|Did the community see this map or know of the area to be renamed?|
In a unanimous last minute decision with little discussion, the City of Miami Commission agreed to call the LARGE area in the above graphic, Little Haiti. The Community within the boundaries was not properly informed.
The pandering going on in the City of Miami is making me sick. Too many people are running and they all want the Haitian vote. It is "Let's not offend the Haitian community" -- but in doing so you are dissing the history of African Americans, the White Community and the Bahamian American community and their long past in Miami, before Miami was even a city. Come on Commissioners do the right thing instead, if there is a veto and you have a second chance.
To saddle a large portion of the African American community and many up-and-coming neighborhoods with a name they do not want is lunacy.
This change is going to hurt property values - blanket names do that - and anger African Americans and White Americans --- disregarding their historic places, like Lemon City. Why don't they just call Coral Gables by some blanket name too? Or maybe Miami Lakes could be called little Hialeah. Haitians occupy North Miami in great numbers too. Are you going to rename North Miami Little Haiti North? Where do you stop? Let's call Aventura little Israel. And we can call Doral, Little Venezuela. You can call my house Little Spaghetti Haven...I am Italian. But I want you to include all my neighbors so it is meaningful for me or I will stand up and scream at a meeting and stomp my feet and imply with my shenanigans: No vote for you!
I think this issue is sensitive and has to be heard in the community in the context of a Charrette with a facilitator (a Charrette is a meeting in which all stakeholders in a project attempt to resolve conflicts and map solutions). A Charrette has to be planned with all the stakeholders invited if there is a veto and there should be a veto. You can't just scream and shout to get your way and intimidate mealy-mouthed politicians running for reelection. You have to be civilized. Dragging a bunch of noisy people to a meeting shouldn't guarantee a win.
This isn't about Haitian pride to name a too large area of the city after a Country of origin (a country that the name supporters left). This is about sanity in our Neighborhoods and people practicing being neighborly and respecting the history of a place to which they immigrated. There is enough bad blood within our communities without adding to it. This designation takes in too many neighborhoods. You should think before you vote Commissioners. Make sure the community is on board. Ask who drew the map. Did you even listen to Enid Pinkney, a Miami born Black Citizen with Bahamian roots, a respected historian, former President of Dade Heritage Trust, and member of the Virginia Key Trust when she spoke before your vote? What about listening to Arva Moore Parks, Ph.D. or Alma Brown? No you didn't listen to any of them. You just listened to the LOUD, not respectful.
Little Italy in New York...almost all Chinese now. Name change: Chinatown 2? Little China Italiano? New York's China-Pizza Hood?
Here Are letters written by others on this topic:
PROTECTING MIAMI'S HISTORY AND HISTORIC NEIGHBORHOODS
Little River - Lemon City - Edison
On Thursday, May 26, 2016, Keon Hardemon, a pompous, arrogant, politician with NO RESPECT for the History of Miami, presented a Resolution to eliminate, and erase three Historic Neighborhoods from Miami and rename them Little Haiti.
We, who spend our time, energy, and money protecting, preserving and restoring the History of our beautiful Miami City are greatly troubled that the other four Commissioners who voted for this Resolution also have a flagrant disregard towards the "Protection and Preservation of Miami's History and Historic Neighborhoods".
These three Historic Neighborhoods, Little River, Lemon City, and Edison were created at the end of the 19Th Century and the beginning of the 20Th Century. They are a very important part of Miami's History.
Mayor Regalado, I ask you to VETO this Resolution immediately!! (GENIUS - I ASK YOU TO VETO AS WELL).
As the Mayor and Leader of our Beautiful Miami City it is your responsibility to "Protect and Preserve Miami's History."
if the Haitian Residents living in Miami want to name a section of Miami "Little Haiti", there are plenty of residential areas west of Little River, Lemon City, and Edison Neighborhoods that are not name designated.
I was born In Miami. I grew up with friends and family living in the Little River, Lemon City, and Edison Historic Neighborhoods.
I purchased my Home in the Upper Eastside because this area of Miami is part of my past, my present, and my future.
Any Society or City that does not "Protect and Preserve" it's History is doomed to fail.
Eileen M Bottari
Historic Palm Grove
Distinguished Miami Mayor and Commissioners,
It has come to my attention that there is an effort to rename one of Miami's historic neighborhoods, Lemon City. (RE 11 on May 26, 2016).
As a family member of early pioneers of Lemon City, Little River, Arch Creek and the Redland region, I'm concerned that the loss of a name place -- made all the more famous by my friend Thelma Peters in her iconic pioneer history book of the same name -- could be a short-sighted error in judgment by some that might not appreciate our recent past.
Lemon City, Arch Creek, Little River, Buena Vista... these place names are the last lingering remainders of our short history in South Dade. They are associated with the bold and proud early pioneers that forged this territory.
My great grandfather Edward DeVere Burr was chairman of the Dade Country Commission during the formative years of 1915 to 1921. His older brother was state railroad commissioner for 25 years. His younger brother established Burr's Berry Farm back in 1919. The brothers are buried in the first plot of Miami's pioneer cemetery.
My hope and prayer is that as today's leaders, as stewards of our founders' legacy, you will make every effort to respect, protect and admire such small but significant vestiges of these living remainders. The erasure of such an iconic place name is a travesty that deprives all who follow from some significant clues to our past.
Every noteworthy group that contributes to the success and legacy of our communities deserves some respect and admiration for their efforts, but not at the expense of those that came before them, who forged a pioneer wilderness into this world renowned bustling metropolis that we share -- and strive to protect.
Robert A. Burr
Distinguished Miami Mayor and Commissioners,
I believe Mr Burr's letter shares the sentiment of a lot of local residents, businesses and stakeholders in the large area being proposed a name designation of "Little Haiti" in a resolution being put forth by Commissioner Hardemon. Like many of the large property owners in the area, we embrace and enjoy the Haitian community and culture. The reason why I was drawn to invest in the neighborhood was because of its history and diversity.
I surprising found out about the resolution being on this Thursdays agenda just this week.
I ask that such an important decision be deferred to allow for more dialog and consideration from the many residents, businesses, historians, and property owners who participate in this very large geographical area.
Please veto this item.
Commissioners made a huge mistake. Commissioners should have done their due diligence. They should have asked the obvious questions:
1. Who drew the borders in Exhibit A provided with the item?
2. How many acres are included in the borders designated in Exhibit A?
3. Will approving this item be disrespectful to African-Americans and Bahamians and to other current residents and stakeholders?
4. Was proper notice provided? Not just putting the Agenda online the Thursday before the meeting BUT was there a concerted effort to NOT inform local businessmen and stakeholders within the affected area, African-Americans, Bahamians, Historians, journalists and other concerned citizens? Citizens testified they only had 1-4 days notice this item was coming up and less than 1-4 days to prepare rebuttals.
5. Why did every historian who testified on May 26th ask commissioners to defer or deny the item? Why?
6. Did anyone do an Economic Impact Study of how the legislation will affect existing businesses AND our tax base?
7. Were any historians asked to provide reports on the proposed borders?
8. Were any cartographers or map experts asked to provide reports on the proposed borders?
9. Why did the Chair or the Clerk not demand speakers be sworn in?
10. Is there are a concerted effort to erase the history of Lemon City and Little River?
11. Why were there NO publicly noticed meetings to discuss the proposed borders?
12. Since there was no historic or academic justification provided was the legislation entirely political?
For these reasons and for many more please veto RE 11 from May 26th, 2016.
Peter R. Ehrlich, Jr