Saturday, September 14, 2013

Meeting Minutes of the Martin Drive Neighborhood Association


The mission of the Martin Drive Neighborhood Association, through its programs and projects, is to embrace and foster a sense of belonging and common purpose, in order to create a neighborhood that is beautiful, diverse, secure, and fun for everyone!


1. The meeting began at 10:12 a.m. Sharon started the meeting, introduced herself, and gave an outline for the agenda and a request for block reps and members for the Finance and Projects and Planning Committees.

2. Sharon introduced Vanessa Llanas. She works as the Community Outreach Liaison, NIDC. City of Milwaukee, Department of City Development. Vanessa along with Alderman Michael Murphy added the below information, talked about first identifying if the neighborhood has a need for being a Targeted Investment Neighborhood (TIN). The TIN program is federally funded with more money coming from the city. Neighbors, once Martin Drive applies and is accepted as a TIN, could apply for up to $30,000 for major external upkeep such as a roof and a landlord up to $15,000 per unit up to four units. The homeowner will not need to provide any upfront money, but after time will pay back the money given by the TIN program INTEREST FREE. Half of the loan can be forgiven for homeowners if building codes are maintained for 5 years along with living in the home. Landlords are required to pay half up front and will not get a money back or loan forgiveness (because they have already paid half). Landlords who live in a home with other units should apply as a homeowner. The program is for homeowners and landlords. There are income guidelines for homeowners, (about $39.000 income limit for one person, higher for families, etc.) but no limit for landlords. We recommend checking out the qualifications, because more neighbors are eligible than you think. To qualify for the program the entire scope of work for building code compliance will need to be fixed in the program. For example, an inspector will come out and do an inspection of the requested project as well as reviewing for code compliance. It is just a part of the program, and no orders to repair will be given. If the applicant decides not to be involved in the program (example, applicant requests $5000 and after inspection the cost is $10,000 because of other building code violations) no violations will be issued unless it involved health and safety. The project can be increased in the “example” to $10,000 to cover the needed repairs. The TIN would exist for three years so if an applicant did/could not apply the first or second year and did the program in the third year, they could. It is the applicant’s responsibility to get bids and contractors.

        The TIN program could also be used for a community improvement project. An example, $3000 match funds for flowers on all porches. The TIN Program provides Loan Resources  


The Martin Drive Neighborhood Association needs to

A. Identify a primary contact(s) for the neighborhood.

B. Create an outreach strategy to inform Martin Drive Neighborhood Residents of the Program

C. Assist with Applications

D. Generate interest in carrying out the Community Improvement Project

E. The Martin Drive Neighborhood needs to apply. If not accepted, they can apply again. There are three new areas added to the already identified targeted areas. Alderman Murphy felt Martin Drive Neighborhood met the criteria.                      

 There are different situations that can come up so that if you have to move, a part of the forgivable loan will have to be paid back (prorated). 

If Martin Drive Neighborhood agrees, we would apply for the TIN designation, and wait to see if it is approved. Neighbors indicated with a hand vote that they wanted to be included in a TIN.

3. Alderman Murphy talked about Ben, a neighbor that was beaten and had his wallet stolen referencing other incidents that have caused alarm in our neighborhood and shared his upset feelings. He talked about increased patrols and said this was his highest priority. He said that no one was in custody at this time. The Third District Police Captain Smith stated that the previous instances may be linked. There will be a more detailed discussion on Monday. Neighbors shared information during the question and answer secession of taunting, name calling, and general bad behavior (some were not reported to Milwaukee Police, all should). Captain Smith asked for residents’ help. Call 933-4444 then press 9. The Milwaukee Police department is trying to build a case. The more information the better. Raymond talked about the back of the agenda, block watch tips. The attacks have been a single victim. A neighbor asks if a sting can be used. The Captain said waiting for a possible attack uses a lot of resources. Alderman Murphy said that the neighbors feeling of security was stolen in the incidents and the frustration and anger that neighbors have worked hard to build a great neighborhood. Captain Smith has asked the Department as they leave or arrive to the Station, to drive through the neighborhood. The meeting is Monday at 6:00 p.m. on the third floor of the District 3 Building (for a thorough discussion).

4. The problems from Advanced Waste continue and they are appealing. Alderman Murphy feels the company has changed the type of chemicals they are processing from what they did in the past. He felt the law was on our side.


5. Nicole Johnson is Director of Milwaukee Excel High School. She wants to make sure you have a face and a contact to the school. They have 125 students. Many of the students self-enroll. Many students do not have parents attending parent teacher conferences. Some students do not care about themselves and have problems caring for others. Students live nearby and have been provided at times, underwear, toothbrushes, and supplies. She asked for volunteers for the school. The school is open from 8-6 and students want to stay in school late because there isn't a lot to do at home. She offers neighbors to talk to her about anything, including volunteering.

6. Sharon talked about how there will be a future project with Alverno college on using the diversity in our neighborhood as an asset.  

7. Neighbors shared strategies to help work together to solve crime. Teenagers can help share their concerns about crime. Porch lights and reporting suspicious activity to 414-933-4444 option 9. Use that number first, then contact neighbors.  Communicate to neighbors nearby and call each other for problems. Use your block representatives and work together. Stay involved.

8. Brian talked about the Martin Drive Neighborhood Inc. The idea is that this would augment what the Association already does with new funds. The idea is that we engage more residents. Projects between the Association and the non-profit are not duplicated. Paying members are needed to show companies that we have fund-raised among ourselves first (when asking for support). Neighbors who would like to be a member pay a 10 dollar fee.

