Sunday, August 8, 2010

Why don't they do Right? "Frist rule of a Miami City Commissioner - Lying."

MIAMI - City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff and stand-in Commissioner Richard Dunn II abandoned a project to "alleviate blight" in the Overtown and Omni neighborhoods so they might extend fuller budgets into their own offices.  Where does this sound familiar?   Hum mm?   Isn't Richard Dunn in office as a stand-in for Michele Spence-Jones, accused and slung out of office for the same kind of shenanigans with Barbara Carey-Schuler?  And where in the world, btw, would the Congressional Representative for this District be standing in all of this?  He's out campaigning for the Senate seat opening up as the Democratic candidate battling against a retooled Rethug who helped sweep over the state a few years back with predatory lending that has since created the housing / foreclosure crisis for so many Floridians; you know... Jeff Greene?.
There is some awesome despair in Overtown and Liberty City.  Poor?  The poor do better than these communities.  While Rep. Meek is out stomping for a better pay check and higher visibility, why doesn't he stop by his own district and check out the corruption?  Or is pay to  play politics his best hometown game?  

No one is speaking to what is sitting plainly out on the table for all to see.... where are the ethics and values (let alone the legality issues) of a city commissioner who gives monies earmarked for community projects (who have applied for them and been told they are going to receive them) over to her own companies?  Where are the concerns for her constituents?  In another fish fry or chicken dinner?   That's how you win a community?  Not in providing new jobs and new industry?  Not in drawing new opportunities into the community in valuing their culture and the art they are cable of inspiring and creating?  Not in an invitation to sustainable businesses who will value the people and their needs for stability?  Decade after decade city commissioners and politicians who pay to play and vice versa have kept Miami's poorest towns, Overtown and Liberty City, a hub of misery, crime and poly-ignorance.  An outdoor urban prison ... American inner city desperate, where you work as hard as you can to 'get out'.    Is it, in the end, simply too difficult to not become corrupted by money in the city of Miami?   It's certainly cement in the poorest of neighborhoods.  The communities 'trust their own' to do right.   So where is the "do right"? 
Barbara Carey-Schuler has declared that she did sign the letter that allowed Spence-Jones to give the monies to the proper city projects.   That would be a personalized health spa in Liberty City?!?  over the waiting and long committed projects of Osun's Village, Community Builders HDC is a 501 c-3, Harlan Woodard and Nathaniel Styles?   Or Marvin Weeks of Timbuktu arts gallery?  Both are trying to establish community interests offering some home grown opportunity in developing indigenous cultural / self awareness.
[To the left: Chief Nathaniel B. Styles, Jr. Olosun, Dillard University President Dr. Marvalene Hughes and Harlan E. Woodard with then Governor Charlie Crist. 2009]

Like I said, why in the world does the community keep trusting them?  I am told it is the occasional display of community care with fish Fry's or chicken dinners for the whole neighborhood.  You would think that the non-reciprocal nature of these politico's would wake citizens up.  And people trust their spiritual and religious leaders, some of whom have been happy to take a lil' graft sometimes too.   How else do these obvious cheats keep hauling the constituency to their side?   It certainly isn't in deeds.
How many of the people of Liberty City are employed by Michele Spence-Jones' spa?  Or her other family businesses?   I'd really like to know that.  How many tourists is it drawing in? 
I'm thinking one of the reasons that this urban blight stays put is because of this lack of leadership and abundance of cheating. 

Still, Timbuktu - Marvin Weeks has hung on.  Community Builders HDC - Harlan Woodard and Nathaniel Styles are keeping their faith, they continue to plan and work towards their dream of a sustainable arts program that brings business and tourism into the Osun's Village Caribbean corridor along 7th Ave in Liberty City.  Bless them.  They are up against it. 
[Thanks to Channel 7 for the title play.]

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