Marco Rubio’s Neighborhood: Actually Pretty Modest

The Florida senator got mocked for playing up his “working class neighborhood,” in which he owns an expensive house. But… he’s got a point.

Last night, Marco Rubio became the butt of jokes and Twitter gag accounts for awkwardly reaching towards a poorly placed bottle of water, about which more than enough has already been said. But he raised hackles for something else that went on to bug me a bit, in the context of urbanism and how people live in cities:

Mr. President, I still live in the same working class neighborhood I grew up in. My neighbors aren’t millionaires. They’re retirees who depend on Social Security and Medicare. They’re workers who have to get up early tomorrow morning and go to work to pay the bills. They’re immigrants, who came here because they were stuck in poverty in countries where the government dominated the economy.

When people found out that Rubio had purchased his home for $550,000, and is attempting to sell it for $675,000 in order to move to Washington, he was mocked yet again, often out of context; Rubio said his neighborhood was working-class, not his house.

But Rubio had a point; working-class is a loaded term, but Rubio’s home isn’t in a ritzy neighborhood, and there are plenty of bargains surrounding his house. For instance:

Rubio’s house is marked by the gray icon. The $150k house is a bargain, but it needs work. The house that sold for $84k on the next block? It’s small, but looks like it’s in decent shape.

That cluster of white-roofed buildings three blocks away? That’s a trailer park. (It might actually be literally under “Trailer Park” in Wikipedia.) Yes, he lives in a several-hundred-thousand-dollar house with a pool and three bathrooms; he’s also a short walk from a hotel/trailer-park combo. Cities are like that; broadly speaking, it’s healthy to have that kind of income mix.

Rubio lives in West Miami, which is its own tiny city, and the prices are in keeping with the nature of the city. The median household income for West Miami is around $35k, which is basically the same as Bridgeport. It’s a few thousand dollars higher than the median household income of Miami, but its poverty rate is significantly lower. In 2000, Spanish was the first language for almost ninety percent of its residents.

If Rubio really wanted to live it up, he’d move to neighboring Coral Gables, home of the University of Miami. The median household income for Coral Gables is more than twice that of West Miami. And you can tell the difference from space:

West Miami ends at 57th Avenue, and things immediately get greener, in keeping with neighborhood disparities around the world.

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1 year ago
Posted by Ye_Savant

No need to be a Rubio apologetic. I doubt he's inviting the folks from the trailer park to his pool parties. Take it from someone who grew up in "West Miami". It still beats the scenery of Bridgeport.
I think standard of living is the more important issue here; And in that regard, Rubio is obviously disconnected from his neighborhood as you describe it.
Rubio doesn't have to go to Coral Gables to live it up (do you know the crime rate there?). It's like insisting on living by University of Chicago; how many Chicagoans really want to live that close to the Southside.
Don't believe the hype. Rubio is living the American Dream. He could care less about Social Security and Medicare.

1 year ago
Posted by utucepe4

If Your Homes is Worth 540,00 Dollars, You're Hardly Living The Lifestyle Of Say, A Person Living The Same Lifestyle, Who Lives In A 95,000-150,000 Neighborhood.

Marco Rubio Is Making Himself Look As If, He's An Average Fellow, He's Not, He's Living An Above Average life.

More Power to Him, But don't Play Us As Simple minded Fool's, We're Not Fox News, AM:Radio Gullible, Willing To Fall For This Snow Job [Con-Sham]

1 year ago
Posted by IhateExtremists

Dang I'm tired of all the haters who like to believe you can't be a republican without being evil. Frankly, I'm tired of all the jackass on either extreme. Rubio didn't say anything about "inviting the neighbors over for parties", or even that he is somehow "connected" with the people in his neighborhood. He didn't say, "I'm an average fellow", or even "I'm middle class". Everything he said, if taken at face value, is true. He lives in a working class neighborhood. Middle class is an accurate description. Apparently he can't be capable of empathy and understanding for anyone less off than him? I think maybe you are projecting your own inability to care about others onto him.

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