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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – “We want Liberty City to prosper we want it to prosper for the people of Liberty City not to change the character and nature of this historic and proud community,” said U.S. Senator Marco Rubio.

It was the first hearing for Senator Rubio as chairman of the small business committee, not in Washington but a field hearing set in the heart of Liberty City.

“Job training, the opportunity to start a business or find employment the other is opportunity zones which creates an incentive for investment in the community,” said Rubio.

It was a discussion dedicated to helping depressed areas achieve upward mobility.

Thursday Miami Dade’s Public Housing Authority unveiled models for hundreds of new homes in the oldest housing project in Miami Dade, Liberty Square.

Rubio says their focus is about what can be done at the federal level, what he called “Liberty City Rising.”

“You can build the nicest public housing unit in the world and revitalize it the way we’re seeing here, but if people can’t be there safely they’re not habitable,” he said.

Rubio introduced two bills in the Senate aimed at improving safety in public housing and protecting low-income residents, requiring public housing to provide air conditioning for every home receiving federal funding.

Rubio’s initiatives companion bills to those introduced by Congresswoman Frederica Wilson in the House.

“A very big part of living with dignity is having a job if you don’t have a job you don’t have the dignity that’s what’s wrong with so many people in our community,” said Wilson.

Part of the investment would be in supporting what they see as the anchors, small businesses in places like Overtown and Liberty City that foster economic growth.

“We all want Liberty City to come back,” said Wilson.

  1. Excellent, I worked with an electrical contractor who had just got his general contractors license in 1975. He decided to build four houses in Liberty City all on the same block. While the construction was being done the places were being dismantled as fast as we could put them together. They took everything but the walls. We installed the celling insulation in one day and it was gone the next. By the time we finished and the homes were to get a final inspection that day we found all the doors had broken locks, windows broken and all the screens were no where to be found. Good luck as I know it’s only gotten better in south Florida. I moved out in 1978 and never went back.