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Dear Friends of District 8,

Thank you for signing-up to receive our newsletter, keeping informed about our community, and getting involved to make South Dade a great place to live, work and play.

As detailed in this newsletter, I have been diligently working on initiatives to help increase our communities’ economic development, preserve our environment, improve our parks and public transportation, and protect our pets. Please read the details below and stay involved. Also, be sure to check out all of the great opportunities in our area to celebrate Independence Day!

As always, we want your feedback. Reach out to us at [email protected], call us at 305-375-5218/305-378-6677 or chat with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

You may also get the latest on pending or passed legislation through my office. Please reach out with your questions and concerns.

Yours for a great District 8,


Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava
June 2017
Daniella Delivers

District 8 Small Business Academy Trains South Dade Entrepreneurs

For the second year in a row, my office sponsored and facilitated the District 8 Small Business Academy. This distinctive program provided vital training and resources to 23 entrepreneurs with existing small businesses in South Dade. Each year the Academy aims to give small business owners the tools and information they need to increase sales, hire more employees and thrive in South Dade. The Academy features innovative workshops that are administered by a leading development agency, Partners for Self-Employment.

The Academy included a friendly business competition, similar to the televised “Shark Tank” series, where the winners won monetary prizes to boost their businesses. The winners included: Jessica Welsh, $5,000 for Gringa Flan; Rockell Bartolli, $3,000 for iPrep4Life, and Jessica Laguere, $2,000 for The Royalty Series. The four-month program concluded with an Access to Capital lenders forum and business networking event.

Left to right: Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava; Maria Coto, Executive Diretor, Partners for Self-Employment; business owner, Jessica Laguere; business owner, Jessica Welsh; Rahel Weldeyesus, Director of Community Engagement.                             
A big shout-out to our bussiness plan winners and to Partners for Self-Employment, our business academy partner. Congratulations Academy Graduates!                                                                                                                                                                                      



Delivering Policy Solutions

Some of my latest efforts to champion our environment and enhance our quality of life include:

  • Because our community is on the front line of dealing with sea level rise and climate change, I sponsored a resolution that expresses the County’s support for the principles of the Paris Climate Accord. Along with other local governments, we will honor and uphold the commitments to the goals enshrined in the Paris Climate Accord.
  • To bring awareness to the important environmental issues in our own backyard, I sponsored a citizen’s presentation from Captain Dan Kipnis regarding the severe decline in seagrass habitat in Biscayne Bay. I also participated in the Biscayne Bay Marine Health Inaugural Summit to address marine debris and other pollutants affecting the health of Biscayne Bay.  I am looking forward to more collaboration with other stakeholders to help create an effective action plan for reducing pollutants in Biscayne Bay as well as in our local canals and rivers.
  • I presented a proclamation to the Alliance for Aging in recognition of “World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.” We stand with those groups in our community and around the globe that fight against the mistreatment of our seniors.
  • I participated in the South Florida Regional Planning Council Strategic Planning Retreat. I am so grateful to serve on the Executive Committee of the Board, as a representative of Miami Dade Board of County Commissioners. We decided to double down on efforts to address the need for jobs, housing and coordinated transit. Expertise, cross-jurisdiction leadership, research and planning experience are all key assets;
  • I sponsored a resolution adopting the Southeast Florida Coastal Ocean Task Force (COTF) recommendations to protect our coastal resources from any oil exploration off the Florida coast. The resolution was adopted by the full Board, providing an effective tool for our lobbying efforts on the national level. 

What's Coming Up

Happy Independence Day!

Let us celebrate our nation’s birthday with a deep appreciation for our unique and diverse citizenry, landscape and history. South Dade is the host of several amazing Fourth of July celebrations and we hope to see you:



Park Improvements Public Meeting

We invite you to participate in a discussion on the future improvements to Charles Burr Park and Medsouth Park.  Please join us on Thursday, July 6, 6-8 p.m., at the Caribbean K-8 Center (cafeteria).

Parks Invitation post card

Calling all Animal Advocates  

I need your help in moving two important legislative changes forward.  I am asking for your participation in a web conference to review both and provide feedback. I also ask for your engagement in getting these passed!

I am proposing a major re-write of the County’s unenforceable “puppy mill” law.  I am also proposing “tools” to improve communication among the State’s Attorney, Animal Services Department, and our rescue partners to prevent animal abusers from adopting from our shelters.

Please join us on Thursday, July 13 at 9 a.m. for the webinar meeting by following the link or calling (415) 655-0001, access code 732-953-462#.  I’m eager to see how, with your help, we can make Miami-Dade a more humane and happy place for all of our pets.




Miami-Dade Age-Friendly Initiative

The Miami-Dade Age-Friendly Initiative is conducting a survey of residents age 50 and over to understand the community's views on what we will need as we age in order to make Miami-Dade a great place to live, work, and play for residents of all ages. Responses will be shared with residents, partners, stakeholders, and community leaders, and will help inform an update to our Age-Friendly Action Plan. Please participate by taking the survey, which is available online in both English and Spanish, until July 20. Paper surveys may also be requested through the link.


