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Bill Proctor

Commissioner District 1

April 10, 2017

Honorable Andrew Gillum


Tallahassee City Commission
300 South Adams Street
Tallahassee, FL 32301

Take Care of South City and FAMU Area FirstBefore Building a Police Headquarters

Dear Mayor Gillum and City Commissioners:

While April is recognized as Fair Housing Month and the Fair Housing Act is now 49
years old, please recognize the continuing unfair race based segregationist practices
employed by the City of Tallahassee against a community called South City in
Tallahassee, Florida. I implore you to please tour and see the differences in the Myers
Park and South City communities. Please travel every single street and identify not one
open ditch in the Myers Park community versus South City.

For years now, the City of Tallahassee has blatantly supported and sustained
substandard conditions in the segregated community of South City. The City is willfully
withholding public funds from being invested in South City and this community is a
victim suffering from the City of Tallahassees habitual practice of economic
blackplotation and intentional negligence based on race and socio economics. South
City is essentially nothing but a plantation of the city. The City makes millions upon
millions off of this neighborhood because it damn sure puts nothing back into this area
commensurate to its economic harvest from utility charges and property taxes.

The New Contemplated Police Headquarters


For the City to build a new multi-million dollar police headquarter in the heart of the
southside next door to South City would be an insult while we are forced to live under
the prevailing conditions of no public sidewalks, missing curbs, open ditches, tiny and
possibly illegal sized streets, no green space, no parks, overgrowth of bushes and a
look of abandonmentperiod. This plantation called South City is nothing at all to the
City except a cash cow pipeline to sustain its utility empire that transfers wealth to
upkeep white communities.

For years now the Mayor and City Commissioners (except Commissioner Curtis
Richardson) have been wearing racial blinders unable to see the plight of black
communities. City leaders see and address infrastructure needs of white communities.

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Remove your blinders that disallow you to see black citizens needs. It is quite clear that
revenue collected from South City actually sustains the Myers Park community to have
a higher standard of public infrastructure. These same public goodies are not found in
the plantation quarters of South City.

How is it you have money to build a new police headquarters, but even after 49 years of
the Fair Housing Law, the City remains unfair, heartless, uncommitted and unfocused in
lifting South City above its Third World conditions? A new police headquarters in South
City will not produce needed sidewalks, larger roads, curbs, closed ditches, green
space and reduced overgrowth. Citizens will remain abandoned and not helped. A
police headquarters will not help our lack of infrastructure.

A Tale of Two Communities


Magnolia Drive
Magnolia Drive from Monroe Street to Jim Lee Road is the racial Mason Dixon line that
divides and distinguishes the Citys racial politics of redling and maintaining
discriminatory practices between two separate and unequal neighborhoods that exist
side by side and next to each other. Myers Park is a historically white neighborhood
which is home to the City of Tallahassees Parks and Recreation Department
Headquarters. South City neighborhood is a historically black neighborhood which is
where the City of Tallahassee contemplates locating its Police Department
Headquarters. Many things about life in Tallahassee are depicted in the contrast of
these two neighborhoods. Worse, local government has completely facilitated this tale
of two communities over time.

Meridian Street
Meridian Street begins at Paul Russell Road next to the fairgrounds. It runs north to
Van Buren Street in Myers Park. Meridian Street that stretches from Van Buren Street
down to the Mason Dixon line at Magnolia Drive features a 30 foot wide neighborhood
corridor with curbs, sidewalk, on street parking and flower beds in the center of the
road. Amazing.

Traveling south on Meridian Street past the Citys Mason Dixon point of Magnolia Drive
the race based city policy differential and investment differences in the Myers Park
segment of Meridian Street versus the South City segment of Meridian Street readily
shows bias, discriminations and a violation of equal protection rights of South City
residents by the City of Tallahassee. Disturbing.

Country Club Drive


Country Club Drive north of the Mason Dixon point of Magnolia Drive is 30 feet wide
and has finished curbs. Open ditches are none existent in the Myers Park Community.
The City of Tallahassee has facilitated an extraordinary sized road within a residential
community. Thirty foot wide streets are a norm in Myers Park.

