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THE HOMELESS TRUST SPENDS $200,000 A YEAR FOR A BRANDING/MARKETING/CRISIS MANAGEMENT COMPANY TO CHURN OUT STAGE MANAGED PHOTOS AND SLICK VIDEOS AS A WAY TO BULLSHIT THE PUBLIC ABOUT WHAT A GREAT JOB THEY'RE DOING. IN FACT IT'S LITTLE MORE THAN PROPAGANDA THAT DESERVES TO BE LABELED AS FAKE NEWS
Ron Book likes to brag that when it comes to spending the taxpayers money on behalf of the homeless folks in Miami-Dade County his is nothing if not, "cheap and frugal."
That's only true when it comes to the money he actually spends on the homeless people. When it comes to the money he spends to bullshit the public about what a great job he's doing, cost is no object.
For an unknown number of years - unknown because the public record request I submitted for copies of the first contract the Trust entered into with this company has not been complied with - the Homeless Trust has had a deal with , a branding/ marketing/crisis management/company run by the husband and wife team of Lisa and Thom Mozloom. (See PART XIII of this series for Public Record Number 6.)
In , Doug Hanks put the cost associated with hiring this c company at $143,000,00 which included a "$53,000 budget for promotional materials and other reimbursable expenses."
In 2020, the contract is now $193,933.00.
What has the Trust received for all of this money?
Again, part of my public record request was for copies of the work product that this company has generated in the last 3 years, and even though the Trust has failed to provide me with any of that information it's an easy process to go on the internet and visit the Trust's Twitter and Facebook pages to find examples of what this company's strategy has been to appreciate that these fine folks have been cranking out slick, often deceptively misleading propaganda that has been crafted with a goal of bullshitting the taxpayers about what a great job the Trust has been doing and how they've largely done away with homelessness is in Miami-Dade County.
RON BOOK WASN'T JOKING WHEN HE SAID HE'S "CHEAP AND FRUGAL"
Although the Trusts's total revenue for 2018/2019 was $66,782,100, when it came to providing supplies for the chronic homeless folks on the street, Book it seemed didn't believe spending any Trust money.
In early March, homeless people were being given little bottles of hand sanitizer donated by the DDA.
It's hard to determine whether the homeless guy is laughing because being handed this little bottle of hand sanitizer is like being handed an umbrella in the middle of a hurricane, or whether because the person taking the photo - either Lisa Mozloom or one of her employees - told him to smile.
Copyrighted: 2011,2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
NUMBER 141 - MAY 31, 2020
Has the Homeless trust really ended homelessness for veterans?
This is the last day of May 2020. Can Ron Book put his hand on a bible and swear that there isn't a homeless veteran on the streets of Miami-Dade County today?
It was a bullshit claim to make in 2018, and it's definitely a bullshit claim to make today. As long as there are veterans in America, there will be homeless veterans on the streets of every American city.
But like so many other realities, that reality doesn't coincide with the Ron Book's propaganda operation because just a couple weeks ago he made the claim during the Special Meeting of the Miami City Commission when they were grilling him about the testing of homeless people within the city for the COVID-19 virus.
EXAMPLE NUMBER II
Even more than the first video, this video also posted on You Tube by The M Network in December of 2019, lacks in any factual evidence to support the claim that today, "there are far fewer people living on our streets."
It's just a slick, music video that uses photos from 25 years ago juxtaposed with what is on those same properties today.
By April they had hooked up with United Way to solicit care packages that would include bottled water, snack food, hand sanitizer, masks and personal hygiene items.
The defining thing about all of the photographs on the Homeless Trust's Twitter site is that with the exception of the one photo below, they could all be reprinted on the pages of any gentile ladies magazine because NONE OF THEM include photographs that show the mean, ugly reality of the problems of chronic homelessness in Miami-Dade County. Don't believe me, click .
Even this photograph was composed so that the sidewalk behind him was clear and clean, to make it appear that this individual was just a random lost soul and not part of an encampment of homeless people gathered together on Miami's sidewalks.
While the photographs were just sanitized examples of careful composition, or the usual examples of posed photos with politicians and happy faces, the videos produced by The M Network went further down the road to outright propaganda.
EXAMPLE NUMBER I
Ron Book likes to brag about how the Homeless Trust has eliminated homelessness among veterans.
To bolter that claim The M Network produced the following video in 2018, that included the usual patriotic tropes of aerial footage of exploding bombs, martial music, and dramatically cut footage, including the grateful mother with a tear in her eye and a home of her own, as a way to "sell" the claim that the problem of homeless veterans had been solved thanks to The Homeless Trust.
The irony - AND NOT IN A GOOD WAY - is the last photo that they used, which is looking northeast into the overflow parking lot for the city's MRC building between SW 2nd and 3rd Avenue has seen the homeless move from inside the lot, to SW 3rd Street.
