Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson plans a whirlwind, two-day tour of Miami on Wednesday and Thursday as part of a national "listening tour," according to a schedule released Tuesday.
He will be meeting not only with the heads of local governments that would be directly affected by big HUD budget cuts proposed by the Trump administration but also with a major developer: Jorge Pérez of the Related Group. Pérez, as it happens, is a longtime friend of President Donald Trump's, but he's also a Democrat who famously refused to help build Trump's promised Mexican border wall.
On Wednesday, Carson will visit the Courtside Family Apartments in Overtown with philanthropist and former Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning. He will then sit down with Pérez at Collins Park in Allapattah before appearing at a Liberty Square event with Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, Miami Gardens Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson and Pérez. He will end the day at Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens.
On Thursday, Carson will drop in on the iconic Versailles Cuban restaurant with the president of the Florida Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials and Linda McMahon, the head of the federal Small Business Administration (of WWE fame). Carson will then head to the Villa Aurora public housing development with Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart before continuing on to Hialeah with Miami-Dade Commission Chairman Esteban "Steve" Bovo. His final stop will be giving the keynote address to the NAACP Fair Housing Month Conference at Miami Dade College North Campus.