The Miami Dolphins attracted hundreds of people to a job fair for a tax-funded renovation of Sun Life Stadium that depends on voter support. Along with a chance to sign up for would-be construction jobs, applicants were handed literature urging them to vote for the hotel-tax hike the Dolphins want for the renovation.
The mix of a job fair and quiet campaign event unfolded as the Dolphins have just two days left to win Tallahassee approval for a May 14 referendum, where Miami-Dade voters will decide whether to raise taxes on most hotels outside of Miami Beach to fund a $350 million upgrade of Sun Life. At the heart of the campaign is an argument that a modernized stadium will be a boost to the county’s battered economy, particularly with the addition of hundreds if not thousands of construction jobs.
Gene Eugene, 27, was the first in line for the event Thursday morning, arriving around 8 a.m. for a fair scheduled to start two hours later. Security wouldn’t let him walk past the stadium’s gate, so he stood on a grassy median as more applicants gathered behind him.
“I haven’t worked since 2010,’’ said Eugene, a Haitian immigrant who lives with an uncle in Miami. “I’ll take any job.”
Carmen Brown, 57, stood in the second spot behind him. She has been cleaning houses but a drug problem kept her out of work since 2006. Now she describes herself as recovered and hoping to find her way into a steady job at the Dolphins event. “It’s pretty rough,’’ she said of hiring prospects in Miami-Dade. “Especially for someone like me.”