Here is a photo that I took at approximately 7 AM, this Sunday morning.
This brings us back to the first photos of the Trust's quarantine facilities above.
As with the other photographs notice how posed the photos are, and how clean and picture perfect everything looks.
More importantly, with the streets of Miami and other areas of Miami-Dade County lined with homeless people, why are there so few homeless people in these photographs, especially in this photograph.
If this is a quarantine facility, why is this dining/community seem so empty with all the chairs on top of tables?
Again, I am in now saying or implying that the Homeless Trust doesn't do anything of value, but I am saying, implying and arguing that the good that they do is nowhere close that the good that they coulda, shoulda be doing with a budget of $66,782,100.
To prove my point, here are two videos that I shot on Saturday morning, May 30th, at around 10 AM.
The first one is of the homeless encampments on NW 1st Avenue, between 13th and 14th Street and the one around the corner on 14th Street.
This second one is the new encampment around Jose Marti Park on SW 4th and 5th Streets.
If you didn't notice it the first time, there is a very significant difference between these two locations.
The first is in District 5, where both Miami City Commissioner Keon Hardemon and Ron Book have bemoaned the existence of the pup tents that were passed out by the group Dream Defenders, and the second video is in District 3, where City Commissioner Joe Carollo has gone further in bemoaning the existence of homeless people who he rails aren't even from Miami, but where he did what neither Ron Book and the Homeless Trust, or Commissioner Keon Hardemon with all the bullshit that he's spewed over the last couple years about cleaning up this part of his district has ever done, which is that Carollo had a large Porta-Potty set up on the corner across from the encampment, so that these homeless people wouldn't be forced to shit in the street.
You'll never see any videos or photo op's coming from The M Network about what the conditions on the streets of Miami really look like, or Ron Book and Keon Hardemon posing with fancy Porta-Potty's on the corner of any streets close to these encampments, because it's a lot easier easier for politicians and hucksters like Book to bemoan the shit on the streets, than to do something to try and at least minimize the problem.
If the Dream Defenders really want to do something, they ought to go out, collect the shit on the street, bag it and sent to it to Ron Book, Keon Hardemon, Mayors Carlos Gimenez and Francis Suarez, and all of the members of the Homeless Trust Board.
If they won't deal with the shit on the streets, you can bet they won't waste a minute dealing with it in their offices.
It's Miami. Bitches!
A BURNED UP POLICE CAR BECOMES A SYMBOL AND A PROP FOR ALL SIDES IN THE COMING ARGUMENTS OVER WHAT THE KILLING OF GEORGE FLOYD AND THE UPRISINGS ACROSS THE COUNTRY MEAN FOR THE FUTURE OF OUR COUNTRY
On the morning after last night's clashes between protesters and police on the downtown streets of Miami, the single most visible symbol that remained of what happened was the police car that was set on fire across from the back entrance to police headquarters.
I drove by this morning expecting it to have been towed away, but nope, it was still there, and with a TV crew having set up a lighting package, it was evident that this car would now become a potent symbol for all sides of the arguments, debates and accusations that are to take place in the days ahead.
DON'T GO FOR IT!
Don't let a burned up car consume more than a passing comment or two about another example of taxpayer money going up in smoke.
The issues are too important, too complicated, and too demanding of real, versus knee jerk reactions to waste time on a burned up police car, unless of course someone wants to also raise questions about the burning of Natalie Lopez's car last year outside of her daughter's bedroom, or the fires of all the other cars that occur in Miami every year.
If you're really interested, you might want to start with why the State Attorney's Office refused to issue a subpoena for the video footage that a neighbor's home security camera captured, which by the way isn't the only video footage of a car set on fire that her office has refused to issue subpoenas for.
But this is a sidebar issue.
The real issue, at least for the citizens of Miami is when are the people with the money, the power and the awareness that the city and the county are being run by grifters and morons come to grips with the fact that they cannot continue to stand around with their fingers up their asses pretending they are popsicles.
Last night was a warning.
DON'T IGNORE IT!
Don't let the largely white gangs of teenagers on skateboards, the so-called anarchists now referred to as Antifa, and their counter-parts, the right-wing White nationalist extremists seize control and shape what comes next!
At this point this is first and foremost a problem of inherent and entrenched racism that continues to be revealed in ever more damning and incriminating videos over the treatment of Black men by police and racist White people in this country.
It won't be soloved in a day, a month, or a year, but police departments need to take a far more aggressive approach to rid themselves of the cops who everyone on these police forces know are a danger to the community.
The problems in this country with racism, inequality, mistreatment and abuse of not just Black folks, but White, Brown, Yellow, Pink and Polka-Dot folks by politicians, and powerful elites has been going on for too long, and there needs to be a rebalancing of the scales!
