(Miami-Dade County, FL) -- Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz received special recognition from the South Florida After-School All-Stars for his community work involving children on Saturday, January 15, 2011 at Jungle Island. The organization made note of the commissioner's sponsorship of the "Lauren Book Child Safety Ordinance" in 2005, a countywide ordinance prohibiting sex offenders and predators from residing within 2,500 feet of a school. He also sponsored an ordinance which created "child safety zones" that prohibit sex offenders/predators from loitering and prowling 300 feet of parks, school bus stops and day care centers. This ordinance was the first of its kind in the State of Florida.
In addition, South Florida After-School All-Stars commended the commissioner for his legislation presented in 2007 requesting that the herb salvia divinorum, which is chewed or smoked, be added to Schedule I of the Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act. Drugs on the listing are designated as having a high potential for abuse and no medical value. Florida legislators have now banned the herb, which was very popular among teenagers. Finally, the organization recognized Commissioner Diaz's work with children's groups that promote autism awareness, his founding of the Kids and Families Foundation, sponsoring back to school vaccines, backpacks, and school supplies for students in his district, and allocating funds every year for college scholarships awarded to District 12 high school students.
"This award makes me proud not only as a representative of my community, but also as a father," said Commissioner Diaz. "I will continue to support legislation and activities that are in the best interests of all the children in Miami-Dade."
Photo caption: Raul J. Diaz, CEO of the South Florida After-School All-Stars (left) presents an award to Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz for being an advocate for children in Miami-Dade.