Liberty Square is a place where many of us grew up or hung out with family and friends. It will always hold a special place for many who grew up in Liberty City.
I remember the long hot days like it was yesterday, walking from Tacolcy through Liberty Square after football practice trying to make it home. It’s disturbing to see the neglect that has occurred over the years.
I’m also appalled by those who would get in the way of bringing about a desperately needed change for those residents of Liberty Square, which has some of Miami-Dade County’s highest rates of unemployment and crime.
The Miami-Dade Branch of the NAACP has always worked to ensure that economic dispensation be afforded to our community. It appears that the constant back and forth over the Liberty Square redevelopment has made it difficult to separate fact from fiction, and so I’d like to reiterate exactly what the people of Liberty Square are entitled to within Related Urban’s plan:
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1. Jobs, training and business contracts for Liberty Square residents are three of the most needed components to bring about this renaissance. This will benefit the community that surrounds Liberty Square, too.
2. There are permanent jobs for residents who live within the Liberty Square community. Its residents receive priority for training and hiring under Section 3 of the HUD Act of 1968.
3. Twenty percent of the construction jobs are targeted for Section 3 residents during construction.
4. The entire redevelopment of Liberty Square will pay Davis-Bacon wages and living wages to those working on the redevelopment.
The residents of Liberty City deserve to be proud of the place that they call home.
Let’s cut through all of the political back and forth and return true economic development to Liberty City.
Darryl Holsendolph, economic development chairman, Miami-Dade NAACP, Miami