By Jessica Sanchez and Mike S Payton, Contributing Reporters
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – On November 5th, the City of Miami Beach will vote on 3 of 6 City Commission seats, as well as six important ballot questions facing residents. One of those is if the main Convention Center Park/P-Lot should be named “Pride Park”.
In April 2019, the city began construction of a 5.8-acre public park on what is currently a surface parking lot, known as the main Convention Center Park/P-Lot (located generally west of Convention Center Drive, east of Meridian Avenue, and between 18th and 19th Streets).
At the time Mayor Gelber said, “When you are a true arts and culture destination, two things happen: you attract sophisticated tourists and your residents have more interesting things to do. Using our entire city as a canvass improves our quality of life and provides wonderful amenities for our residents.”
Pursuant to the City Code, a referendum is required to approve the naming of an exterior portion of a city facility, including a city park. The subject ballot measure asks the City’s voters whether the main Convention Center Park/P-Lot should be named “Pride Park.”
At a duly noticed public hearing on June 5, 2019, the Mayor and City Commission approved, by 5/7th vote, the naming of the park as “Pride Park,” subject to and contingent upon the approval of the majority of the electorate voting in a Citywide referendum.
Frank Del Vecchio, head of the South Point Neighborhood Association shared his intention to vote, “NO (177) to a new name for the park.”
He explains, “The large park under construction in the Miami Beach Convention Center complex is currently referred to as ‘Convention Center Park’, and is the location of many exhibits and events associated with bookings at the Convention Center.”
Adding, “If the park warrants a permanent name, the one currently used sounds instinctively logical and on the mark, not one with no locational utility.”