Luther Campbell for Mayor?! Would You Vote for Him?

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**UPDATE, April 14, 2011**

Luther Campbell has officially announced his bid for Mayor of Miami-Dade County! Earlier this week, Campbell was among several candidates who filed proper paperwork to be placed on the ballot for May 24, 2011. Per his PR reps at TreMedia, here are a few key points he will address during his campaign:

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

We will revitalize the small business environment that supports existing enterprise, recruits new business and creates incentives to help meet long-term economic objectives. We will accomplish this revitalization through:

Responsible Growth and Development
Small Business Expansion
Attract new businesses
Generating new revenue sources for our county
Job Creation

Redevelopment – we will take the opportunity to enrich our landscape by refocusing, restructuring and rebuilding to achieve the highest and best use’ of our commercial and residential resources to:

Stabilize neighborhoods
Stop blight
Attract new residents
Uphold the cultural values of our diverse community

Beautification – Enhancing the “look and feel” of our neighborhoods is central to improving its economic outlook. We will seek to improve the quality of life by:

Improving the visual impression of our county
Instilling a sense of community and neighborhood pride
Fulfilling the vision of Miami-Dade County as a Tourist Destination

PUBLIC SAFETY

Every citizen has the right to expect a safe environment. We will work with the various stakeholders to implement results-oriented practices that provide protection, prevent loss at work and at home and enhance the well-being for our constituents.

Restore public trust
Build stronger bonds between law enforcement and community
Enhance current public safety and crime prevention programs
Increase patrolling to industrial and neighborhood areas
Support neighborhood watch and other preventative programming
Solicit feedback and suggestions, study trends, apply best practices

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Thriving in property and housing opportunities, Miami-Dade County has a responsibility to ensure that every citizen has access to safe and affordable housing. We will work to:

Redesign the current public hosing model
Remove blight from areas such as Liberty City and Overtown without gentrifying the neighborhood

COMMUNITY

Community is the sum total of the cultural, social and economic make up of Miami-Dade County. It includes the cares of our citizens and stakeholders as much as it reflects a specific a neighborhood, leader or institution. Our community is about us, who we are and what we believe in. It also dictates what we must do to preserve our most precious values. We will improve the conditions of our communities by:

Engaging our youth
Caring for our seniors
Strengthening families
Support networks of community and faith-based resources to serve the needs of our communities

Read on to find out more in our original article by Chris Williams, and please answer the poll below to let us know if you’ll be voting for Luther Campbell!!

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By: Chris Williams

Luther Campbell, affectionately known to the world as Uncle Luke, is patiently waiting for March 15, 2011 to arrive on the calendar. That’s the day there will be a vote to recall the current mayor of Miami-Dade County, Mayor Carlos Alvarez.

As a lifelong resident, Campbell has seen the lack of changes in his beloved city, and cites it as one of the main reasons he wants to replace the incumbent Alvarez as Mayor. Campbell, who recently became a columnist for the Miami New Times, wrote about his intentions with specific changes he’d like to make. His agenda includes improving relations between police and citizens, going after slumlords, and bettering local schools.

In a formal interview with Miami New Times on February 3, Campbell said:

“I get in my car, ride around Liberty City, and everything looks the same as when I was in the neighborhood growing up. I see the same crimes in the same areas. Officers and residents are still getting killed in the community I grew up in. I go to a city like Atlanta that has sensible affordable housing, and no one is being murdered.

I go to Miami International Airport and see the same construction that has been going on for like a hundred years. All of that frustrates the hell out of me. Why aren’t we getting it right in Miami-Dade? Why is our government only serving one set of people? That’s what is pushing me to run.”

Coming of age in the late 1980s with his group 2 Live Crew, Campbell and his comrades stirred up multiple controversies for their hardcore lyrics, steamy live stage concerts and adult album covers. Serving as the frontman for the legendary group, Campbell saw his share of infamous court cases.

2 Live Crew’s most successful album to date, As Nasty As They Wanna Be, led to the group being charged with obscenity violations in 1990 by Broward County Circuit Court Judge Mel Grossman, and later U.S. District Court Judge Jose Gonzalez due to complaints made by the American Family Association (AFA).

Selling of the now double platinum album was deemed prosecutable, but in 1992 the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit overturned the previous obscenity charge, and it was upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States.

Campbell found himself back in court again in 1994 on charges of copyright infringement for their parody of a rock ballad performed by Roy Orbison entitled “Oh, Pretty Woman.” 2 Live Crew version was entitled “Pretty Woman” and the court case was labeled Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music.

The U.S. Supreme Court sided again with Campbell, and established that a commercial parody can qualify as fair use. The money made from a record doesn’t make it impossible for a use to be fair. Campbell essentially made it possible for today’s current crop of artists to exercise their full rights regarding the freedom of expression, with no threat of repercussion from law enforcement.

Although Campbell is at the tail end of the Baby Boomer generation, he did, without a doubt, give Generation X the chance to have a true uncensored voice through Hip Hop, Rock and Pop music.

Now 50, Campbell asserts that he has always had the urge to make a valiant run for public office. His frustration stems from lack of accountability by politicians from previous decades until present, to properly serve the needs of the residents in his hometown. He is confident that he’ll be able to defeat Mayor Alvarez if given the opportunity, although there has never been a Black mayor of Miami-Dade County. Campbell would make history on many fronts if he is elected to the post this year.

From the February 3 interview with The Miami New Times, Campbell said

“I’ve thought about running for public office before, but someone would always end up talking me out of it, saying, ‘We have this good person here, he will do good for the community,’ so I always backed out. But I’d end up frustrated because they didn’t do anything. I’d give them ideas and they would just tell me what they wanted to hear.

“The current administration of Mayor Carlos Alvarez hasn’t created any new jobs, yet we keep these government employees who have been around for decades and aren’t doing anything. Then there’s affordable housing. People in the James E. Scott projects have been kicked out of their homes and forced to move to other parts of the county. The same has happened in other parts of the county. Places have been knocked down and never rebuilt. Folks were displaced because of politics and scandal.

“When I take Mr. Alvarez’s job, I’ll review the county budget with a fine-toothed comb. When I ran my record company, every year we would first go over what was making revenue for us and beef that side up. Then we would cut the areas where we were not generating revenue. The first place we looked was payroll. I’ll do the same with the county budget.”

Campbell is set on creating and implementing strategies centered on changing and empowering the people of Miami-Dade County for the better. He has made a career of overcoming the odds and this new challenge will prove to be no different.

There are people who, probably unaware of Luther Campbell’s affect on art and music, are already up in arms about his desire to run for office. What do you think? Would you vote for him to run your city?

Click here to read Luther Campbell’s full Miami New Times interview!

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