Time.com on Shantytown
This busy week for the Umoja Village Shantytown is capped by a story on Time.com.
This national spotlight on the crisis of gentrification and low-income housing in Miami-Dade County is important, especially as the powers-that-be try to polish the image of South Florida as a trouble free playground. We cannot allow the illusion of glamour and glitz to dominate the reality of poverty and public corruption. Local governments- particularly Miami-Dade County- are largely responsible for making South Florida the least affordable area in the country.
Worse still, the Board of County Commissioners have displayed no shame or remorse about their own role in exacerbating the crisis. The BCC, especially the Black commissioners, on the one hand are telling us that we need balance in government and therefore, we should allow them to keep their powers, while they use the other hand to vote for sweetheart deals for their developer friends and contributors. What is the point in having strong commissioner representation and power if they only use that power to benefit developers, not the community they are supposed to represent? If you are getting gentrified out of your neighborhood and not getting any jobs, does it really matter if the cause is a corrupt mayor or a corrupt commission?
Dorrin Rolle wants us to vote to defend his power, but he has only used his power to dislocate thousands of poor people from their homes and delay rebuilding. You don't hear many developers complaining about him, though. He wants us to defend him, but far from defending us, he sold us out, and the other commissioners followed gleefully. So, while most people think the real question is should powerful lobbyists have to bribe one official or 13, the real question actually is
Finally, early next week watch for the calander of events for the Week of Action Against Gentrification and for Low-Income Housing. The Week of Action will take place between January 29th and February 3, 2007, also known as Superbowl week.
Please support the work of Take Back the Land and the Umoja Village by dropping off a donation of money, bottled water, canned meat, dish soap, bleach, food and anything else needed to run your own household, at the Umoja Village on the corner of 62nd St. and NW 17th Ave. Of course, you can always make a much needed donation via our paypal account:
Take Back the Land Paypal Donation
Take Back the Land
a project of the Center for Pan-African Development