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Country Club Drive south of Magnolia Drive Mason Dixon line is immediately smaller,
deep ditches are adjacent to the road and it is simply dangerous. The City has
purposely allowed the South City side of Country Club Drive to be underserved with the
same investment in infrastructure. City leaders value judgment about the black people
who live in this neighborhood is not the same value judgment the City holds toward the
people who live in Myers Park.

South Calhoun Street


No two cars can travel this public street at the same time. At eight feet wide is Calhoun
Street a legal sized public street for vehicular traffic? Seriously, is it legal? In 1986, I
purchased a house and lived at 2416 South Calhoun Street. Why, after 31 years, is this
dangerous street the exact same? It is because of willful neglect and the City not caring
about whether black residents travel safely or not. A huge apartment complex is
surrounded by Putnam, Calhoun, Wallis and Meridian Streets. A real bad situation for
drivers and pedestrians.

Trash Bin
On Country Club Drive and the lowly underdeveloped Putnam Drive the City of
Tallahassee allows a huge community dumpster to occupy the corner. Not only does
this big dumpster block vehicular vision at the corner and intersection of Country Club
and Putnam Drive, but the City allows the stinch, insects, rodents and the
uncomplimentary appearance of this roadside dumpster where black children live and
are exposed.

Perhaps this unsanitary and unsightly manifestation is not a racially discriminatory


practice, however, such a dumpster has not been witnessed in Myers Park or in any
white Tallahassee neighborhoods. It is fair to therefore reason that it is only because
the children and residents in South City are black that the City of Tallahassee endorses
compromising the health, safety and welfare of motorists and citizens by allowing the
placement of a dumpster on the street corner and intersection of Country Club and
Putnam Drive.

There exist two other distractions on the same corner. One object is a City pump inside
of a cage. The second is a huge green container six feet tall. In what white community
are there three similar objects placed at an intersection?

The South City community desperately needs infrastructure improvementsA


cursory review of the South City infrastructure needs include:
1. Missing sidewalks
2. Tiny dangerous streets with no sidewalks (non-regulation streets)
3. Missing curbs
4. Zero green space
5. Zero park(s)
6. Tall brush and overgrowth
7. Open ditches with water

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Myers Park Infrastructure Already Provided
A cursory review of the existing Myers Park Infrastructure include:

1. 30 foot wide neighborhood interior streets


2. On Street parking availability
3. Curbs
4. Duck pond
5. Ball fields
6. Tennis Courtcurrently being upgraded
7. Basketball courts
8. Picnic grounds
9. Green spaces
10. Walking path
11. Golf course
12. Swimming pool
13. Weight room center
14. City parks and recreation headquarters

Count the Meters


Count all utility electric meters in Myers Park versus the total count of utility meters in
South City. South City streets and infrastructure should look like Myers Park. Myers
Park streets and infrastructure should look like South City. South City community
generates millions of dollars more than what Myers Park residents pay collectively for
city utilities which has no oversight from a functional Citizens Utilities Review Board.

Actually, no neighborhood should be forced to look like South City. But if you count the
electric meters for utility services that generate millions for the City every month, then
one will more clearly see the evidence and residue of long standing racial discrimination
against South City and FAMU area neighborhoods. Period. How long and how much
must black citizens pay the City of Tallahassee as our plantation owner in order to
receive a sidewalk and a ditch cover and receive what Myers Park receives.

Southside Black people are sharecropping and getting farther behind. Count the utility
meters and count how little the City gives back to us sharecroppers. We aint getting a
fair share. We are more like slaves than respected citizens or sharecroppers.

