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Dear Friends of District 8,

Welcome to another edition of the District 8 newsletter. This is a special issue centered around advocacy. August marks recess at the BCC, so we'll be hard at work focusing on our community engagement initiatives. Keep reading to find out about our programs for nonprofits and the special advocacy work we're doing with our residents.

One of the most important topics for our residents is the county budget. Budget season is in full swing and we have all the details you need to engage and be a part of resource allocations in Miami-Dade. 

We have heard many concerns regarding animal well-being in our communities. In order to provide a forum for the community to work together and find solutions to our pet safety challenges, District 8 and the Office of Mayor Carlos Gimenez co-hosted the Homes for All Pets Summit. Read on to find out more about results and follow-up from the event.

Remember to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date on the latest in District 8. Technology is an important avenue for engagement and we love seeing your suggestions and comments.

Yours for an informed and engaged community,


Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava
August 2015
What's Coming Up?

Be a Part of the County Budget Process

The budget process is underway and we hope that you will join us as the County allocates resources for the next fiscal year. The first budget hearing was on July 14th; the Commission met and voted to maintain the current millage rates.

The next budget hearings will be on September 3rd and 17th at the Stephen P. Clark Center starting at 5:01 p.m. These meetings are open to the public and I strongly urge all our residents to attend the hearings and speak before the Commission about their priorities and concerns, or to tune in and watch on our online county station.

Community meetings will be held throughout Miami-Dade during the month of August. Residents are encouraged to attend and learn more about the budget process. Members of the community will have the opportunity to ask questions and make suggestions so that resources are allocated based on public participation and information. The District 8 meeting is on August 12th at 6:00 p.m. at Palmetto Bay Village Hall 9705 East Hibiscus Street.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to receive the most up-to-date information on the budget process.

Join Us for the Next Walk in District 8

Team 8 continues its neighborhood walks in South Dade on August 15th from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. We'll be visiting the neighborhood surrounding South Dade Park (28151 SW 164th Ave), speaking with residents about county services and listening to their concerns and suggestions. Volunteers are always welcome on District 8 Walks and we hope you will join us! Please RSVP to [email protected]

Team 8 with our awesome volunteers on the last Walk in District 8



Back to School: District 8 Accepting School Supply Donations

School will be back in session soon and purchasing school supplies can be a struggle for some families. District 8 is accepting school supply donations at our South Dade office (10710 SW 211th Street). Donated supplies will be picked up by community service agencies and distributed to needy families. The deadline for donations is August 7th. For more information about donating or receiving supplies, please call Maria Levrant at 305-378-6677.

Keep Up with District 8

The Homes for All Pets Summit Recap

The Homes for All Pets Summit was a great success! Two hundred participants came together on July 25th at PortMiami to discuss the safety of our Miami-Dade pets and how we can increase public awareness to prevent abandoned animals. Dr. Julie Levy, Director of Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida, was our keynote speaker. Dr. Levy gave an informative presentation on the Animal Services Department and best practices that address the challenges that remain.

Many thanks to our wonderful sponsors. The summit would not have been possible without their generosity. A list of sponsors is below.

A special thanks to Mayor Carlos Gimenez and his staff for co-hosting the summit with our office. The Mayor's talk included several advancements made in animal welfare and future investments for the safety of our pets. He even gave a special shout-out to his rescue dog, Beemer.

The goal of the summit was to bring the community together to identify solutions to the existing gaps in our animal services. The recommendations we received will be consolidated and sent to the event attendees, posted on the District 8 website and shared in the newsletter. Stay tuned!

Sponsors: PortMiami, City of Miami Beach, Village of Pinecrest, City of Coral Gables, City of Doral, City of South Miami, City of Sunny Isles Beach, City of Hialeah, North Bay Village, City of Homestead, City of Miami Springs, Village of Virginia Gardens, City of Miami, City of North Miami, Town of Cutler Bay, Town of Bay Harbor Islands, City of Opa-Locka, Village of Palmetto Bay and Village of El Portal. A special thanks to a Fare to Remember Creative Catering for providing a delicious animal-friendly, no meat meal.


Thank you to Mayor Gimenez for co-hosting the event

Dr. Julie Levy shared animal well-being best practices

Participants discussed the summit topics in small groups

Great in District 8 Profile

Kametra Driver: A South Dade Convener

Kametra Driver is the Executive Director of WeCare, a nonprofit organization in South Dade. Originally from Tulsa, Okhlahoma, Kametra arrived in Miami 14 years ago and has been working with WeCare ever since.

As the Executive Director, Kametra oversees a coalition of social service agencies. WeCare works with other organizations to identify needs in the community and forms partnerships to address those needs. "We are a convener organization," Kametra explains. "We bring together nonprofits, businesses and government agencies. Nonprofits can't do it alone and we believe that partnerships are the best way to find solutions to issues in the community."

