OK, what really happened? I was in a meeting earlier this evening and received a text message that the compact between the Marlins, Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce and Miami-Dade Branch of the NAACP is dead.
Miami-Dade County Attorney Robert Cuevas indicated he would not sign-off on the agreement because it was in violation of the law regarding set aside agreements. Commissioner Carlos Gimenez commented that he would not support the agreement because although the Marlins organization is financing a portion of the construction, it is their (the County's) project and the agreement is illegal.
It's unfortunate that this deal has morphed into a racial issue but it has. How this stadium deal is handled (and it hasn't been commendable thus far) may say a lot about us as Miamians. Thus far, some powerful people have demonstrated a level of sophistication or lack thereof that is, at best, discomforting.
Unquestionably, people need jobs in this community. Unquestionably, there is a noticeable shortage of blacks employed in construction in south Florida. Take a look at any work crew and do your own research. That issue persists whether we're talking Marlins Stadium or employment on other projects. Why the disparity continues is another issue that should be addressed but shouldn't be twisted with the Marlins Stadium deal to the detriment of actually addressing disparities.
One dirty little secret to be exposed on Bishop Curry's show today was awarding contracts to black businesses who in turn sub-contract with other ethnic groups and don't hire blacks. Now, that in and of itself may not seem like a problem to some folks because a business can do what it wants in the normal course of operating but, and it's a big but, we [blacks] can't expect other people to help us if we won't help each other.
Votes on the Marlins Stadium project are scheduled for March 19 [City of Miami Commissioners] and March 23 [Miami-Dade County Commissioners].
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