A Few Good Ideas

Here's what we'd do if I were in charge

image Dan Paul
Attorney
Jorden Burt
One does not live by bread alone. If we are going to lift the City of Miami out of poverty, we need first to lift the spirits of the residents. Parks, particularly neighborhood parks, are in deplorable condition. A number of them have fallen into disuse and are no longer parks at all. It's outrageous. Parks and inviting open spaces can play a big part in demonstrating the city cares. Refurbish the neighborhood parks. Provide more open green spaces. Stop shutting the public out of their parks with commercial events. The worst is happening at Bayfront Park right now -- the public shut out for two months with all this Grand Prix racing going on. You'd be surprised how this will lift spirits and help to lead the way out of poverty. The whole idea of parks is to lift the spirit and get people feeling like the city is doing something for them.

image Dr. Pedro José Greer, Jr.
Medical director
Camillus Health Concern
A society should not be judged by its buildings, but by how it takes care of its poor. We have to make a long-term plan, and the poor should be part of the planning. If you're going to solve this, you need everybody at the table, meaning those with the financial abilities and those who are affected. Where are the poor people in the planning? We all assume we know what's best for them. I remember some homeless children telling us once what they wanted for Christmas: socks and underwear. Nobody gave them socks and underwear. We all assumed they wanted toys. In another instance, in an area we were working, we decided the greatest needs for the poor in that area were health care and things of that nature. But when we asked the residents, they said safety and cleaning up the neighborhood, things we took for granted. You cannot design a plan alone. The consequence of inappropriate policy is the suffering of human beings.

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