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Mueller Neighborhood Assn Meeting Minutes 7/20/2013 (older revision)
Mueller Neighborhood Assn Meeting Minutes 7/20/2013 (older revision)
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Mueller Neighborhood Assn Meeting Minutes 7/20/2013 (older revision) from citiCite Pages
This is an older revision of the Page from July 21st, 2013 5:45pm.
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MNA General Meeting
July 20, 2013
Wildflower Terrace

MNA Steering Committee Members present: Kathy Sokolic, Sandy Parks, Janeka Rector, David Neider, Kevin McGillicuddy, Dennis Mick, Corky Hilliard, James Nortey, Ani Colt, Kat Malcom, Cynthia Cammack
MNA Steering Committee Members absent: Belinda Roberts, Grant Fisher

1. Introductions: Kathy Sokolic welcomed attendees

2. Treasurer's Report: Sandy Parks
a. the MNA bank balance this morning, prior to the latest bank run, was a little less than $6300.
b. Three big expenditures coming up: two Front Porch Flyer editions, Halloween carnival.
c. 74 new and renewed members since June 10th; 337 existing members.
3. Presentation to Frost Bank: Kathy Sokolic
Kathy thanked Frost for attending and contributing to neighborhood events and being so supportive of neighborhood, and presented a plaque in commemoration of the five year anniversary of the MNA savings account at Frost. Dena Holliday, VP, and Ken Gates, Sr VP at Frost represented Frost Bank.

4. Keep Austin Affordable: Frank Fernandez, Executive Director at Green Doors
a. Gave brief overview of Keep Austin Affordable as a gathering of people concerned about high cost of housing in Austin. (Lives in Mueller.)
Some points from presentation:
• Austin needs 38,000 units for the 1 in 6 renters making below $25,000 that cannot afford Austin. They are either homeless, living in substandard conditions, doubled or quadrupled families in apartments, or paying too much and cutting other basics such as prescriptions or food.
• Because of low unemployment, rental rates keep going up and Austin has gone from one of most affordable cities in Texas to one of most expensive.
• Group's main focus: to get housing bonds back on ballot, hoping for November. $55 million bond was passed in 2006, but all those funds are spent or committed. Helped create over 3500 affordable homes of all kinds of housing.
• Group advocates for another bond that size and members are out working to provide explanation to voters to about what bonds are for.
b. Questions and Answers
Q: What is tax implication of bond?
A: Would not require tax increase; there is existing capacity within ad valorum tax rate
Q: How does money go toward affordable housing and maintaining it?
A: Every year city takes portion and creates an RFP for outside group to apply for funds. For example, if a group is developing an $8 million housing project, it could get a portion from these bond funds. To do so, group has to obligations to affordability, such as keeping units affordable for 99 years.
Q: What are the demographics of the homeless population?
A: In recent year, about 12,000 total, of which about 2000 were hildren, 10% veterans, 40% or so mothers and children. 80% are situationally homeless due to circumstances such as a lost job, medical situation, or domestic violence; they tend to get back into housing within 6 months or so. 20% are chronically homeless due to behavioral health or other issues; need services as well as housing.
Q: What types of housing can the bond funds go to?
A: City Council makes policy decisions. in last bond, 75% went to rental housing mostly to people making $25,000 or less. Smaller percentages went to repairs and affordable home ownership programs.
Q: How many units can be generated with this amount?
A: The last bond generated about 3500 - hoping for similar number this time. Noted that these kinds of programs are good for the local economy, creating jobs.
Q: Where do other funds come from?
A: Variety of sources, such as low income housing programs, banks, foundations, individuals.
Audience comment: It's also important to emphasize programs and opportunities for behavioral health and other health issues that contribute to the homeless problem. New aid funds will provide some assistance.
Q: Is money being spent on something else now that this would take the place of?
A: Funds were not earmarked for something else and then shifted.
Q: What is the elevator speech for people who insist homeless choose to be homeless?
A: I struggle with this, too. Ask if they have ever been homeless. If they had been living in those conditions, might not say that. Many homeless people who do say so are mentally ill and might not be expressing that preference if well.
Q: What does Green Doors do?
A: We provide safe, affordable, quality housing as well as a food pantry, help with household setup. Also provide education on poverty and homelessness, for example, on veterans' issues. Veterans often end up homeless due to severe PTSD or traumatic brain injury.
Q: If veterans are a core group, does specific amount of bond money go to veterans' initiatives?
A: Bond funds do not have proportions specified for veterans. Green Doors and other programs do initiatives for veterans.
c. Showed forms available for finding out more about Green Doors, volunteering, or donating.
d. Kathy reinforced Mueller Redevelopment Vision and Goals. Noted that we will in August be bringing up to MNA members for a vote on whether or not we want MNA to formally support the bond.

5. 10-1 City Council: Steven Aleman, attorney and mediator, past chair of ANC, lives in nearby Chestnut neighborhood
a. Highlights from presentation:
In November 2012, the city had vote on charter amendments that resulted in a plan to divide city into ten sectors with one representative of each. In November 2014, voters will elect first council members on this plan.
Independent Citizens' Redistricting Commission was a part of this proposition and has been put in place. This group is now planning drawing up of districts. First hearing in about a month in August. ANC interested in influencing commission to respect neighborhood lines, however can only influence them via writing that can be made public; cannot invite commissioners to neighborhood meetings. This makes field hearings more significant because they will be the only meeting opportunities.
Charter amendment prohibits commission from using certain approaches, such as considering where candidates live, or lumping precincts together.
Priority criteria include: plan must be "constitutional" - one person, one vote - or equivalent in size by population, maintain contiguous areas and neighborhood integrity. Neighborhood integrity includes common interests such as language, and resisting drawing lines along convenient geographic boundaries that could bisect neighborhoods.
Commission will hold hearings across town before they can release a plan. Must also release a preliminary plan and hold available for 14 day period for public comment. ANC is requesting this period be extended to one month and is encouraging others to make same request.
Commission will revise map to reflect public input and then vote on it. Nine of 14 commissioners must approve. Because of the recent Supreme Court decision, there will be no federal review, and this commission's vote is final.
b. Questions and Answers
Q: What is deadline for districts to be drawn?
A: Now that federal pre-clearance is not required, commission could take till early 2014 to make decision.
6. New martial arts school - Nexus Tae Kwan Do: Brad Perkins from Windsor Park
a. Opening up a martial arts business near Staples. Emphasized that martial arts play an important role in preventing bullying, and he works on school seminars and presentations to demonstrate this. Hoping to open by November. Will be offering adult and kids' classes as well as yoga, on weekdays and weekends. Twenty years of experience.

7. CASA Superheroes Run for Saturday, September 21st, 2013: Jennifer Lester, CASA events coordinator
a. Provided background on Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). Advocates focus on needs of children in the court system. One way CASA supports this work is with the Superheroes run. Route this year goes through Mueller on roads. Registration is open and anticipating sellout by mid-September.
Brings whole metropolitan area together against child abuse. Mueller will have a water stop to support along mile 2. Also need help with parking, guiding drivers into rows on dirt lot.
b. Gave shout out to Frost Bank as a big supporter.

8. Announcements
a. The next Social Hour is Wednesday, August 14th at the Mueller HEB, and children are welcome. The HOA will provide light appetizers (Kat)
b. Music in the Park will be on Thursday, Sept 12th with Kent Mayhew performing at the amphitheater, 6:30 PM (Kat)
c. RMMA PIAC (Rick Krivoniak, chair of the RMMA PIAC). Welcomed Corky Hilliard's reappointment to the PIAC. Announced the next meeting is August 13th at the Carver Library

9. Adjourned
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