Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness once made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke lays out his ideas to fix Miami's inner city neighborhoods.
While it was nice to see Tony Crapp Jr., an African American who has grown up in Miami, become the first black city manager since Howard Gary, we still have a long way to go in addressing the problems that plague Overtown and Liberty City. We need Miami's elected officials to follow my advice.
First, the city and the county police departments must place more officers in black neighborhoods during the hours that criminals come out. We need to see more mobile command centers on NW 15th Avenue between midnight and 3 a.m. I think both police forces can come up with an effective community policing strategy that will make Overtown and Liberty City residents feel safe when officers are in the hood. Put more of them on bicycles and horseback — like the ones in Brickell, Little Havana, and downtown Miami — in black communities. Add more police who care about these black neighborhoods and who will have a friendly dialogue with the people.
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We also need city and county officials to go after the slumlords. If Miami Beach and Coral Gables can find a way to hold property owners accountable for maintaining their buildings, Miami can do the same. Give Crapp the green light to crack down on these slumlords. Come in and rebuild every property on NW 15th Avenue and the surrounding neighborhoods. And please provide jobs so we can feel pride in our community.
I recently went on a trip through a black neighborhood in Athens, Georgia, that used to be nothing but projects. Now, it is a beautifully landscaped and gated community. And there are no people selling drugs in the streets. Why? Because the residents took part in building it. I'd love to see city and county mayors implement similar ideas here.
I have a plan for the schools. We need to have three types of them: one for kids who plan to attend college, one for those who don't, and a third for the knuckleheads. A big reason F-schools exist is that you have a lot of knuckleheads bringing good students down.
These are realistic goals. If our leaders don't see fit to implement them, then I'll be forced to run for mayor myself.