Pork 'n' Beans Should Be Made Safer for Residents, Not Razed

City leaders should find ways to make Pork 'n' Beans safer for residents instead of razing the complex, Uncle Luke says.
City leaders should find ways to make Pork 'n' Beans safer for residents instead of razing the complex, Uncle Luke says.
Photo by George Martinez

Miami-Dade County leaders are ramping up the propaganda to justify gentrification of Liberty City, one of Miami's oldest black neighborhoods. At a news conference last week addressing a string of shootings at the complex, county Commissioner Audrey Edmonson used the opportunity to lobby for a new plan to redevelop the Liberty Square public housing project, home to roughly 600 poor African-American families.

Edmonson, whose district includes the 79-year-old project, claims some residents have recently checked into hotels to escape the bullets. "Fear has set in now at Liberty Square," she told the Miami Herald.

She said the gunfire should persuade Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez to quickly select a developer to tear down the 708-unit complex and build a $74 million residential community that integrates low-income tenants with market-rate renters. Edmonson said, "It's time that the mayor makes a recommendation, to ease the anxiety."

Pork 'n' Beans Should Be Made Safer for Residents, Not Razed

There's also been a concerted behind-the-scenes effort to link the recent murders of four students from Miami Northwestern Senior High to the gun violence that has long plagued Liberty Square, which is more commonly known as Pork 'n' Beans. It is unfair to connect the two. Kids who live 15 blocks from Liberty Square also attend Miami Northwestern. And teenagers are getting killed all over Miami-Dade, not just in Liberty City.

Miami-Dade, as the landlord and owner of Pork 'n' Beans, should be paying to install more cameras, to have more police patrols, and to send camera-equipped police drones into Liberty Square to track down the people terrorizing residents.

Instead of finding ways to increase protection for the law-abiding residents currently living at Pork 'n' Beans, county officials are ignoring the problem. They have already decided to raze it. They haven't even consulted with Keon Hardemon, the Miami city commissioner whose district includes Liberty Square.

Edmonson and the county mayor are falsely creating the impression that the community in Liberty City has to be leveled because the people who live there are out-of-control criminals.

Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.


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