“THIS IS SECTION EIGHT FOR THE SPANISH PEOPLE”
DAVID ARTHUR WALTERS
The South Beach Rebecca Towers Flap
6 October 2015
By David Arthur Walters
Clinton pal, real estate developer, and professional propagandist Mayor Philip Levine of Miami Beach has vehemently denied that he is in league with his political consultant David Custin to sell one of the towers of Rebecca Towers behind the South Beach Marina, throwing the elderly Section 8 residents out on the street, and perhaps sell the marina as well to a Chinese developer for the development of a high-end condominium with a private yacht basin. With that being done, the other tower would probably fall or be converted. Thus far the whole thing is a conspiracy theory based upon sketchy information.
No wonder he denied it whether true or false, for how could he do such a dastardly thing after wooing senior citizens to vote for him and the slate of candidates that would continue his commission majority’s reign over city government? Rebecca Towers, owned and operated by the city’s housing authority and regulated by HUD, has 400 units in two towers with spectacular views, where residents at least 62 years old can reside for 30% of their adjusted income. This is truly the last resort in what used to be a poor man’s paradise, with multimillion dollar condos now selling like hotcakes to ultra high income individuals from all over the world with the help of their political cabinet.
Someone sent me a copy of an invitation to attend the mayor’s campaign gala for seniors at his convention center, called “his” because he managed to push through his plan to give it a $500 million dollar facelift, with perhaps $100 million going out in fees. The developers will erect a 30-story hotel to tower over the low-rise area. Of course a big parking garage will be needed. The traffic jams created by contributions from developers to the politicians will allow more politicians to put solving the traffic problem on their platforms.
The invite asked seniors to contact their social coordinator to get invited. I do not have a social coordinator, nor was I very much interested in the gala because it was just another Roman ruse to buy votes with bread and circus, something that Cato the Younger abhorred for good reason. Cato will be spinning in his grave on his sword if this pompous little Caesar wins the election, as he most likely will.
Rebecca Towers is the ideal last resort for poor seniors. I happen to be one by choice with my “Extremely Low Income for Miami-Dade County.” I feel rather sorry for rich people, as one should if he knows a few. Yet I certainly would like to live in better quarters, but not to “live large” as realtor Saul Gross advertises.
I did not apply at the Rebecca when I turned 60, back when they were keeping lists. The word was that the list was two or three years long, and one had to be Hispanic to get in. Apparently HUD allows discrimination in certain places, like South Beach, in order to favor the majority.
City commissioners confirm the mayor’s appointment of the board members of the local housing authority. City officials can get people put ahead of long housing lines. A.C. Weinstein, may he rest in peace, offered to get me in front of a line for so-called artist housing on the basis that writers are bullshit artists.
A now deceased Rebecca resident who spoke not a word of Spanish told me that he had his girlfriend fill out his application in Spanish. He was called in fairly quickly. He said the person interviewing him was shocked to discover he spoke no Spanish, but he got an apartment.
A black fellow who lives in his car told me that one must see the black Hispanic woman to get ahead of the line providing one speaks Spanish, which he does not.
A white fellow who has done a great deal for the community without asking for anything in exchange said he was told there was no longer a list, and that he would have to wait for an opening, yet a man he knew went over there and got an apartment right away.
Based on a plethora of such anecdotes in the community, everybody knows that the Rebecca is mainly for poor old Hispanic folk. Not that there is anything wrong with that. They have worked for rich people their whole lives, and they have done a lot to make the city a world-class city. So it would be a crying shame to move them out of the towers. Developers should have to wait until the last one of them goes to Heaven.
I went over to take a few pictures of the towers yesterday. Just as I was about to snap the first shot, two young men bicycled past. One pointed at the towers, and yelled with a thick accent:
“This is Section Eight for the Spanish people!”