This district, covering Liberty City, Overtown and Little Haiti, is among Miami's most troubled. The neighborhoods are in dire need of economic development, affordable housing and jobs to sustain families.
The district needs strong and committed leadership, too. The candidates vying to replace interim Commissioner Richard Dunn, who is also running, offer the potential for fresh ideas for proud, but beleaguered, residents.
Michael Jackson Joseph, Alison Austin, Andre Joyce and Jerry Sutherland, along with the Rev. Dunn, all have deep roots in District 5. Their desire to be of service to their community comes across as genuine. (Ernest Mailhot, of the Socialist Workers Party, is also running for this nonpartisan seat.)
Ms. Austin, who has been chief executive officer of the Belafonte Tacolcy Center since 2006, offers the most thoughtful vision of what it will take to bring a measure of enduring prosperity and security to the district.
She wants the city to restore trust between the police and jaded residents, partner with the county to bring shuttle buses to these transportation-challenged neighborhoods and bring in nationally certified community development corporations to build affordable housing. Just as important, Overtown has to have a greater voice -- and far more revenue -- from the Community Redevelopment Agency, while reducing commissioners' muscle on the board.
For Miami City Commission, District 5, The Miami Herald recommends ALISON AUSTIN.