On a beautiful afternoon in February, in the west end of Miami’s Little Haiti, Max Rameau and I were having trouble finding the next house on his list, though we did notice one that had potential: small, stucco, sort of a Spanish colonial, beat-up but solid on the outside. From the street we could see over the low front patio, straight through the front windows to the kitchen in the back, and even the yard beyond. Clearly it was empty. “Plus, it’s got a lockbox,” I said.
“But the evens are on this side,” Rameau said.
We looked up and down the street.
“They’ve all got lockboxes,” I said.
He yanked the handbrake. “This is how it happens. We go to look for a place, and we find three.”...
Max Rameau is rather soft-spoken for a radical freedom fighter. An organizer, author, and political theorist, he has become the voice of this city's disenfranchised and underserved citizens. As leader and spokesperson for two major projects — CopWatch and Take Back the Land — he makes eloquent arguments for why housing is a human right and justice is necessary for all.
MiamiNewTimes.com- June 2007
Before the April fire that burned Umoja Village to the ground, Max could be found grinning and holding his baby boy while sitting on a stained couch in the middle of the homeless shantytown in Liberty City. Part street theater, part protest, the place, which was Max's idea, opened this past October 23 on an abandoned lot on NW 62nd Street. Wooden pallet shacks on the site housed 40 homeless people; they all ate and relaxed in a common area.
Max Rameau is a serious fellow, an activist who has fought various injustices in Miami for the past decade and more. He played a role in the effort to enact the Civilian Investigative Panel that oversees the Miami Police Department, and was an early opponent of the Hope VI project that wiped out Scott Homes in Liberty City without replacing them with promised new housing. The reason you know his name is that he is arguably the city’s most successful affordable housing developer...