Curtis Jones Jr
District 4, Democrat
“ One of my intended goals for this session is : Housing stabilization for long term residence and Lease-to-purchase options for affordable Housing for first time home owners”
I intend to introduce and pass legislation that will create a legitimate lease-to-purchase process for certain city-owned properties. My staff and I have done extensive research into best practices in other municipalities, such as Cleveland, Ohio’s model, and I believe this will move our city forward on our affordable housing issues.”
Yesterday, without any warning or advanced notice, 25 sheriff's deputies colluded with a notorious slumlord is an early morning raid to evict four of the poorest families in Palm Beach County. They came armed with door knockers and axes, and beat down all of the doors one by one. One family in the O building woke up in bed with a gun pointed in their face. In a unit in the M building, they tore the door off the hinges, after one hour of nonviolent resistance, and found the children hiding in the closet. Their belongings were thrown out onto the street, their children walked barefoot, crying and screaming in confusion. It could have been a scene replicated in the favelas of Rio.
Unfortunately their supporters were nowhere to be found. Their community was nowhere to be found, except sitting and videotaping the incident. They were alone, bearing the brunt of all the weapons the system has trained against them to put them down and keep them confined to this toxic warehouse to silently die - all a five minute drive away from Mar-A-Lago. This dramatic police response can be explained in a few short words: these families live in Stonybrook, and here they are supposed to shut up, and tolerate dying in this rat and roach-infested prison that masquerades as housing. Not doing so was their only crime.
For this had to not just be evicted, but done so in such a brutal and horrific way that it would leave a lasting imprint in their psyche, and that of the surrounding community. If there were any justice the actual criminals - the slumlord Frank Sinito and his bootlicking enforcers - would be the ones waking up with a gun pointed in their face, their children thrown out on the streets, walking barefoot, crying, and screaming in panic and confusion. But it doesn't happen. Even Sinito's dad who ran the Cleveland drug trade for years - Tommy "the Chinaman" - never received such horrific treatment at the hands of the feds. To the contrary, their family got to do big crime, and invest the proceeds in slumlord housing, and become respectable developers that own downtown Cleveland.
If there was any justice, Sinito and his family would be the ones forced to live in filth and breathe in the poison that 30,000 families living in his 200 slumlord complexes do every single day. But he doesn't. He lives in a Scarface-like mansion in the suburbs of Cleveland, and his family are royalty in the city.
To this day, the Sinito crime syndicate - now called Millennia Housing - continues to receive second chances from their partners in government. Everyone from Riveria commissioner Julie Botel on up to Senator Marco Rubio reward them with fat development deals and forgive code fines and liens without any proof of remediation. The Sinitos get to continue earning guaranteed $3 million+ a year in HUD and rent money on the backs of the poorest families, a scheme that only lasts because every part of the system works to guarantee the obedience and silence of the residents. It's all enforced at the barrel of a gun at the end of the day, and everything else is for show. This is what yesterday's raid was all about.
We continue our conversation with Oakland mom Misty Cross, who was evicted alongside other mothers fighting homelessness Tuesday from a vacant home they had been occupying for two months. Cross and three others were arrested by a heavily militarized police force in the early hours of Tuesday morning...