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Miami Beach Wants To Slow Down Its Party Scene, Florida Controls Wetlands Permits And Philanthropist Matthew Beatty

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Miami Herald archives
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The state of Florida now has control over formerly federally protected wetlands. Earthjustice and Mic

Miami Beach commissioners proposed new ordinances to rollback on the city’s nightlife scene. Plus, a Miccosukee Tribe member on the state’s controlling of wetlands. And a conversation with Matthew Beatty about community philanthropy.

On this Tuesday, Jan. 12, edition of Sundial:

Miami Beach Party Scene

Within the past three decades, Miami Beach has become synonymous with a vibrant party scene where the clubs don’t close until the sun comes up. But Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber and city commissioners want to change that identity. They’ve proposed a series of new ordinances to slow down the iconic nightlife.

WLRN’s Danny Rivero says the fatal stabbing at the intersection of Seventh Street and Collins Avenue this past November pushed local politicians to consider rolling back on Miami Beach’s party scene. However, he says city leaders have talked about these initiatives for years.

DJ Mad Linx has been performing on Miami Beach for the past two decades. He called into the show and mentioned the progression of Miami Beach and how that affects DJs, nightclub owners, and partygoers.

“Once upon a time if you wanted the experience of listening to a DJ, you had to go to a club,” he said. “You can now start to get that type of experience in many different places, [the city’s] historic places that were a club that could [get] 800, 1,000, 1,500 people, could no longer generate that amount of people coming through the door.”

Florida’s Control Of Wetlands

Florida has about 11 million acres of wetlands, which is more than any other state in the continental U.S. For decades, indigenous groups have fought to protect developers from encroaching upon this territory. In 2005, the legislature voted to have Florida take control of wetlands permitting from the federal government.

At the time, state environmental regulators said the task was too daunting, but now, Florida has succeeded in gaining control.

WLRN’s Jenny Staletovich noted that environmentalists have heavily criticized the state’s involvement in issuing wetlands permits.

“[Environmentalists] say that the state is too susceptible to pressure from developers and political influence and they like the idea that the Corps takes its time issuing permits to these very sensitive wetlands in a fragile ecosystem,” Staletovich said.

Betty Osceola is a Miccosukee Tribe member. She says the state failed to communicate with federally recognized tribes, like the Miccosukee and Seminole tribes, about its plan to control the wetlands they oversee.

“The tribes were both blindsided by this decision to make that transfer because the definition of what is [American] Indian territory is still under debate between the tribes and EPA and the Army Corps,” Osceola said. “The tribes have agreements with the state and federal governments, and yet those agreements are being broken.”

Matthew Beatty of the Carrie Meek Foundation

The pro-Trump riot at the U.S. Capitol last week continued the ongoing conversations over racial injustice in America. Advocacy organizations like Black Lives Matter quickly spotted the contrast between how authorities handled racial justice protests and how they handled last week’s riot, the former met with violence and the presence of the National Guard — along with more aggressive tactics from officers.

Matthew Beatty, a philanthropist and the Chief Operating Officer of the Carrie Meek Foundation, says aside from what took place at the Capitol, his attention was on what was going on in Georgia during the runoff elections.

“Specifically on the impact of what happens when you re-engage and reinvigorate an electorate that has been historically marginalized,” Beatty said. “The power of mobilizing community and how we can do that same work here in Florida and also here in South Florida.”

The Carrie Meek Foundation’s mission is focused on helping people understand that their similarities are greater than their differences. The idea was fundamental to its founder Carrie Meek, a former U.S. congresswoman and civil rights leader from Miami-Dade County.

“It’s about getting at the root cause of issues,” Beatty said. “It’s multi-sector ... It’s not going to be just our elected officials, or just our business leaders, or just our non-profit leaders … It’s all of us coming to the table and coming up with holistic solutions that benefit everyone in this community.”

Amber Amortegui is a senior studying journalism at Palm Beach Atlantic University. Born and raised in Davie, Fla., Amber is a native South Floridian who embraces one of America’s most diverse regions.
Chris knew he wanted to work in public radio beginning in middle school, as WHYY played in his car rides to and from school in New Jersey. He’s freelanced for All Things Considered and was a desk associate for CBS Radio News in New York City. Most recently, he was producing for Capital Public Radio’s Insight booking guests, conducting research and leading special projects at Sacramento’s NPR affiliate.