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District 12 Newsletter
Commissioner Jose District 12 E-Newsletter

Dear residents,

Thank you for subscribing to the District 12 e-newsletter! As always, this monthly publication will inform you of the latest programs, events, and opportunities taking place in District 12 and Miami-Dade County. Make sure you remain subscribed to keep in touch, or visit my website any time for updates.

Sincerely,

Commissioner Jose 'Pepe' Diaz
District 12

February 2011
Proposal for tax relief for seniors being discussed in Tallahassee

Last October, Commissioner Diaz presented a resolution urging the Florida Legislature to amend the State constitution to provide a local option to prohibit total increases to property tax bills of homestead property of low- and middle-income senior citizens whose annual income does not exceed $50,000. Currently, this resolution is being sponsored in the Senate by Senator Miguel de la Portilla and in the House by Representative Jeanette Nunez.

The joint resolution is moving through committees, but the commissioner is encouraging all residents to call their state representatives and ask them to support this joint resolution which will benefit senior citizens. A final decision will come in May and, if it passes, it will go on a ballot for voters.

Commissioner Diaz urges Congress to pass the free trade agreement with Colombia, Panama and South Korea

At the February 15th County Commission meeting, Commissioner Diaz's colleagues supported his resolution urging Congress to approve the free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. Commissioner Diaz, who served as the Chairman of the Miami-Dade agency in charge of promoting trade and currently serves on the Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee on Trade (IGPAC), understands the crucial role the passage of the free trade agreements have on Miami-Dade County. Not only will the County benefit economically, it will enhance trade with these important allies.

Once the free trade agreements are approved, they would eliminate most tariffs on U.S. exports immediately and phase out the remaining ones over a defined time frame, as well as provide better access for U.S. providers of services. While all free trade agreements were approved in 2007, they have yet to be passed in Congress. Commissioner Diaz is optimistic that Congress will pass it by this year.

Commissioner Diaz serves as keynote speaker at Chief Executive Officers Club, Inc. event

On February 11, Commissioner Diaz served as the keynote speaker at the launch of CEO Clubs Miami at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa. Commissioner Diaz spoke to CEOs of companies looking to expand their business in Miami-Dade County, explaining what the County is doing to help businesses like them. The commissioner spoke about the importance of the passage of the free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea and its benefits to local businesses.

The commissioner also elaborated on the importance of the Port of Miami's Deep Dredge Project and how it will solidify Miami's role as the 'Gateway of the Americas.' The Chief Executive Officers Club, Inc. is a 33-year-old non-profit organization that creates an environment for CEOs dedicated to improve the quality of their enterprises through shared experience and personal growth.

Switchboard of Miami honors Commissioner Diaz

The Switchboard of Miami, a lifeline to Miami-Dade residents in need, honored Commissioner Jose 'Pepe' Diaz at its largest fundraiser of the year on February 4 at Jungle Island. The annual 'Super Fiesta' collects donations to support the Switchboard's comprehensive telephone crisis counseling, suicide prevention efforts, and information and referral services. More>>

WWE to lay the "smackdown" on Miami-Dade County

On February 9, Commissioner Diaz joined the Miami-Dade Sports Commission, the Miami Dolphins, and the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau to announce that Sun Life Stadium will host the WWE's WrestleMania XXVIII, a week-long extravaganza featuring some of wrestling's biggest stars. More>>

2,000 residents join Tribute to the Military Run/Walk

Commissioner Diaz honored our troops at the 9th Annual Tribute to the Military 5K Run/Walk on Sunday, February 6. Almost 1,000 participants lined up at Coral Gables City Hall for the start of the event, with proceeds supporting numerous military organizations throughout Miami. Another thousand took part in the 'after run' party. More>>

Dan Marino's First Autism Walk

As an advocate for autism awareness, Commissioner Diaz joined thousand of supporters and football great Dan Marino at the First Annual Dan Marino Foundation Walkabout Autism event at Sun Life Stadium on January 29. More than 5,000 people were present and over $400,000 was raised to benefit the UM/NSU Center for Autism & Related Disabilities, FAU Center for Autism & Related Disabilities, the Autism Society of Broward and the Autism Society of Miami.

Commissioner Diaz also presented the Dan Marino Foundation with a proclamation naming January 29 as 'Dan Marino Foundation Day' in Miami-Dade County. About two years ago, Commissioner Diaz sponsored legislation declaring April as Autism Awareness Month in Miami-Dade County. Commissioner Diaz wants to bring more awareness to this neuro-developmental disorder that appears in children as early as 6 months and effects 1 in 110 children in the United States.

