Residents of Overtown want a safe place to live, in a community that offers services and economic opportunity. Power U is empowering them to voice their needs and present their demands to get there.
Did you know the biggest development project after the Marlins Stadium is right here in Overtown?! The University of Miami and the developer Wexford Science and Technology are building a Life Sciences Biotech Park along NW 7thAve. Although you would never know it from their website, they are accessing public funds from the Overtown CRA and federal stimulus dollars to build this park. They are getting these funds by leveraging Overtown’s economic status. So what’s the problem? The problem is they are using tax dollars intended to help Overtown and giving NOTHING back to the community. Once again the people of Overtown are getting the short end of the stick when it comes to development.
Despite agreeing that the Universityhas a moral obligation to give back to the community whose dollars they are taking for private gain, they have refused to sign a commitment to engage in negotiations with the people of Overtown to develop a Sustainable Community Benefits Agreement.
What is a Sustainable CommunityBenefits Agreement? This agreement is a comprehensive agreement between the COMMUNITY and the UNIVERSITY of MIAMI that guarantees long term benefits that addresses root causes of the current crisisin Overtown. Overtown has a crisis of jobs, housing and land,education, and health. The University has the power to make alasting difference in the community with a small amount of effort.
Here are some examples of what thecommunity wants to see in the SCBA:
Guarantees that a certain percentage of the short term construction and long term professional jobs will be prioritized for residents of Overtown.
Job training for those positions.
A scholarship program for Overtown high school students to the University to study in fields related to the work at the Life Sciences Park.
Green spaces for use as community gardens and safe recreational areas to address the food desert and obesity epidemic.
Guarantees that public housing will not be taken over for use by the University.
Power U has helped establish the Overtown Alliance. The Alliance is made up of organizations, groups,and individual residents who want to fight for a Sustainable Community Benefits Agreement and community control over developmentand resources in Overtown.
If you want to get involved or learnmore, contact Keith Ivory at Power U.