- Faith & Family
There was standing room only at the recent swearing-in ceremony for Oliver Gilbert, who is now the second person to serve as mayor in Miami Gardens — the largest predominantly-Black city in the State of Florida. With bands blaring, supportive brothers from Omega Psi Phi “barking” and plenty of pomp and circumstance, Gilbert put his hand on the Bible and took over the seat held for close to a decade by Shirley Gibson.
And as is often the case during such acceptance speeches, Gilbert promised to address the City’s most troubling issues: crime and unemployment. The good news is that he obviously recognizes and is willing to name two of the biggest problems that have plagued Miami Gardens for quite some time. As he considers how to tackle escalating gang activity and other crimes, he and the city council members may need to examine the pros and cons of turning over policing duties to Miami-Dade County. The increase in crime some say is simply too much for the smaller Miami Gardens Police Department to handle. He has said he will add more cops but that —like most things — will depend on whether there are funds available.
Gilbert also vows to bring jobs to the City and with no real downtown area to speak of that he says he plans to develop and given the platform on which he ran, he will have his hands full. But there’s an interesting relationship between crime and jobs most experts say. As the unemployment rate declines, so too do incidents of crime. So maybe Gilbert is on the right track.
Congratulations brother. Now, as Arsenio Hall used to say each night, “let’s get busy!”