Historic Virginia Key Beach Park

A Historic Virginia Key Beach Park monument.

Anti-sex-trafficking campaign part of next year’s Super Bowl

In an effort to prevent sex-trafficking and provide support to victims, the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee formally announced the “Stop Sex Trafficking Campaign” last Tuesday, as part of the preparations for next year’s big game. The campaign seeks to convene more than 100 collaborating partners to combat trafficking and create pathways to recovery to all victims.

Florida ranks third in the country in sex trafficking, with Miami-Dade County reporting most of the cases in the state. About 40 percent of victims are minors.

“Super Bowl LIV provides an unparalleled opportunity to engage our entire community to stop sex trafficking,” said Kathy Andersen, executive director of The Women’s Fund Miami-Dade. “Sex trafficking is an unacceptable reality every day, and we will engage the greatest forces across our communities to harness the power of Super Bowl LIV to combat trafficking.”

Through 2019, up to and throughout Super Bowl LIV, the campaign will seek to develop and execute awareness, aimed at stopping sex trafficking in the different South Florida communities.

Super Bowl LIV is scheduled for Sunday, February 2.

School board to review arming of teachers

As the school year nears its end, Miami-Dade County Public Schools leaders are expected to review future safety and security measures, with a strong focus against the arming of teachers. School Board member Steve Gallon III will propose an item opposing the arming of teachers at the June 19 school board meeting. The item seeks the school board to publicly declare its position as policymakers and oppose the arming of teachers in the school system.

“As a lifelong educator, I vehemently oppose the arming of teachers in the classroom,” Gallon said. “Our position on this issue as a school board must be communicated to our educational professionals, parents and members of the community.”

In this year’s Legislative Session, Florida lawmakers approved a bill that would allow teachers who complete the necessary training to carry a firearm in the classroom. SB 7030 expands on the existing “Guardian program,” which allows any teachers or staff to volunteer to carry a weapon if the local school districts opt in the program. Like Gallon, Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, does not support the arming of teachers in the classroom. “I have listened to the will of the teachers, the voice of the parents and the advice of law enforcement, and we will not be opting to arming teachers,” Carvalho said.

Petition launches for Black museum at Historic Virginia Key Beach Park

Miami-Dade County residents voted in 2004 to use $15.5 million in general obligation bond funds to build a Black history museum, as part of the Virginai Key Master Plan. Yet, the development of the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park museum has been stalled. The county needs an identifiable source of operating revenue for the museum before it can be built.

Historic Virginia Key Park Beach Museum rendering

Depicted below is a rendering of the Historic Virginia Key Park Beach Museum, which has been proposed 15 years ago.

The Historic Virginia Key Beach Trust, a group established in 2000, is the steward of the historic beach park. It has overseen the restoration of the beach park, that was founded in 1945 as the county’s only place for Black people to go to the beach. As the Jim Crow south moved on so did people – to use integrated beaches. By 1979, the county gave the park to the city of Miami. Three years later, the city closed the historic beach, due to high maintenance costs, a timeline on the Trust’s web site said.

In order to secure the release of the $15.5 million in GOB funds and $5 million in the convention development tax funds, the Miami Commission must vote in favor of the legislative Item No. 5883 on June 13. Trust members have launched a petition on change.org to push the effort. Call 305-960-4600 for more information.



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