Earlier this month at The Sanders Institute Gathering in Vermont, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) CEO Michael Weinstein discussed his “radical” plans to change Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles and other U.S. cities. Weinstein was representing his Healthy Housing Foundation, the same group seeking to build a 680 unit building near downtown Fort Lauderdale. Weinstein discussed his ideas alongside Sen. Bernie Sanders and actor Danny Glover.
Michael Weinstein’s ideas were filled with the coded language favored by socialists and far-left activists.
Noting he is a world traveler, Michael Weinstein called Los Angeles the homeless capital of the world. “I have never seen more homelessness than in the city of Los Angeles,” Weinstein said. “It’s scandalous…shameful.”
Weinstein said, “We cannot treat shelter as a commodity.” He said housing is the number one economic justice issue and inequality issue in America. “People choosing between food and shelter…it’s scandalous.”
Weinstein placed blame on Democrats who “run the biggest cities in the country.” He said Democrat politicians have “been involved in the multi-billion dollar giveaways to the real estate interests.” Weinstein claimed a political contribution to council members or the mayor could allow a developer to build bigger towers. “All of it luxury,” Weinstein said.
Weinstein said citizens should not be happy with “crumbs” politicians give in the form of affordable housing. He said 1/3 of every new building should be set aside as affordable housing.
Weinstein recounted his failed ballot initiative to force new rent control policies on local cities.
Weinstein even proposed putting micro houses (aka granny units) in everyone’s backyard. “Our nation is filled with backyards,” he said.
Weinstein called for the end of “speculative building” as well as a “crackdown on AirBnB that’s taken away a lot of housing stock.”
Weinstein said we must secure “housing for Americans” and not foreign investors “who are moving their money from one despotic country.”
Weinstein admitted this “sounds radical but it’s doable.”
As REDBROWARD reported last week, Michael Weinstein has a long history with the American communist/Marxist movement.
In the 1960s, fourteen year old Michael Weinstein was part of “a group of activists occupying” a New York high-rise development to protest the gentrification of their Brooklyn neighborhoods. At the Sanders Institute Gathering this month, Weinstein lamented “When you plunk a luxury building into a working class area everything around it becomes gentrified.”
According to an April 2017 exposé in the New York Times Magazine, Michael Weinstein is an “ex-Trotskyite” who founded one of California’s first gay communist organizations. After his move to Los Angeles in 1972, Weinstein started the “Lavender And Red Union.” In 1977, a socialist newspaper reported the Lavender And Red Union, “a self-proclaimed “communist’ gay liberation group…recently embarked upon a cautious ideological turn toward Trotskyism.” The socialist paper said the group’s call for a “permanent revolution” was “a clear break with the Stalinist/Maoist/New Left milieu from which we emerged.”
Months later, the same socialist newspaper claimed Weinstein’s group betrayed the gay liberation movement. According to the report, “About 85 conference attendees witnessed the pitiful and ironic spectacle of the [Lavender And Red Union] majority members vilifying their own gayness and past struggles in order to fuse with the notoriously anti-gay and anti-feminist Spartacist League.”
Weinstein went on to become an editor for “Young Spartacus,” the official newspaper of the Spartacist League. Throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s, Young Spartacus produced the typical pro-Communist screeds. Headlines of the Young Spartacus blasted US attempts to undermine the Soviet Union or Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini, while other stories praised unions and left-wing political groups.
WEINSTEIN MOCKS FORT LAUDERDALE RESIDENTS
Last week, REDBROWARD covered Michael Weinstein’s stunning press conference at AHF offices in Fort Lauderdale. In his opening statement on Tuesday, Michael Weinstein said his Fort Lauderdale project is a “moral issue.” Yet his remarks were filled with the political language of an experienced communist newspaper editor. He said, “Will Fort Lauderdale…and these other communities of great wealth, continue to be places that are hospitable to people of low income or will these cities become, in essence, rich ghettos.”
Weinstein said he would continue to oppose development in Los Angeles. He said, “We have been against granting exemptions to luxury development in working class areas.”
Weinstein mocked residents who opposed his project because, “I see cranes everywhere. If the drawbridge goes up as soon as it involves poor people, it doesn’t speak well for the community.” He said, “Why is the luxury building going up? I see them everywhere.”
Weinstein tried to paint the opposition as bigots. He repeatedly said residents referred to not wanting “those people” living nearby. Weinstein refused to give specifics.
At the Sanders Institute Gathering On December 1, 2018, Michael Weinstein used a question about climate change to mock concerned residents in Fort Lauderdale. Weinstein said:
We are attempting to build 680 micro units in downtown Fort Lauderdale right now. And you would think we’re trying to overthrow the entire government, Ok. It is so ugly and raucous, the opposition. This is in a non-residential area south of downtown Fort Lauderdale. We have to organize at the local level for sure.
The audience laughed and cheered.
Michael Weinstein may not want to “overthrow” the government, but his plans would definitely change what he calls the “housing industrial complex.”
Does Mayor Dean Trantalis subscribe to Michael Weinstein’s “radical but doable” ideas?
Would Mayor Trantalis pull the welcome mat out from under Canadians and South Americas who own homes in Fort Lauderdale?
What happens when Michael Weinstein wants to “plunk” micro units near the beach, Coral Ridge or Victoria Park?
Do Mayor Trantalis and Commissioner Steve Glassman support remaking established Fort Lauderdale neighborhoods with privately-owned “working class” housing projects?
Will Trantalis and Glassman rebuke Weinstein’s attacks on Fort Lauderdale residents?
Or will it be business (and development) as usual in Fort Lauderdale?