Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Damning Words if ever there were ones for the Miami-Dade Empowerment Trust

In the Miami Herald's continuing series Poverty Peddlers, today's front page story succinctly summoned up in just a few sentences what the Miami-Dade Empowerment Trust did and didn't do:

"...the Trust's investments...reveal a pattern of favoring insider firms above mom-and-pop enterprises while banking on risky real estate ventures that undermined the agency's own mission...During the past eight years, the Trust provided just $267,000 to seven small businesses around this intersection (NW 62nd St & 7th Ave) while dividing up nearly $3 million among a politically connected nonprofit group, an out-of-town development company that has been slammed by the county's inspector general and a local developer caught up in a scandal over the county's housing agency headquarters."

It goes on but the more you read, the more you want to cry as new names join the list of "usual suspects" and you soon begin to wonder if there is any hope at all for this community and you stop reading. To vent your frustrations, you blog, hoping the action is worth the effort to affect positive change. But as each day goes by living here and with each new series the Herald seems to start on a regular basis about public corruption, you know it probably isn't and begin fantasizing about pulling a Charles Bronson on the greedy bastards who started it all.

UpDate (10/17): Sandy Walker, the long-time Miami-Dade County lobbyist and sister of County Commissioner Barbara Jordan, pleaded guilty to defrauding the Miami-Dade Empowerment Trust by submitting false tax returns under a $200,000 loan agreement with the non-profit anti-poverty agency. She was sentenced to six months of house arrest followed by three years of probation. Ms. Walker was once chief of staff to County Commissioner Dennis Moss.

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