Alison Austin, candidate for Commissioner District 3 Miami-Dade, meets supporters at Purvis Young gallery
MIAMI FL – Sharon and Leon Rolle are constituents with a tremendous amount at stake in District 3. Not only do they live in the district, but the couple also works there. The Rolles live in the Miami Shores area and own the Purvis Young Gallery in Wynwood, which they opened to showcase the acclaimed art of the late self-taught artist who rose to fame from humble beginnings.
”I’m a business owner in her district, and I’m a constituent in her district. I know her as a leader and I respect the things that she has done here and abroad. I know that she’ll do a wonderful job for the district.” Sharon Rolle said about Alison Austin at the intimate gathering that the couple hosted at their gallery on June 14.
As a candidate to become the Miami-Dade County Commissioner for District 3, Austin is aiming to parlay her passion, competence and vast community building expertise honed during her 14 years working abroad into an opportunity to transform District 3 into the vibrant, thriving community she envisions.
Austin’s platform includes making the success of District 3′s small businesses a priority.
”Small businesses are an intrinsic part of a community’s quality of life,” she explained. ”Drive through any vibrant neighborhood and what you will see are successful small businesses that contribute to the local economy by employing residents and pouring revenue back into the community,” Austin said. ”It’s extremely important that local government is proactive when it comes to easing small businesses’ access to information and resources that enhance their survivability and success.”
In addition to a strong business environment, Austin says that a vibrant arts community is essential to an area’s success.
”Arts are a vital ingredient in a community’s prosperity. Arts affect all aspects of a community’s viability – from education to safety to well-being. It’s an area that is easy to sweep under the rug because of the pressing issues facing a community’s survival, like jobs and affordable housing; but a vibrant arts community significantly impacts an area’s sense of well-being and its resilience because of the positive psychological factors associated with the arts,” she said.
”In addition to the intangible benefits that the arts create, a vibrant art scene has the potential to pump significant revenue into a local economy,” said Austin.
As commissioner, Austin said that she would work to ensure that areas of District 3 are included in one of the most successful art fairs in the world, Art Basel.
”Unfortunately, African-American communities are often shortchanged when it comes to the arts. There is no reason that the hugely successful Art Basel Miami Beach, which hosts some of its showings in the Wynwood and Design District areas of District 3, should not also include Liberty City, Allapattah and Little Haiti as some of its venues,” said Austin, an art lover and Art Basel supporter.
”There are local artists who should be a part of this amazing event, as well,” she shared.
”There could very well be other ‘Purvis Youngs’ ready to be discovered.”
In attendance at the gallery gathering was Oscar Hernandez, an accountant and business consultant who neither lives nor works in District 3, but has been ”coming here for the past 8 years since Art Basel has come.” Hernandez said he supports Austin because of her capability and integrity.
”She is someone who knows what the community wants and needs. I know a lot of people in and around the area.” Hernandez said he believes that Austin could be instrumental to the continued improvement of the diverse district.
Austin said the time is now for District 3 to take its rightful place as a vibrant and prosperous Miami-Dade community.
”I’ve got the skills, I’ve got the competence, I’ve got the passion and I’ve got the community support. And I, without question, believe that this is what we’re going to do in August. We’re going to create a change on the dais that can help our community to be the best it can possibly be.”