Corrine Brown talks Eatonville preservation, I-4 Ultimate at townhall
U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown wants to make sure no one forgets about the town of Eatonville.
Brown hosted her annual town hall meeting in the historic town on Saturday, where she highlighted her latest efforts and supported the Zora Neale Hurston Festival.
The congresswoman also discussed the preservation of Eatonville. It’s a subject that’s top of mind when discussing the money Brown helped secure for the major I-4 construction project that’s about to get underway.
“When I-4 came about, they split Eatonville in half,” Brown said. “It’s time to put us back together. … We’re getting ready to spend $2 billion, and Eatonville isn’t included. That’s not acceptable. You have to have a representative in the room.”
Brown intends on being that representative — working to make sure the I-4 construction takes the town of Eatonville into consideration.
Eatonville Mayor Bruce Mount and others spoke about the importance of preserving the heritage of black communities even as they go through revitalization and economic development.
“We’re the oldest town, but it’s no good if you have nothing for them to see,” Mount said.
Richmond McCoy, of UrbanAmerica Advisors, added: “Then it will just be … well, that used to be a historic black community. Years ago, that was a place that had significance and heritage and legacy. It will just be a memory.”
Preservation was also the theme when talking about another Central Florida area: Sanford.
Brown said she will fight a lawsuit that threatens to take Sanford away from her district. Brown represents U.S. House District 5, which includes concentrations of minority voters in eight different counties — from Orlando to Jacksonville. The district includes sections of Orange, Seminole and Lake counties.
“No … that is not going to happen,” Brown said Saturday. “From Day 1, my district has been a part of Sanford. … What they’ve done is say that this district doesn’t look right. (We’re) talking about whether it’s representation.”
Last August, a judge approved a redrawn map of Florida’s congressional districts, but critics argue the map is still unconstitutional. The Florida Supreme court is expected to hear on the case in March.