King Irving Neighborhood Meeting

I happened to be at the King Irving neighborhood meeting at Evelyn Davis Park, and I thought I would just quickly run through what the topics were last night. If you have neighborhood meeting notes from anywhere in the Mid City – I’m looking at you Mondamin, Chautauqua, Cheatom, River Bend, and Drake – feel free to send them to us, and we will gladly post your current goings-on for those that couldn’t attend.

– Representatives from the House of Mercy and HOME Inc discussed a project they are partnering on to build long-term transition housing for participants in the House of Mercy program. If approved it would be built on 13th st between Clark and Norton. House of Mercy already has some long-term housing, with a 2 year waiting list, for participants that have reached a point in their life to move forward on their own but still need that stability to attain their goals. The average time spent in this type of housing, which they pay for but below market rate, is around 2.5 to 3 years. During that time they are able to finish their education or create a better life for their family before they are able to move on to a stable life completely on their own. They do not yet have full approval to move forward with the project, but they are optimistic.

– The Committee for a Representative School Board(CRSB) stopped by to discuss changing the way school boards are represented. Currently all 7 seats are elected at-large. CRSB would like to change the current system to a ward system, much like the current city council, with 4 wards and 3 at-large positions. They believe this would equalize the representation(81% of school board members from the last 30 years have been residents of the west side), allow for better relationships with the board members and their constituents, lower the cost for running an election(currently it takes around $10,000 to put up a good fight in an at-large election), and allow the school board and city council to work better together. They are currently seeking 2700 signatures to get this item on the ballot with the September school board election. Check out their website, email them, or call them at 515-802-2527 for more info.

– The Des Moines Police Department discussed its SET initiative(sorry, I didn’t catch the meaning of the acronym). A group from the police will have a presence in identified problem areas throughout the city all summer long. Between the hours of 6pm and 4am, they will coordinate an effort to prevent or stop crime. If you know of any problem areas in your neighborhood, please contact your NBSD officer to let them know; DMPD doesn’t know of everything that is going on, so it is our duty to let them know and help them do their jobs to the best of their ability.

– I discussed the Point of Contact project for Mid City. We have a good group to start off throughout the Mid City, but if you would like to be a POC on your block or find out more info, contact me. We picked up 3 new POCs at last night’s meeting.

– Jean talked about some current events being planned:

– Thrivent Builds Neighborhoods(TBN) is finishing up its 3 year grant in September this year. To commemorate the progress and also to cut the ribbon at Edina Griffen Park’s new playground, they will have an event August 16th. A group of residents, TBN staff, coalition members, and city staff arecurrently planning the event every other week.

– Last year’s Fall Fest was a blast, so they are doing it again. It is planned for September 17th, but Thrusday, June 16th at 4p the planning committee will be meeting at the Forest Ave Library to start planning the event. They were lucky enough to get a grant for this year’s event, and they need your help to figure out how to spend it. The event is organized by King Irving and Mondamin Presedential Neighborhood Associations and the Friends of the Forest Avenue Library.

– Scrub Day for the Neighborhood will be August 20th this year at River Place(the old Target by the river).

– National Night Out this year has grown a bit. After adding another neighborhood, it will now be a joint event between Chautauqua Park, King Irving, Mondamin Presidential, and River Bend; love to see that Mid City cooperation. Look for more news of this event as it gets closer.

– For those that enjoyed the game at the Safe Summer Kick Off, there will be a Granny Basketball Tournament coming up. I didn’t catch the dates, but I will check with Jean and put it on the Mid City Calendar.