A. Application filed and the Martin Drive Neighborhood Inc. received an Employer Identification Number

B. Applied for 501.(C) (3) status with the IRS. It will take 6 months to 1 year for a decision from the IRS.

C. The committee working on this is actively engaged and have started a Landlord Alliance Group. Any donation beyond the membership fee of $10 will be matched dollar for dollar up to $400.00 Donations can be tax-deductable.

The Martin Drive Neighborhood Association and the Martin Drive Neighborhood non-profit are different, but work in partnership. This is not to say they can’t be one if need be. A life survey will be offered to neighbors in the future, a resource list, and a neighbor want list.

9. Night-time Trick and Treating Information will be available soon.  

10. Sharon asked IF we should have a future meeting on a Saturday. Neighbors signaled yes by a hand vote.

The meeting ended at 12:15 p.m.



FIRST…please read the summary of the ideas gathered from the small group discussions formed at the Association meeting on Saturday, September 14, 2013.  (Thanks to Christine Happel for compiling this summary.)  The Projects and Planning Committee has been meeting to further organize the ideas into potential projects.   The Committee strongly recommends having another Saturday meeting in October to involve a larger group of members to help prioritize the projects, to create plans of actions for putting these ideas into practice, and to evaluate any other ideas that might surface.


SECOND…please read the information.below.  It is a list of potential projects that could be developed from the ideas listed in the summary. 

There seemed to be three major categories of the ideas from the discussion groups: those that require communicating; those that require observing; and those that require organizing.


    How to better connect neighbors.

    How to register complaints with neighbors.

    How to register complaints and to report criminal activities to MPD and

              various City departments.

    Increase Block Representative skills in doing the first three tasks on this


    Encourage use of porch lights.

    Seek new funding for another “Light Up the Night” project to provide

            more or better porch lights to neighbors.  Survey  neighbors who

            took part in the last porch light project to get their recommendations

            for use with the new project.

    Contact the City to get some of the trees trimmed.

    Have the Block Reps take a monthly survey of street lights and report any

           that are not functioning.

    Aim to get all of the neighbors on the Martin Drive Listserv.

    Make contact with the Excel High School located at 46th and State St. 

           Engage their students and staff  to open dialogue about their

           involvement in mutual projects with MDNA.

    Get more tenants involved in our activities.



     How to better report the details needed to report a nuisance or criminal


     Identify properties or neighbor areas with unsupervised children or/and

         problematic activities.

    Use the P and P Committee’s  eyeball” survey to identify properties in      

             need of repair and the details of the repairs needed.

     Report “dark spots” in the neighborhoods and figure out how to brighten


     Block Reps, but also everyone, vary their “routes home” so they can

            observe the activities on the blocks.

     How to report stray dogs and other “critters”.



     --car and/or foot patrols

     --programs and activities for young teens

    --some way to make contact with the teens that often participate in Trick

            and Treat night

    --a youth committee

     --a group of neighbors that would like to volunteer at the Excel H. S.

     --a video project with the Excel High School and MATC.

    -- various service projects through which the Excel H. S. students and

           staff  could help our neighbors

    --various projects in which our neighborhood youth could be involved

    --a meeting with only tenants who could voice their concerns and ideas

    --a plan for investigating the use of intersection street light cameras



The following are ideas which were brainstormed by attendees at the Saturday, 9/14/13 neighborhood meeting regarding how we can keep our wonderful Martin Drive Neighborhood safer for everyone:



Talk to your neighbors, introduce yourselves!

Issues?  Before registering a complaint, speak w/the person or persons involved.

Ask neighbors to have a working porch light & to use it.

Go door to door to reach folks who may not be on the neighborhood email or use Facebook.




Call police if something looks suspicious. The non- emergency # is 933-4444.

Program 933-4444 into your cell phone for easy access.

Get descriptions – Anything stand out? Hat? Sneakers? Use cell phone camera.

ID the pockets or homes with large amounts of unattended children.

Use whistles that sound the same to alert neighbors of trouble.

ID which properties need some TLC & work with the landlord or homeowner to improve the upkeep.

Report dark corners or street lights out (how can we make dark streets brighter?)

Take an extra turn around the block, or drive an extra block or two on your way home from work just to keep an eye on things.




-Car and foot patrols

-Program for teens and/or unemployed adults for monthly neighborhood clean- up project.

-Create a youth board & get their input

-Invite Milwaukee Excel High School to create a film project about respect and neighborhood clean- up.

              MATC students help with this project?

              Get the film on public TV?

-Contact John McGivern for a neighborhood focus on Martin Drive.

-Get more Martin Drive renters involved-provide tools to assist with safety.




Martin Drive needs you.





Top three ideas from the Communicating category of ideas


#1 priority "Porch Light Brigade Project" Committee

·       Get block reps involved in reporting areas that need more light

·       Pat Mueller and Mary McCauley signed up for the commitee

#2 priority Complaint Committee

·       Make sure complaints get directed to proper source or resource for handling a complaint

·       Categorize complaints (sanitation, code violations, legal, criminal, etc.)

#3 priority Connecting Neighbors Committee

·       Facebook

·       Listserve

·       Newsletter

·       Other social networking


Top two ideas from the Observing category of ideas


 #1 Priority Identify Properties with Unsupervised Children

·       Offer help/and or help with solution

·       Not intended to be a reporting agency

#2 Priority Identify Properties in Need of Repair

·       Look at grant and loan programs to steer residents to

·       Block reps could help with this


Top two ideas from the Organizing category of ideas


1 Priority Youth Committee/Youth Involvement

·       Subcommittee could deal specifically with Excel High School

·       Form a committee of youth and advise them

#2 Priority Neighborhood Car and Foot Patrol