Colorblind by Two Colors


The City is ColorblindThe Superintendent and School Board are too.
The City of Tallahassee sees but two colors. One is green. The other is white. The
City does not see black, brown and people of color. The City cares about green dollars
to enhance the communities of white people. The City and Leon County School Board
behave alike. The School Board is like the City of Tallahassee. They refuse to build a
new southside high school. The School Board takes money from black property

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taxpayers and invests our money in building up white neighborhoods. The
Superintendent is guiding the School Board along the exact same racist mindset
because he does not believe the children in South City and around FAMU area
deserves a brand new school. How long will the School Board continue to act like the
City and play plantation politics where us black sharecroppers cant get our fair share?
The City of Tallahassee and School Board are oppressors alike. They are not giving
back commensurate to what South City and southside residents are paying into the
public coffers. The southside property owners are subsidizing the development of new
schools outside our region. The School Board operates in a manner to help white
school children have new facilities and thus increase the property values for white
communities only. Are these people all racists?

Analysis
Myers Park neighborhood is being subsidized and sustained by residents of South City
to the detriment of its residents, children and property values. Myers Park
neighborhood reaps benefits from the surplus value and revenue generated from South
City (including Apalachee Ridge Region) citizens.

South City/Apalachee Ridge/FAMU neighborhoods pay the exact same tax rate for
property and utilities. Yet, the sheer density of homes, apartments and businesses
combined generates multiple times the utility revenue for the City than is generated
collectively by the Myers Park community.

Again, there is no reciprocity for black communities equal to the dollars they generate
for the City of Tallahassee. The City transfers the black revenue to invest in
infrastructure for white communities. The Leon County School Board does the exact
same practice. Both are guilty of economic blackploitation.

A comparison of the vast number of city utility meters connected to homes, apartments
and businesses provides the proof of what South City citizens pay the City compared to
Myers Park residents on a monthly basis. Black taxpayers in the southside are being
ignored and discriminated against by the School Board under the manipulative,
disproportionate and inordinate authority of the Superintendent of Schools. The
Superintendent broad discretion over job assignments and spending should be the
power of the School Board instead.

Economic Blackploitation
Economic blackploitation is practiced by the City of Tallahassee against South City and
FAMU communities. There simply is the willful under-investment in infrastructure to
enhance public safety and to promote the general welfare of our communities. Again,
the Leon County School District plays the exact same race card against black children
and residents.

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Economic blackploitation results from the decades long receipt of utility revenue from
black customers and property taxpayers by the City of Tallahassee which grossly fails to
reinvest dollars back into black communities like South City and others.

Succinctly, blackploitation happens when the City keeps taking in far more money out of
the black community than it reciprocates or puts back into black communities for
sidewalks, legal size roads, street curbs, closed ditches, cut bushes, street parking,
adequate bus stop facilities for customer comfort, open space and continual
improvements and enhancements.

The City Race Based Spending


The City is distributing and spending dollars along a race based pattern and based on
the socio-economic standing of its residents.
1. Why cant South City residents receive sidewalks on the single most
dangerous street in Tallahassee which is Putnam Drive from Monroe Street to
Country Club Drive?
2. Are we too black and poor to deserve public safety?
3. Why cant dangerous ditches be covered up that runs through South City, but
not in Myers Park?
4. Why cant bushes be cut down in South City?
5. Why cant Putnam Drive be expanded wider?
6. Why cant curbs abound along street edges in South City?
7. Why cant Calhoun Street, Wallis Street, Yaeger Street and Putnam Drive
become regular legal sized roads?
8. When will the City stop discriminating against black residents in South City
and students and residents at FAMU?
9. When will the City stop conducting raced based investment policies for
infrastructure against black communities?
10. Why cant the City take the money for a new police headquarters and instead
correct the problem in South City that simply does not exist in the next door
neighborhood of Myers Park?

FAMU
For years and years and years sidewalks are needed on Osceola Street, Young Street,
Barbourville Drive, Melvin Street and Bronough Street.

Every single day hundreds of FAMU patrons literally walk in the unsafe streets
surrounding FAMU. They must constantly get out the way of vehicular traffic. They,
literally, have no space to walk except in the street.

Florida A&M University pays ten million dollars in utilities to the City of Tallahassee per
annum. The residents who live east of FAMU have paid property taxes and utilities for
decade after decade and they still have zero sidewalks.

