Tag Archives: sistrunk

Another “Trantalis Tower” Supporter Wants To Reshape Fort Lauderdale, But Her Neighborhood Is Off-Limits

Marie Huntley is featured prominently in an AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) commercial attacking Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Ben Sorenson over a sixteen story monolith planned near downtown which would house homeless and at-risk citizens. After residents complained at a townhall meeting, Sorenson and other Commissioners grew concerned about the size and scope of the project dubbed “Trantalis Tower.”

Since that meeting, AHF CEO Michael Weinstein and supporters tried to demonize opponents. At his disastrous December press conference, Weinstein threatened reporters and residents who questioned his claims that race played a large role in the opposition. Other Trantalis Tower proponents have claimed residents who question the project may be homophobic or anti-poor. Even those residents who actively support affordable housing initiatives are said to be suffering from NIMBY (NOT IN MY BACKYARD) syndrome.

AHF is running commercials on local television urging voters to contact Sorenson. In the latest commercial, Fort Lauderdale resident Marie Huntley discusses the affordable housing crisis. Huntley says, “We do have a problem with people being pushed out of neighborhoods…the solution to this is affordable housing.”

Huntley does not live in the area where Trantalis Tower is planned. New developments in the area were built with affordable housing components.

Like other AHF shills and supporters, Huntley talks a good game when it comes to other peoples’ neighborhoods.

This week, Huntley, better known as “Miss Peaches,” sang a different tune about a new project in her neighborhood.


As REDBROWARD exposed last month, AHF and its Healthy Housing Foundation continue to support “resistance” against California developers seeking to build projects around Los Angeles. This ideological battle is nothing new to AHF CEO Michael Weinstein.

In the 1960s, a teenaged Michael Weinstein joined a “group of activists occupying” a New York high-rise development to protest the gentrification of their Brooklyn neighborhoods. According to an April 2017 exposé in the New York Times Magazine, Michael Weinstein’s an “ex-Trotskyite” would create one of California’s first gay communist organizations.

In 2016, Weinstein supported California activists who likened housing and office developments to racism and ethnic cleansing.

One left-wing activist described his fight to stop a new shopping mall from being built in Leimert Park, a predominantly African-American neighborhood near Los Angeles. He claimed the Leimert Park “gentrification is basically cultural erasure, urban cleansing, a reduction of people and land into dollar signs.” The activist claims the “perpetrators of gentrification” are not limited to “global capitalists.” This activist even attacks “flippers looking to make a buck.” He says, “there is a target on every tenant” in Leimert Park.

This week, Miss Peaches echoed this anti-gentrification sentiment.

The Fuse Group wants to put an office building and parking garage on the corner of Sistrunk Blvd and Powerline Road, a historic African-American neighborhood in Fort Lauderdale. The land is currently occupied by a small neighborhood market.

According to the Sun-Sentinel, a neighborhood meeting about the project quickly centered on race and gentrification.

“The dream of the city is to change the tenor of the neighborhood, period. I don’t like the word gentrification, but basically, that’s what it is,” said Sydney London, who lives in the Durrs neighborhood off Sistrunk. “There are white folks that moved into the neighborhood, and we all know once that starts happening, you know what’s next.

The story quoted an e-mail sent to developers and elected officials by Miss Peaches.

Neighborhood leader Marie “Miss Peaches” Huntley said the Home Beautiful Park Civic Association doesn’t support it. In an email to elected officials and Peretz last fall, she said the idea of a new building sounds attractive, but no one knows what will be in it. And there’s more:

“We are deeply concerned about being displaced by gentrification,” she wrote. “Your plan appears to be geared towards drawing customers from outside our community to create profits for you and your investors.”

Sounds like a classic case of NIMBY.

At his December press conference, Michael Weinstein filled his remarks with the political language of an experienced communist activist. He asked, “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.”

Who elected Michael Weinstein? Why should we let Weinstein and his shills force change on neighborhoods when they fight change in their own backyards? Who put AHF in charge of Fort Lauderdale development and social policy?

Chris Smith Has Plan To Clean Up Broward District 9

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For the last four years, while controversial County Commissioner Dale Holness has focused on trips to the Caribbean and exerting his influence in Miramar, his central Broward district has fallen further behind other neighborhoods. State Senator Chris Smith says the condition of District 9 convinced him to skip retirement to the private sector. Smith was the only District 9 candidate to speak at the recent Haitian American Democratic Club meeting in Plantation.

Smith explained the “broken window” theory to the group; He said broken windows, trash-filled vacant lots and posters plastered on light poles send the wrong message to the public. Smith said these issues make residents feel like nobody cares about their neighborhoods. He said this invites more crime.

Smith, a resident of the neighborhood boardering historic Sistrunk Boulevard, said every neighborhood in District 9 should be as well-kept as other Districts.

TV Commercial Hits Broward Commissioner Dale Holness On Phony Residency Claims

A clever new commercial from State Senator Chris Smith hits controversial Broward County Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness on his phony residency claims. Both men are seeking the District 9 seat on the Broward County Commission. Three years ago, this reporter exposed Holness’ false claims to reside in the district he represents. The evidence showed Holness lived outside the district he represents, though Article II, Section 2.01 A(3) of the Broward County Charter clearly states each commissioner “must be a resident of the particular district upon election.”

Holness claimed he lived in a run-down Lauderhill townhouse near the Florida Turnpike.

In May 2013, records from the Broward County Supervisor of Elections (SOE), stated Holness was registered to vote within District 9 by claiming to live in a small, older 940-square foot townhome in the Royal Oaks townhome development at 2630 N.W. 52nd Avenue in Lauderhill. Property records from the Broward County Property Appraiser (BCPA) show Holmes owns the small home but does not list it as his primary residence for his homestead tax exemption.

Property records listed the mailing address for Holness’ home as 4325 West Sunrise Blvd in Lauderhill. This is the business address for All Broward Realty, Inc., a company owned by Holness.

As Media Trackers Florida reported, the 2006 Central Lauderhill Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) master plan shows Lauderhill officials targeted the Royal Oaks for a dramatic makeover funded by federal and state grants. The plan says Royal Oaks is in “disrepair and in need of landscaping upkeep.” The entire neighborhood was part of an ambitious plan to build parks and improve roads and sewers. The Royal Oaks neighborhood was “identified as properties suitable for acquisition, demolition and redevelopment[.]”

As vice mayor of Lauderhill in 2006, Holness wrote the Central Lauderhill CRA master plan. Florida Department of State records show Holness has been an official of the Royal Oaks Condominium Association since 2000.

One month after our story, Bob Norman of Local 10 News visited Holness’ townhouse. Norman described the unit as, “A small run-down housing unit in Lauderhill stacked to the ceiling with furniture and boxes. A realtor’s locked box hangs from the door knob. The refrigerator isn’t plugged in and its door is wide open.”

“Nobody lives there,” said Herbert Fray, a handyman who tends the yards there.

Seeking answers, Bob Norman visited Holness at the Broward Government Center.

“Well, sir, we went to that home and there’s no way you live there. Do you live in your district?” asked Local 10 investigative reporter Bob Norman.

“I do,” Holness replied before leaving without answering any more questions.

Since those reports, Holness and his wife have moved to a home in the upscale Plantation neighborhood surrounding the Fort Lauderdale Country Club.


Chris Smith’s new ad takes on Holness’ residency issue by giving viewers a tour of all the places Smith has lived. Smith visits the homes he grew up in, the schools he attended and the home he currently lives in with his family. Smith points out that all of these homes are located in District 9.