- Faith & Family
I was very troubled reading Michael Putney’s op-ed written on February 7th in The Miami Herald entitled, “More wasted money in Liberty City.” Even more troubling were the words such as “waste” and “Liberty City” being in the same heading.
Liberty City, where I was born, raised and educated, was once a thriving community where teachers, doctors and lawyers resided. It is now an area that has been plagued with stereotypes that have left the residents feeling forgotten.
The writer indicates that CDBG dollars could be better utilized for tutoring and other programs for Liberty City school kids, or as described in another publication “so that they’ll have the intellectual and social skills to get the heck out of there if they can.” If CDBG dollars could provide funding for our public schools, I would support making sure all the children in this County succeed. However, this money is granted to entitlement community grantees to carry out a wide range of community development activities directed toward revitalizing neighborhoods. NANA assists the County in identifying projects, with limited resources, that can help create sustainable, affordable and aesthetically pleasing neighborhoods. I believe Liberty City is deserving of being a viable place to live.
Mr. Putney mentioned that there are a few examples of government money that have made positive differences to Liberty City. But he then insulted the residents and businesses along 62nd Street by insinuating improvements didn’t make life better. I can point to dozens of projects that are changing the face of Liberty City.
To that end, I join and applaud City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, City Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones, Leroy Jones (NANA) and the others that strive to make Liberty City an area like Aventura where its residents live, work and play. I will continue to fight for the resources to create jobs, lay sidewalks, repair potholes, rehabilitate small businesses and build affordable housing so that all of the areas of this County can be the very best. Moreover, these are my true sentiments and they are not the same “gobbledygook” as Mr. Putney referenced; neither does improving this area imply that I am “putting lipstick on a pig.”
Honorable Audrey M. Edmonson
Miami-Dade County Commissioner, District 3