Anyone who travels down SW 32nd Ave/McDonald Ave (probably by car, given that sidewalks are non-existent) is moving down one the most unambiguous demarcations of poverty and wealth in any major American city. However, instead of the entire Grove community choosing to deal with these socioeconomic imbalances, the wealthier Center Grove has largely chosen to barricade itself from the West Grove’s problems. One gets the feeling that Center Grove residents are just waiting for well-off, private regarding urban pioneers to venture across McDonald Ave, gentrifying the West Grove parcel-by-parcel, block-by-block until it merges with its equally well-fortified South Grove neighbor.
The point is, the infamous gates and walls that have sprouted up like weeds in recent decades are cancerous to civic life and public spaces, as is evident by the astonishing segregation of these two neighborhoods despite their close proximity. We can and should do a better job building inclusive neighborhoods that are critical for democracy, social progress, and high quality civic life. It’s a delusion to think these easily traversable gates and walls provide any legitimate means of security. Thus, instead of barricading ourselves and turning away from the West Grove, it’s opening up to the street and being inclusive that gives the best opportunity for the whole community to be a safer, more democratic place.
Here’s an excerpt from today’s piece, part 4, referring to the trust’s dealings around MLK Blvd and NW 7th Ave:
“A review of hundreds of records and nearly a dozen interviews shows that the trust’s strategy for this historic street corner hurt the very people it was supposed to help while millions in tax dollars earmarked for small businesses went to botched deals that failed to create promised jobs.”
Obviously, corruption isn’t new to the Miami area. However, the nature of it being a frequently recurring theme is very troubling. If you’ve been following it, you’ll see that it cuts across all races and many ethnicities, so citizens should not childishly point their fingers at any one group. It’s critical, however, that as citizens we don’t become so crusted that we lose sight of the positive projects (i.e. Miami 21 and Miami Streetcar) that will help make Greater Miami a better place.
We must also recognize that the current state of affairs is just not acceptable. Our communities continue to become more and more polarized racially, ethnically, and especially socioeconomically. “Sprawliticians” are using their power in many instances to continue making a buck of our great land, while ensuring Miami is an unsustainable, inequitable, traffic congested mess into perpetuity. We need to keep this in mind when we go to the voting booths, and we need to start asking tough questions about the qualifications of officials (do you have ties to Big Construction or are you for Smart Growth?) and administrators that run our government.
Photo courtesy of iceman9294’s flickr
I got home last week and ironically one of the first things I reached for was the most recent edition of Time magazine which happened to be lying around. I thumbed through the pages when a striking image of a beach I recognized caught my eye. After reading the article There’s Trouble-Lots of It-in
Going back to the Time Magazine article, I find it extremely unprofessional for the author and editor of the magazine to portray such a biased and generally inaccurate story about any municipality. The article focuses on rising insurance premiums and a terrible education system in
As if a blow by Time magazine wasn’t enough for one week, one of our Senators, Tom Tancredo, publicly stated from a conservative rally at the Breakers in Palm Beach that “Miami has become a Third World country. You just pick it up and take it and move it someplace. You would never know you’re in the
Read Tancredo’s reply to Gov. Bush (The opening statement begins with the notion that Jeb has the “…desire to create the illusion of
As I search for some sort of reasonable conclusion for this article, I am compelled to remind people that running away from the issues which plague our city is simply not the right solution (No, I don’t accuse Rick, or Tere of running away…Rick is retiring and Tere is likely part of the middle-class that is being squeezed nationally.)
Michael Lewis of Miami Today News has a great reply to the Time Article…
Sorry Time Magazine and Tommy Tancredo, Miami ditched the statewide slump in Tourism…Guess people like to visit third world cities…
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