Feb 5, 2007
Television coverage of the Super Bowl in Miami showed off high-rise luxury buildings and hotels, night clubs and other attractions. Hardly shown were the various demonstrations carried out by the working poor in the city against their conditions.
Former residents of the Scott-Carver public housing project erected “The Wall,” a giant billboard listing the names of all the people forced to move out when the project was torn down three years ago. 850 families were promised new homes, but nothing has been built.
Some shanty town residents organized a Gentrification Teach-In and conducted a Tour of Shame. The Glitz and Glam Granny Cheer Squad – organized by homeless women from the demolished Scott-Carver complex – rolled up on a flat-bed truck and waved their pompoms for new public housing, an event organized to attract the media in town for the NFL.
Miami is the third poorest city in the U.S. More than one-third of Miami-Dade County’s 835,000 households are supported by workers earning the minimum wage or less. The Miami-Dade Homeless Trust estimates that someone earning the minimum wage can afford no more than $268 for rent. Yet even run-down studio apartments in Miami’s poorest neighborhoods cost at least $600 a month.
Many of the homeless clean and provide services in buildings occupied by the rich. Others of the working poor work in concession stands in places like Miami International Airport or the football stadium.
Wouldn’t their story make a heck of a Super Bowl half-time show!