Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Florida Op_Ed: The solution to pollution-the dichotomy of Immokalee (FL)

Ok, you folks in Kansas overly concerned about almost everything.  Just be grateful you do not live in Immokalee, Florida.  This city is unlike anywhere I have ever seen in Kansas. And is more like being in a 3rd world city of the worst kind. 

So be grateful today, you live in Kansas instead of deplorable poverty like a bunch of immigrant farm workers.  These farm workers are paid less than a penny per pound to pick fruit or vegatables in back breaking labor. Onlhy to return to deplorable homes and strarving children in a two-room shack costing 600 a month or more to rent. 

So just try to imagine you or one of your family having to pick 240 pounds of fruit or vegtables in some farm or grove. Just so you can make a whopping two dollars and forty cents for all that labor.  If that were me, I would probably make about 50 cents an hour and feel like I was a slave.

Therefore, be grateful for what you have. Do not take it for granted,ever.  These people in Immokalee are not worried about national health care--they want food to feed their starving familes. And some of them cannot afford basic housing and lives in tents.  They ride bicyles to work.  They go to churches in the area for food, when there is none. 


There are always solutions. There will always be dichotomies. Then, there will be individuals like myself that like to find solutions to some of the dichotomies I see. I was recently invited to go visit Immokalee, Florida by the Florida ADA coordinator.

I always like to visit deplorable areas in Florida that can use some help from someone like me. It was very hard to drive and walk down these various city streets and look the migrant farm workers straight in the eye. I saw what appeared to me to be what a city in some 3rd world country looked like. I actually have seen some of the more deplorable 3rd world cities. Like Tijuana Mexico and parts of Naples Italy. But never in the United States, had I visited an area that could use the experience of someone like me, as Immokalee. So, help I will give.

Now most corporations that make lots of money like a casino typically give back a really small percentage of their revenue to their local communities. I am certain for PR purposes, a small percentage of the gaming revenue in fact, goes to whatever the gaming casino wants done; especially around the casino property.

But, I never like to allow a gaming industry PR department to cherry pick how and what to give back to the community where it is located without indexing their revenues. As well as telling us how much on a percentage basis of total revenues they give back to the community of Immokalee.

Therefore, one possible solution to the pollution in Immokalee is for the Florida legislature to pass a statute setting the percentage of revenues that this casino gives back to Immokalee. But also by statute, let the citizens of Immokalee determine for themselves what needs funded and to what projects them deem needed; instead of merely allowing the casino to decide for them.

I suggest 10% of all revenues go back to a general fund for the community leaders of Immokalee for the benefit of the public relations department of the Seminole Indian Casino. That would be the start of a solution to the pollution in this city.

The good news to this solution, which I hope many of you will join in supporting, is so you the taxpayer do not have to use your money in taxes to fund the solution to the pollution.

Ts, electronic signature, written on this the 17th day of March, 2010.

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