Instead of heading to the city commission chambers to defend our right to exist, about 150 people rallied at the Umoja Village on January 11th. Residents and supporters spoke at the event, expressing relief that we can move beyond the anti-shantytown ordinance and looking forward to our next steps.
Remarking that the US cannot find enough money for social programs or to build enough low-income housing but can find $300 billion to bomb people in Iraq and now Somalia, Max Rameau directly linked the national housing crisis to the war.
Speakers also discussed some of the highlights and future steps of the Umoja Village: We found jobs for several residents and are looking to place a dozen or so during the weeks of the superbowl; we want to coordinate social services for residents; we want to improve living conditions here for residents.
We are now free to focus on three major areas: first, we want to improve living conditions for the residents (jobs, social services, physical conditions); second, we want to redirect attention to the biggest offender in the housing scandal, Miami-Dade County and the County Commission; and third, we want to concentrate on building the Week of Action Against Gentrification and For Low Income Housing, the week of January 29th through February 4th, which is also Superbowl week in Miami.
Stay tuned for more Week of Action updates and how you can participate!