Recently, the WeCare team advocated for renewed funding for South Dade from the Children's Trust. After much deliberation from a group of united organizations, WeCare received funding to continue the "Out of School Collaborative", a free, high-quality program for students during school breaks. "Because of our efforts, five additional organizations in deep South Dade will get funding from the Children's Trust. They listened to us and put an additional $800,000 into South Dade," Kametra said.

A community meeting will be held on August 6th at 9 a.m. at Phicol Williams (951 SW 4th Street) to discuss allocating the total $1.5 million awarded from the Children's Trust for Community Based Organizations.

Kametra's work forging partnerships gives her special insight to the challenges facing South Dade communities: "Economic development is key. People need jobs and the opportunity to acquire the necessary skills to find employment. South Dade needs to be better prepared for commercial growth so that our local community residents can compete for jobs." Kametra strives to address these issues by working across sectors in the South Dade community.

Thank you, Kametra, for advocating for South Dade and for being Great in District 8!

Kametra Driver, Executive Director of WeCare of South Dade

Daniella Delivers

A Win for the Parks for People Initiative!

The Parks for People initiative has reached an important milestone. Mayor Carlos Gimenez presented his proposed budget to the Board of County Commissioners on July 7th. He explained that after many difficult years of tough economic times, the County has turned a corner and will begin restoring services to the public. I was pleased to learn that the Parks and Recreation Department received a 12% restoration of funds in the Mayor's proposed budget. I am grateful to the Mayor for recognizing the importance of investing in our parks and other services, but I will continue to seek a long-term sustainable funding source for our parks.

It is important to note that the budget process has only just begun. The final budget will be voted on by the Commission in September and public hearings will be held on September 3rd and 17th. Make sure to call your County Commissioner and let him/her know that Miami-Dade deserves a world-class parks system. Mark your calendars for the community meetings held across the county. These meetings are an excellent opportunity to learn more about the budget process and inform the commission on the community's budget priorities.

If you haven't yet,sign and share the petition started by a District 8 resident to restore funding to our parks. To learn more about the parks system, catch the parks episode of Get to Know Your Commissioner with special guest Maria Nardi, Chief of Planning for the Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation Department.

Congratulations to the 2015 Impact Grant Winners

We recently wrapped up our “District 8 Impact Grant: Advocacy and Civic Engagement" program. The District 8 Impact Grant is awarded to community based organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to advocacy, civic engagement, and service. This year, we awarded 13 organizations small grants ranging from $2,500 to $5,000. These organizations provide direct services and have also expanded their reach to impact policy. While each grant recipient presented a unique project or proposed to tackle a unique issue, they all had to strictly adhere to the overall advocacy and civic engagement component of the District 8 Impact Grant program. The awards totaled $48,000. We also awarded CDBG (Community Development Block) grants which will be reported on nect month.

The decision-making process was a difficult one, with many worthwhile organizations vying for a limited amount of grant dollars. I urge all organizations to apply for the 2016 grant process. In addition to the Impact Grants, we provide group and one-on-one technical assistance to organizations interested in building capacity.

We offer regular workshops for our community nonprofits. For more information, email [email protected]

Contact Daniella and Team 8

District 8 Office
South Dade Government Center
10710 SW 211th street, suite 103
Miami, FL 33189
305-378-6677 Phone

Downtown Office
Stephen P. Clark Government Center
111 NW 1 Street, Suite 220
Miami, Florida 33128
305-375-5218 Phone
305-372-6073 Fax

E-mail: [email protected]
Web: www.miamidade.gov/district08

Facebook: CommissionerCava   Twitter: @dlcava    IG: @dlcava

What's Happening?

Walk with Team 8

On August 15th at 9 a.m., Team 8 will continue our Walk in District 8 program. We will head to the neighborhoods around South Dade Park, talk to residents about county services and listen to their concerns. Our walks help us reach South Dade residents and find solutions to specific issues they are facing in their area. Volunteers are always welcome and very helpful! We hope you'll join us! South Dade Park is located at 28151 SW 164th Ave.

Be Election Ready

Did you know that some voting locations are changing? Make sure to be ready for the next election and check the Miami-Dade County Elections website for any changes to your polling location.

Be a Part of the Budget Process

The county will hold public hearings on the budget on September 3rd and 17th at the Stephen P Clark Government Center. Community meetings will be held across Miami-Dade throughout the month of August. The District 8 meeting will be on August 12th at 6:00 p.m. at Palmetto Bay Village Hall 9705 East Hibiscus Street.

FIU Hosts Grant Writing Workshop

FIU will hold two grant writing workshops in September. Grant Writing 101 on September 1st is perfect for those with little grant writing experience who need an introduction to the process.

If you already have experience with grant writing, check out Grant Writing 201. This workshop provides a comprehensive analysis of grant development.

Adopt-A-Tree in Homestead

Join us in Harris Field Park on August 29th for the Adopt-a-Tree giveaway program. Eligible residents can adopt up to two trees.



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