MIAMI (CBSMiami) - An apartment complex in Opa-Locka was officially renamed on Thursday after a woman called by some the 'Matriarch of Opa-Locka'.
Mary Alice Brown has lived in the north Miami-Dade area for more than 70 years. The mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother has long advocated for her community and better housing for all.
"I wanted things to be better for my children. And if I wanted things to be better for my children, I wanted things to be better for all children," said Brown at Thursday's event.
Brown was also a founding member of the Opa-Locka Community Development Corporation's Board of Directors. The group builds and rehabilitates low-income housing and now owns the apartment complex at 2888 Northwest 132nd Street after a historic legal battle.
"I cannot tell you how long we have waited for this day," said Dr. Willie Logan, the Founder, CEO, and President of the OLCDC.
The 216-unit gated community, previously called the Aswan Village Apartments, houses more than 700 people. Along with updating the units, the OLCDC also offers residents at the now Mary Alice Brown Apartments services like financial literacy and mental health services.
"Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine such an honor," said Brown.
Brown also worked on Bill Lehman's political campaign for U.S. Congress, served on the Board of Front Porch, and was a PTA President at North Dade Middle School for five years. She was married for 58 years to her husband, the late Frank Brown Jr, who served as the first Black Recreation Director for the City of Opa-Locka.
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