Letters to the Editor

Beckham soccer complex deal needs a ‘can do’ spirit by all involved

As a candidate for Miami city commission, I invite all fellow candidates in the race for Miami’s District One seat to plainly explain where they stand regarding the soccer-focused complex proposed in the district.

I am encouraged that our local business leaders, as quoted in a recent Miami Herald CEO Roundtable, are looking at the opportunities this complex could bring to Miami. I also commend the chairperson of the city commission and our mayor for holding the developer accountable for all environmental remediation at the future complex.

Sadly, too many of our would-be leaders would rather pick apart this project than actually explain what they’d do to improve it. It’s an attitude that disrespects the mandate voters sent last year, when 60 percent punched “Yes” on negotiating a fair deal.

The final deal commissioners negotiate cannot be a giveaway to billionaires. Yes, we need to guard against the gentrification and displacement a mega project could cause. And yes, there are real concerns about how increased traffic would affect residents’ quality of life. But those challenges, with the right leadership, will not be particularly difficult to resolve.

Candidates should follow the examples of our CEOs, our mayor and commission chair, with an attitude that sees problems as challenges to be overcome on the way to a grander vision.

This deal could not only bring an MLS team and large public park, but also be a model that shows we can thrive as a community without leaving workers behind. The labor peace agreement and $15-an-hour wage provisions baked in are unheard of in other South Florida public land ventures. There are additional public benefits that could still be part of a deal.

We deserve better and can do better. But the key words are “can do.”

Eleazar Meléndez,