used by very many people this year.  Perhaps the YMCA’s community yard sale held the week before had an effect.  Perhaps also too spread out.

Treasurer’s Report: Next month we’ll see full report. About $90 in yard sale checks, about $65 in new membership fees. $50/mo. expense for new database continues.

Membership Committee: No report.

Summit Park/ Community garden: Mayor’s visit at 5pm, Oct. 25th; Clean-up is Oct. 29. Since this is too late to share produce, they are working on a bigger summer event instead. Consensus seems to be that people are enjoying the renovations.

Newsletters: Going out early November.

Events Committee: Emily: At 6:30pm next Wednesday, Oct. 25th, is the cook-off. Cranberry is the ingredient.  No sign-up is required. Jan from Stock, Dean Weinberg, and a former winner will be the judges.  Movie Night: Children’s Film Fest at Lippitt Park 6:30pm Friday.

Introduction from Bootstrap Compost Co. – Igor Kharitonenkov from Boston residential compost company expanding into Providence.  Pick up food waste from residences, restaurants, etc., and returns it as compost or donates it to schools or community gardens. They also do education outreach at farmers markets, schools, etc., explaining why it’s better to compost food waste. Cost is $10 per week for weekly pick up, or $12 per two week pick up, and buckets are provided.  Every four months they deliver compost back to subscribers – 6 pounds of compost (roughly two gallons). Questions were raised about the high cost – the idea is that people are willing to pay for organic food and other socially-conscious services. They are really targeting people without space or other resources for composting. Once they have three or four hundred clients they would open up shop in Providence and hire locally. His email is igor@bootstrapcompost.com

Legislative update from Aaron Regunberg: Mentioned major progressive accomplishments, including: earned sick time, so that 100,000+ Rhode Islanders without sick leave formerly will now have paid sick leave; a domestic abusers gun ban; expansion of renewable energy; auto voter registration; increase to minimum wage; ban on gay conversion therapy. He also discussed how the Fair Shot Agenda worked to bring people together.  The progressive caucus will put together Fair Shot 2.0 for this year.  School facilities funding, reproductive rights, climate action (carbon pricing), fight for 15 will definitely be on the agenda.  Aaron will also push for single payer healthcare again.

Aaron is considering run for Lieutenant Governor.  It is a constitutionally independent platform from which he could push the progressive agenda.  He thinks the Lt. Gov. can bring coalitions together and use the greater resources available to organize in the public interest.

Running for statewide office would have benefits of talking about important issues with voters in parts of RI that are not as focused on progressive causes yet.  Sharon asked about whether Lt. Gov. is a position that might sap Aaron’s energy and effectiveness.  Aaron emphasizes the need for electing real progressives to leadership positions at the state level, otherwise legislative action will be limited. Lt. Gov. is also freer to speak out whereas representatives need to be more cautious about how to get their legislation passed.


Ongoing business:

Keep Summit Beautiful signs: Should be going up this week, according to Asher.

Lippitt Fountain compass plaque: Installed last Friday with the Parks Dept. The money came from the State Senate grant of $1200.

New business:

Crosswalk: Erik presented concerns with fading crosswalks in the neighborhood, particularly at several busy intersections. Grant suggests calling DPW to address immediate problem at Summit/Rochambeau.

Inspiration Workshop: Chance to think a bit bigger than in the usual monthly meeting. Maybe meet over food and drink in a more casual place. Supported by everyone. Date and time TBD.


Adjournment: Sharon moves to adjourn, Laura seconded. All in favor.

Next Meeting Monday, November 20.