The first thing I would suggest is that everyone needs to start thinking and looking locally. Identify the problems, and the people who've created the problems in your community.
Start paying attention to what local politicians are doing with your tax money!
Quit taking shit from the crooked politicians, and demand that these people start acting and behaving like public servants and not gangsters operating municipal governments like organized crime families!
If you're not sure what I mean, read my story below about the treatment of homeless people in Miami where the Homeless Trust operates with an annual budget of roughly $60 million dollars, and can't, or won't even put a Porta-Potty on the streets for the homeless to shit in.
It's your city, your tax dollars, stand up and demand better for both!
Do you know where you live? By that I mean, do you know who your Mayor is?
Do you know who your City or County Commissioner is?
Do you know where your city or county hall is?
Have you ever been inside the building?
Have you ever attended a city or commission meeting?
Do you know when your municipal government has their budget hearings?
Do you have a clue of how these politicians spend YOUR tax money?
Here's a hint, the BUDGET MEETINGS happen in the next couple months. . The City of Miami will be holding virtual hearing this week, but they've not bothered to put a notice on their website of the dates, times and how to log on. If you're interested, call, 305.416.1500.
The county will also be holding hearings. To find out about those call, 305.375.5143.
Do you know the name of your Chief of Police?
Do you know if your city or county has a public agency that oversees the behavior of the police?
Have you ever heard about the City of Miami Civilian Investigation Panel? Do you know that you can attent their meetings held at Miami City Hall. You can go to their webpage .
Do you know that almost every police department in the country is linked on to a website/bulletin board called LEO AFFAIRS? It's accessible to the public and some of you might want to start paying attention to what the cops talk about on that site. For the City of Miami, the link is .
The link for the Miami-Dade County police is, .
The link for the Broward County Sheriff is .
The Link for the Fort Lauderdale Police is .
Do you know what rights you have to speak at a public meeting?
Have you ever heard of a legal term called "Content Neutral?" If you haven't go and find out.
As distasteful as some of you might find this, have you ever attended a meeting where candidates for Mayor and/or city or county commissioners appeared?
Did you ever ask any of them a question?
If you're old enough, are you registered to vote? If you need to register the link to the Miami-Dade County Board of Elections is .
Have you ever voted??
Have you ever bothered to look at the campaign reports to see who gives politicians money? The link for all the politicians who are running for President all the way down to Circuit Court Judge in Florida in 2020 is .
The link for all the county offices is .
The link for the state-wide PAC and ECO, where the really BIG MONEY gets donated is . You got to work to figure out how the money flows, but tens of millions of dollars flow from major corporations and deep pocket donors to politicians and this is where you can track some of that flow.
The link for county PAC's and ECO's is .
The link for the City of Miami PAC's and ECO's is .
Have you ever volunteered to get people to the polls?
IN SHORT, DEMOCRACY REQUIRES REAL WORK!
I have a lot more to say, especially about the lies and mis-statements made by the Mayor of Miami and the Chief of Police, which I will write about soon enough. But this is a start.
The odds are always stacked against those seeking change, because the people who have power have never demonstrated a willingness to surrender that power without a struggle, but change can happen but it requires focus, persistence and a willingness to dig in and fight the long fight.
I'll be back soon.
LISTEN UP ALL YOU PROTESTERS, YOU CAN CRY ABOUT SYSTEMIC RACISM, POLICE BRUTALITY, AND ALL THE OTHER SOCIAL PROBLEMS THAT HAVE CAUSED YOU TO GO OUT INTO THE STREETS WITH YOUR PROTEST SIGNS, BUT IF YOU REALLY WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE REMEMBER ABOVE ALL ELSE THAT THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO PREPARE FOR IT
YOU CAN FIGHT WITH THE COPS, GET TEAR GASSED TILL HELL FREEZES OVER AND EVEN GO TO JAIL, AND AT THE END OF THE DAY NOTHING IS GOING TO CHANGE IF YOU ARE UNWILLING TO DO THE KINDS OF THINGS THAT ARE REQUIRED TO MAKE POLITICIANS AND COPS CHANGE THEIR BEHAVIOR
HERE'S A VERY BASIC LIST OF QUESTIONS AND LINKS THAT HELP YOU FIND THE ANSWERS
IF YOU CAN'T POSITIVELY ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS THEN THE SCREWING YOU'VE BEEN GETTING IS THE SCREWING YOU'RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO GET FOR FAILING TO UNDERSTAND THAT DEMOCRACY REQUIRES WORK AND IF YOU INTEND TO CHANGE THEW WORLD YOU GOT TO DO MORE THAN PROTEST
NUMBER 142 - JUNE 1, 2020