Hurricane Irma taught me that Miami-Dade County needs a different sort of emergency response plan for low income neighborhoods. That plan should include community-based organizations as part of the response. It must acknowledge that the financial burden of preparing for emergencies leaves low income families even more vulnerable. These communities need a more thorough response. A storm shouldn’t allow them to slip further down the economic ladder.
How did I spend my Sundays in August and September? Reviewing the Miami-Dade County Budget. I wasn’t alone, and that was a good thing. I’d certainly spoken up in the past for things I’d wanted to see funded, but hadn’t ever really poured through the budget to understand what was funded and what was missing. I have lots of people to thank for helping me dig deeper to understand what’s there and what’s not. Especially David McDougal & Maggie Fernandez.
In Richmond, CA police identified a mere 25 people causing 70 percent of the city’s violence. When I learned these statistics were similar to ours in Miami, I asked what I thought was a simple question. “If you know who these murderers are, why don’t you just arrest them?” The answer is not so simple. These people often escape arrest and prosecution because witnesses are too fearful to testify. So, no, the police can’t just arrest them even though they’d like to.
It may sound a bit odd to sit around drinking lattes and talking about guns, but it’s actually extremely comforting. Chatting about violence, suicide, and death is never pleasant so why not wrap your hands around a good cup of coffee? It did seem to make it easier for a circle of women to open up about our worries about guns in south Florida as victims, advocates, and human beings. This was my first Mom’s Demand Action meeting.