By Rosalie Whiley, Community Activist
“Hope Dealer” is the perfect description for Alison Austin. In her bid to become the next commissioner for District 3, she has my full support because of the trust that she has established with this community; the integrity that we’ve come to know her for and the courage she exhibits day in and day out as the CEO at the Belafonte TACOLCY Center.
We need somebody like her representing our community on the Miami Dade Commission because she would actually represent the people. She would be an entirely different kind of commissioner because she has hands-on experience with the community. She’s been in this community. She knows what the community has been through. Because she’s been through the ups and the downs in the community, she knows what can and cannot change the community.
In order for real change to happen, the people have to change. Their values and ideas about the possibilities for our community have to change and Alison is someone who can help make that happen.
The incumbent cannot affect that kind of change because she does what she wants to do, how she wants to do it, and doesn’t really care what the community thinks. She says that she works for the community but some of her actions, like the approach that she took with the Transit Village, were not for us. We tried, in vain, to get her to reconsider her views about safeguarding the return of local businesses. A commissioner that is truly for the people would make sure that its small businesses are protected.
Alison understands that in order to rebuild or change this community, our people have to be the ones whose hands work to change it. If they build it or change it, they’re not going to let anybody come in and destroy it.
We can trust Alison. She has demonstrated through her leadership at TACOLCY that she cares deeply for this community. She believes in the children and helps them to understand that where they’re from does not define who they are or what they can become.
The time for real change is now and Alison Austin represents our best opportunity for this community to experience that.
Rosalie Whiley is a community activist. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Miami Worker’s Center and is a member of LIFFT (Low Income Families Fighting Together)