Posted by Shelly Rucks on Nov 08, 2017
We started the meeting with a moment of silence in memory of Ron Phillippo, long time Rotarian. Dick Nicholson lead the Club in the singing of America with a fork, accompanied by Doug Hartford.  John Andrews shared a moment of inspiration in recognition of Ron, identifying the connection between Rotary and community leaders. Michael-jon Pease shared that we are part of the Rotary International family and recognized friends and family that were guests and visitors. Chad Roberts suggested that any Red Striper who had not yet presented on a Thursday morning contact him and make arrangements to share more about them and their work with club members on a Thursday morning at the Boy Scout Office.
 
President Jerry noted that November is Foundation month, and we ask: Every Rotarian, Every Year … and Each Foundation.  Please be a part of our effort and make at least a $25 donation to both the Rotary International Foundation and to our local St Paul Rotary Foundation.  We believe in the causes, our gifts help illustrate that as we tell the story of the good work done with support of the Foundations. Dan McKeown, president of the St Paul Rotary Foundation, identified the other Club Officers, and explained that the Club identified budget desires, and the Foundation supports specific projects in our budget.  Past President McKeown thanked our Club – as our Club as declined in size our giving has continued as we are raising as much as we did as a larger Club. He asked those that are Elmer Andersen Fellows to stand, and all those who have given to the St Paul Foundation to stand – we had most of the Rotarians on our feet.  Jason DeKuester commented that as a small business owner, it was difficult to donate $1,000 at once, but donating a small amount at a time made it possible.
After celebrating happy news and sharing thoughts on our freedom to vote, Jay Pfaender introduced Ann Mulholland of Minnesota Philanthropy Partners to share why the East Side Matters.  Ann shared – and illustrated – her passion for Saint Paul’s East Side, and noted that it reminded her of her growing up in Ohio. There were two major take aways from Ann’s comments: 1) the East Side reflects the entire history of the City, and 2) it is our future.  She also assigned us all homework – to visit the Flat Earth Brewery and enjoy some of the new restaurants on the east side.
 
The East Side is where St Paul started, it has always been, and continues to be a story of immigration and a welcome for refugees. (60% are non-Caucasian and 39% have a language other than English, compared to 46% and 39% in St Paul.)  It is where manufacturing grew and left roots – and the decline of manufacturing in the 70-80s has left the community struggling to recover.
 
The east side is made up of young families – 45% of families have at least one child compared to 31% in St Paul.  Families are poor, very poor – 40% are at 150% of poverty or below, and 42% of kids under 5 are under the poverty level.  (Compares to 33-32% in Saint Paul.) 
 
The housing stock in East St Paul is naturally affordable; 99.5% of the houses are under $200,000, compared to 69% in Saint Paul.  Many of which are rental.
 
Ann shared much hope for the community.  The East Side has great gems – Lake Phalen, Bruce Vento Nature Preserve, Battle Creek Regional Park, Indian Mounds, Metro State Expansion, Mississippi Market, Flat Earth Brewery and many new restaurants.
 
Much of the history of St Paul is rooted in the East Side, and many of those there now are our future.
 
Remember the Holiday Party – sign up and consider donating something for the Silent Auction.
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