The Jordan Area Community Council (JACC) recently sought the help of Hennepin County courts to resolve an internal dispute. On the surface, the issues result from the exceptional diversity of successful, talented, and intelligent people that compose the council membership and the board. At the core, the issues are indicative of the many problems brought about by the nation’s foreclosure crisis, and the fervent desire to provide assistance to residents so that the community maintains its talented and diverse roots.
The person at the center of the controversy is JACC Executive Director Jerry Moore. Problems have recently arisen due to a lack of cohesion on the board, resulting in members choosing sides according to their personal concerns, and loosing focus of the fundamental purposes of the organization. Recent events have provided an opportunity to alleviate these problems and continue the focus on community building work.
A tense argument arose at the August board meeting and a member of the board verbally attacked Moore in an unprofessional and physically animated fashion. Due to a history of miscommunication between the two, and submission of a formal request for Moore’s removal, Moore felt compelled to seek legal protection in resolving the dispute.
The judge ruled against the restraining order, but made very strong suggestion that the board member curtail the current path of divisive actions.
Putting the conflict in perspective, in an interview, Moore suggested that “The cost of having such an authentic, knowledgeable, genuine, and diverse group of bright and articulate, residents and business owners, is that occasional clashes are inevitable, but generally end in a greater focus on service towards the greater goal.”
In Moore’s two years as the Executive Director of JACC he has seen many ebbs and flows, but the track record of the organization’s overall success continues on a progressive path. Moore spoke passionately about the Northside community his organization serves. He said, “The questions that I constantly seek to answer are: How do we change the lives of the common people that we see walking down the street and how do we stimulate authentic growth? The answers are that we root ourselves in hope, and invest our efforts into the natural leaders and talented youth that provide North Minneapolis with a wealth of that same hope. No one can keep this community down. I’m constantly inspired by our resiliency.”
JACC works on housing, youth engagement, and community organization. Among the major recent accomplishments of JACC is strong participation in a major statewide initiative through Minnesota Housing Finance Agency that is bringing a broad coalition together to attack the foreclosure crisis. Studies have shown that over 50% of foreclosure victims have not contacted a community or state counselor to fully explore options to saving their home. Other organizations that JACC partners with are Hennepin County, Habitat for Humanity, Northside Community Reinvestment Coalition, and Jewish Community Action, among several others.
“Our strongest focus right now is on housing. We are focusing both the stabilization of current residents because we don’t want to loose neighbors,” Moore said.
“We can serve our neighbors the best by ensuring that there is quality, affordable housing. If we can put that together along with strong engagement of our business corridors then we can provide a safer and more inspiring community for our children.”
“The major success that we have had is through creating a stronger, and more personal, engagement with our neighbors. The more that we can get together face to face, the more ideas, solutions, and excitement we can create,” he said.
To participate view the JACC website at www.jordanmpls.org or call (612) 886-3202.