The Historic Civil Rights Museum at Virginia Key Beach Park is our legacy that will be fulfilled

Dear Editor,

The county and city of Miami will fulfill their obligation to build and operate what is now called the Historic Civil Rights Museum at Virginia Key Beach Park A concerted effort is being made with my office and the city including Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and Commissioners Keon Hardemon and Ken Russell to unlock the county’s $15.5 million general obligation bond and $5.5 million from the county’s Convention Development Tax funds to construct the museum.

At the city of Miami June 13 Commission meeting, a resolution will come before the board for its approval that the city will handle the operating expenses of the museum in the event of a revenue shortfall beginning in 2021. This will allow the Virginia Key Beach Park Trust to access the county’s funds for construction. Given that it will take several years to complete construction, the county should have, at the very least, provided the Trust with funds for the planning phase, which does not incur operating costs. Nonetheless, this will finally be resolved in the coming months.

The Historic Civil Rights Museum is a legacy that should have been fulfilled a decade ago. I allocated $125,000 from my current budget and will do so again next fiscal year if the county bucks its head to allocate funds. An additional $1 million was obtained from this year’s Ultra Music Festival along with a commitment from Francis Suarez of the city’s ongoing support.

Be assured, the Historic Civil Rights Museum will not be slowed down with the exit of Ultra from Miami. With the new administration in 2020, projects will be able to move forward.

Miami-Dade County

Commissioner Xavier L. Suarez, District 7