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This situation does not exist at Florida State University because the City has no race
base practices against this majority white institution of education. Has anyone
witnessed white FSU students dodging vehicular traffic daily because they had no
sidewalk to walk on?

The City disregards FAMU and its patrons who walk in the streets only because the City
of Tallahassee if hypocritical and is more dedicated to uplifting, sustaining and helping
to add safety for white pedestrians than for black pedestrians.

The evidence supporting this truth is on the ground at FSU. It is called sidewalks.
The evidence supporting this same truth is not on the ground at FAMU. It is called no
sidewalks.

Racial discrimination is documented and quite clear in the City of Tallahassee. The
2015 Harvard University study citing Tallahassee as the nations most economically
segregated community that appeared on the front page of the New York Times
newspaper did not scratch the surface. Had Harvard isolated the City of Tallahassees
spending habits and practices, it would have also revealed that it is the City that is the
leader of racial economic segregation.

Weed and Seed Neighborhood Next to Police Station?


Weed and Seed Policy Places a Bounty Prize on Residents in South City
Would chickens applaud or invite foxes to build a headquarters inside their community?
South City is a designated Weed and Seed territory set by the City of Tallahassee for
many years. The United States Department of (In) Justice grants money to the City of
Tallahassee for its Police Department to operate a Weed and Seed Program. Myers
Park is not designated or policed the same with an incentivized bounty reward for their
citizens arrest for engaging illegal drugs.

The TPD fulfills a certain quota of arrests in the designated Weed and Seed territory in
order to receive increased federal funding for its Police Department. Therefore, South
City residents when arrested represent an economic prize for the City by way of the
bounty money shared as a reward to the TPD from the Justice Department. The TPDs
Weed efforts are known. Less clear is how the City fulfills its supposed commitment to
the seed effort of this police operation. There should be known programs to close
and bridge the gap and foster economic opportunities from the City to meet the seed
idea and expectations.

Building a new police headquarters in the midst of a highly incentivized community


where every arrest equals greater funding for TPD is inherently problematic. Will
citizens trust the City Police Force to ignore the bounty they receive from the U.S. (In)
Justice Department to arrest illegal drug dealers (i.e. black men) in South City?

No one should trust or support a police headquarters moving into a Weed and Seed
territory. This designation has to be removed or else all residents could equate to

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bounty prizes who would be arrested and bogusly charged for the economic gain of the
police department. The City must remove the Weed and Seed designation from South
City. Chickens do not want to live in the midst of the foxes headquarters, especially
when foxes are paid extra to devour chickens.

Conclusion
Is there another American city that demonstrates more clearly a visible model of racial
discrimination and race based investment in public infrastructure than the City
Government of Tallahassee Florida?

Indeed, the most classic model worthy to be placed in a City planning textbook depicting
planned neighborhood discrimination by a local government would be Myers Park
neighborhood existing literally across the street from the South City community.

Corrective actions must occur to upgrade the plight and conditions of South Citys
infrastructure and provide sidewalks on afore named streets surrounding FAMU first. It
would be a slap in our collective southside faces for the City to collect our utility monies
and property taxes and build a multi-million dollar police station while forcing black
residents to walk and drive on unsafe streets among numerous other deficiencies in
South City and around FAMU.

I want better for the southside communities. Do you? I do! There should be no police
headquarters built, to insult us, while the City denies the southside equal protection to
infrastructure that is provided to white communities by the City of Tallahassee. We
must first be made whole and respected. We want infrastructure improvementsnow.

Sincerely,

Bill Proctor

cc: Rick Fernandez


Cynthia Barber
Chief Michael DeLeo
Leon County School Board
Leon County Board of County Commissioners
Florida A&M University Board of Trustees
Sheriff Walt McNeil
President Larry Robinson
Southside Pastors
Capital City Chamber of Commerce
Big Bend Chamber of Commerce
Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce
WFSU Perspectives

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100 Black Men, Inc.
NAACP
CONA
Capital Outlook Newspaper
Tallahassee Democrat
Leon County Legislative Delegation
Tillman Funeral Home
Strong and Jones Funeral Home
Attorney Chuck Hobbs