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Herb Sosa: My work to end Urban Weekend has nothing to do with my being a gay activist

Herb Sosa, publisher of Ambiente online magazine and a leading figure in the drive to end Urban Weekend in Miami Beach, posted this comment early today on a previous Gay South Florida blog post. To make sure that it is seen by readers, I am posting it separately in its entirety:

Steve- Thank you for your latest post, re to the rally in Miami Beach tomorrow. I have to seriously ask you & the Herald to not to repeatedly fuel tensions between communities by continually referring to Unity Coalition or to me as a Gay activist - NEITHER has anything to do with my support of this cause or involvement. You don’t mention me as a business owner, preservationist, writer, etc. - any of which are more relevant to the issue - why a gay activist or president of UC|CU, when the organization or my work in the LGBT community has nothing to do with this? It is only creating unnecessary tension with other communities that I work with and fully support, and taking away from the core issues - Miami Beach's crime, trash, violations, shootings, arrests, property & personal damage, loss in sales revenues and much more is negatively impacted by the lawlessness brought by Urban Weekend. ATLANTA, a predominantly black community, SAID NO MORE to this event for the same reasons a decade ago. This event and its participants must be held to the same standards & expectations as anyone else visiting and living in Miami Beach. Our Residents & visitors have had ENOUGH of being held captive by the crime, trash & negative impact on our city that Urban Weekend brings. The losses far outweigh the benefits. Herb Sosa

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Maybe, Rothaus doesn't call you a "writer" because you can't write, at least not in English: "loss in sales revenue" is "negatively impacted" by Urban Week doesn't make any sense.

Herb Sosa for Mayor of MIAMI BEACH!

I had to laugh at this line: "Unruly and unlawful visitors are NOT WELCOME in Miami Beach." So you're saying Urban Beach Week attracts illegal immigrants?

Fxowen, only if you insist he change the rest of the list to lawfulness, cleanliness, obedience, property & personal protection, and whatever the opposite of shootings and arrests is.

I agree with Mr. Sosa. I don't see why Mr. Rothaus and The Miami Herald chose to characterize him principally as a gay activist. First and foremost, he's a Miami Beach resident who, like many others (regardless of sexual orientation or political activism), is tired of this annual debacle.

Mr. Sosa is a public figure as founder and chair of UC, an organization that has been in controversy itself over another founder's alleged misdeeds. He is a "gay activist" whatever he does, just as a former mayor or police captain might be identified as such, even when they are talking about a neighborhood holiday celebration or a football game. Luther Campbell has not performed in years, however as a mayoral candidate, he is identified as a former rapper because that is his "claim to fame" (public figure beginning) even though he has also been an inner city activist, business owner and writer. This is journalism 101, people. We identify the person in the story by what most of our readers may know them for, then other things that may be relevant. I am sure that if Sarah Palin is interviewed about a kitten stuck in a tree on her block, she would not be identified solely as neighbor and mother. Even if the story has nothing to do with politics. And, while it may not be readily or easily perceiveable, this one might become political. So it's even more relevant. In fact, it would not be fair to not identify him as a gay activist if, indeed, there are already tensions between the two communities. Irrelevant? Maybe not. And who gets to decide that? Mr. Sosa? I would prefer as a reader to have all the information and decide myself.

Just reading some of these comments, and I must say there is a lot of "back and forth" in regards to Mr. Sosa's requests. He has every right to ask not to be referred to in a "certain" way, as do we all. The POINT THAT IS BEING CONVENIENTLY OVERLOOKED HERE...is the fact that this "Urban Week" has proven to be a yearly event of debauchery. It doesn't matter if it's predominantly attended by the "black" community or not, it's just the overall nature of this "type" of event. Nothing good comes from allowing thousands to squeeze into the "small" island of Miami Beach, add some overly aggressive music, alcohol, drugs, guns, etc. and VOILA the perfect recipe for disaster!!! If this was a week of (i.e. classical music) I can assure you it would not end in murder and mayhem. South Beach is a jewel in the "crown" of American culture. People from all over the world come here or dream of coming here, and the last thing we need is to have images (like this weeks news reports) showing up on international media. It's disgraceful..the way Miami Beach government does not immediately put a stop to this insanity. There has been so much hard work, passion, and love that have gone into years of reviving South Beach to it's psuedo-original splendor, just to let it fall into a rotten pit. Regardless of this yearly "event", more attention should be placed on maintaining a beautiful, safe environment in South Beach, on a daily basis!

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