Civic Incite is a 2017 Knight Cities Challenge Winner

Leveraging civic technology to improve government services and community is important to me, and that is why I am proud to be participating in Civic Incite, a collaboration of innovators that aim to make it easier for all Miami-Dade residents to track and participate in local government meetings that matter to them and their families. With over 100 municipal governments in South Florida, the project’s goal is to provide an easy-to-use roadmap of the issues you care about most. Civic Incite will build an online platform, called CivicPro, that tracks public meetings and legislation across cities and the county.

The Knight Cities Challenge project is a collaboration between Civic Incite, Catalyst Miami, CUTGroup Miami, and my office. Led by former Miami assistant city attorney, Matt Haber, and policy analyst, Jorge Damian de la Paz. Civic Incite will also work with the civic technology company, DataMade, to develop the software. DataMade has successfully created legislative tracking platforms in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York.

Keep Up with District 8

Improving Public Transit

A new Park & Ride lot opened in West Kendall. The lot, located at the corner of SW 127th Avenue and Kendall Drive (SW 88th Street), connects riders from West Kendall to the Dadeland North Metrorail Station via bus routes 288 (Kendall Cruiser) and 288A. The new facility has over 160 parking spaces, including designated parking for vehicles with baby stroller permits and six spaces for riders with disabilities. The opening of this facility goes along with other improvements made to the Kendall Cruiser service.

In addition, bus routes were adjusted to improve their express service reliability. Route 34A Express trips now operate non-stop between SW 112th Avenue Station and Dadeland South Station. Route 34B Express was realigned to serve the SW 112th Avenue Station in both directions. Route improvements, along with securing new and more efficient buses, are the result of our ongoing work with the South Dade cities to boost use of the Transitway. In a time of declining ridership, we saw a remarkable 30% increase in usage since the improvements were made.


Cutler Bay Parks Get New Playground Equipment

The playgrounds at Cutler Ridge and Whispering Pines Parks have received a beautiful makeover just in time for summer. Children of all ages and abilities can now enjoy brand new playground equipment while protected from the sun under an oversized shade structure. The sand has been replaced with artificial turf that is anti-bacterial and anti-microbial for an added layer of protection from germs and bacteria. Similar improvement projects are underway in additional parks throughout District 8. Stay tuned and please send us your ideas on how to improve parks near you by emailing us: [email protected].



Welcome New District 8 Staff and Interns

New to our District 8 Team are Mia DeVane, Public Affairs Director, as well as three summer interns: Mark Merwitzer, Sophia Paredes, and Remahlia Mary Kormalos. Welcome!


#SouthDade Profile:


Every month, our newsletter features an individual or organization in South Dade working to improve our community. This month, we are proud to feature attorney and advocate David Bercuson, my appointee to the Miami-Dade Film and Entertainment Advisory Board.

Mr. Bercuson is considered a top leader in the ever-changing and challenging music and entertainment industry. “You have to keep pace with the industry, understand the legal issues in today’s marketplace, educate clients and be an effective advocate,” said Bercuson who represents many of Miami’s favorites including Flo Rida, Gloria Estefan, Julio Iglesias, and KC and the Sunshine Band. Mr. Bercuson is known as a tenacious advocate for his clients, is experienced in domestic and foreign music licensing and obtaining recording or publishing deals for artists. He is an advocate for artists who have disputes with companies and regularly negotiates to obtain the best possible contracts for the next stage of their careers to assist them in achieving their goals.

Congratulations Mr. Bercuson on the well-deserved recognition of your important contributions to artists and entertainers as featured in the June issue of the South Florida Legal Guide. Read the full article here.

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?

The South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center Presents Air National Guard Band of the South

Celebrate the Fourth of July early at this free patriotic performance on Saturday, July 1st at 7:00 p.m.  Bring the family for an evening of music by the Air National Guard Band of the South which supports the Air Force and Air National Guard mission in war and peace by inspiring patriotism and fostering a deep appreciation of the rich history and legacy of the Air Force. See more details here.


Hurricane Season is Here  

Be prepared this hurricane season. Plan ahead, learn how to protect your home and keep your family safe with the help of Miami-Dade County's hurricane guide, tips and alerts. Take charge of your safety by making a hurricane plan ahead of time and stocking up on vital supplies. Follow the link for more helpful information.


Consumer Protection Support Available

Have a complaint against a business? The Office of Consumer Protection enforces consumer protection laws under Miami-Dade County’s Uniform Trade Standards and Deceptive Trade Practices Ordinance, as well as regulates and enforces laws relating to specific industries.

Our Consumer Mediation Center investigates a variety of consumer complaints, mediates disputes between consumers and businesses, and educates consumers and businesses about their rights and responsibilities in order to maintain a vibrant local marketplace.

An experienced and motivated staff of State-certified mediators and enforcement officers assist members of the public on a daily basis with a variety of inquiries and complaints. For more information, call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 786-469-2333 or visit the website.




Delivering Excellence Every Day