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From: Erica Lang
I am responding to your front-page article on the Miami-Dade Empowerment Trust (Trust). I am disappointed on how your article compares their funding process to “spoon feeding” and accusing them of “punishing” individuals inquiring about pending disbursed funds. I would think that, as a journalist such as yourself would have done your homework before you spew the name of the organization that provided you with the funds to publish this fallacious piece. If I am reading your article correctly it also states that the Homestead Empowerment Zone Board Members are allegedly using underhand dealing to approve Empowerment Zones (EZ) funding for members of the City of Homestead Council. First and foremost the “spoon-feeding” process is essential to ensure that the funds are being used correctly. The Trust is not a bank, therefore they should not disburse lumps sums of money to any individual just because they summit a plan with an outlined budget. Well if they did, you would be writing on how they give away free money. How are they going to explain to their sponsors what you did with the funding if $20,000 were misused. As far as “punishing for inquiries” is concerned, it clearly states in Section XIII-E of my contract that: The parties agree that the processing of a payment request from date of submission shall take a minimum of thirty (30) days and a maximum of sixty (60) days from receipt, if supporting documentation/invoices are properly documented.. If you had read your checks (which I’m sure you did), they are disbursed from Miami-Dade County Finance Department who writes checks for Miami-Dade County as a whole, not just the Trust. So for you to write that the Trust has a financial department is absurd I am not understanding your comment on the boards alleged underhand deals, but someone slipped up when you got funded because there are too many errors in this paper and it should be suggested that they review your funding status. Not because of your lack of business ethics but for hindering the dreams of future business owners who could benefit from their program as you and I have. I personally believe that overall the Trust has done more for the Empowerment Zones as a whole than you and your comrades could ever do in a lifetime. Word to the wise: Never publish without performing a spell check and never bite the hand that feeds you. This article is a good example on why African Americans will not make it as a whole.