FIU's football team honored for winning "Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Championship"

Commissioner Diaz had the honor of presenting Florida International University's Head coach Mario Cristobal and the FIU's 2010 Golden Panthers Football Team with a proclamation on January 28 at the Hot-n-Ready Panther Party held at the University's Graham Center Ballroom to celebrate FIU's Sun Belt and Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl Championship. Commissioner Diaz proclaimed January 28 as 'FIU Golden Panthers Football Team Day' in Miami-Dade County. The FIU team was also honored by cities like the City of Sweetwater, City of Hialeah, City of North Miami Beach and the City of Aventura. About 2,000 students were present and everyone was treated to free pizza provide by Little Caesars Pizza. 

Commissioner Diaz presents proclamation to the Homestead Rodeo Association

Commissioner Diaz put on his cowboy boots and cowboy hat for a day at the 62 Annual Homestead Professional Rodeo that took place on January 30 at the Harris Field in Homestead. The event was dedicated to the soldiers in the United States Armed Forces and the Homestead Rodeo Association also made a donation to the Armed Forces Service Center at Miami International Airport where many of our military personnel enjoy some quiet time, along with free snacks and refreshments as they wait for their flight. Commissioner Diaz was joined by his colleague Commissioner Lynda Bell as they presented the Homestead Rodeo Association with a proclamation from Miami-Dade County.

Thousands attend 2011 ING Miami Marathon

On January 30, Commissioner Diaz was up at 4 a.m. to join the 20,000 runners partaking in the 8th annual ING Miami Marathon and Half Marathon. The commissioner welcomed the runners to Miami-Dade County and cheered them on to the finish line, including County employees who participated, and even his doctor. The commissioner also took part in a press conference that was held on January 29 at the Miami Beach Convention Center, where the Nissan Health and Fitness Expo was taking place before the big race on Sunday morning.

District 12 Mom and Pop Program closed for 2011

District 12's Mom and Pop Small Business Grant Program has closed. More than 145 businesses applied  and took part in the mandatory meeting that took place on January 27 at the Jorge Mas Canosa Center in the City of Sweetwater. A selection committee will make their final decisions to award up to $2,500 to businesses in District 12. The process will take about two months and the grant winners will be notified by a letter in the mail.
The Mom and Pop program is designed to assist small businesses in each district financially. For those interested in the 2012 Mom and Pop grant, please be sure to check Commissioner Diaz's website or stay subscribed to the commissioner's e-newsletter, which will have information on when the 2012 Mom and Pop grant will be available.

Constituents First

On a daily basis, constituents either walk into the commissioner's office or call to ask for his help regarding a variety of issues: filling out forms, getting a drainage system on private property cleaned, requesting recycling bins, guidance regarding their property in foreclosure, and more complex issues that usually require our office to do extensive research and work with other County offices to solve problems like the following:

  • District 12 resident, Mrs. Abreu was not happy about the high grass and loose fencing on 107th Avenue along State Road 836, where there's a wall. Commissioner Diaz's staff went to investigate and took some pictures. The Office of Commissioner Diaz contacted the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority who is responsible for that area. After speaking to MDX, the grass was trimmed and the loose fence was fixed.  The commissioner's office notified Mrs. Abreu, who was pleased and thanked the commissioner for resolving the issue.
Senior citizen exemption renewal due March 1

Property Appraiser Pedro J. Garcia has announced that Miami-Dade County homeowners who currently benefit from the additional Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption can now renew online. Florida's Senior Citizen Exemption provides a reduction in taxable value up to $50,000 for homeowners over 65 years old, who have a homestead exemption and meet the State defined Adjusted Gross Income limit as determined annually by the Florida Department of Revenue. The deadline to file renewal applications is March 1, 2011More>>

Marlins Stadium jobs Adobe Acrobat Logo

Pursuant to Miami-Dade County Resolution  No. 1395-05, successful bidders on County construction projects are required to post job opportunities with the Job Clearinghouse administered by the Department of Small Business Development. Check out the latest job openings submitted for the Marlins Baseball Stadium Project.    

4th Annual College Scholarship Adobe Acrobat Logo

If you have a child attending a high school within District 12, your child could compete for a $1,000 scholarship to any four-year college or university in Florida. The winner has to attend a high school within District 12. The deadline for applications is April 20, 2011 at 5 p.m. Up to six scholarships will be awarded. To download an application, visit the Commissioner's website. For any questions, please contact Andy Dielingen Nicole at 305-599-1200.

Summer jobs available at Parks

The Miami-Dade Park & Recreation Department is issuing its annual call for seasonal job applicants to fill the summer staffing needs of its summer programming and activities, traditionally the busiest time of year when families and kids on summer vacation frequent Miami-Dade County's parks for its summer camps, pools and beaches.  Applications will only be accepted February 21-March 18 for a variety of summer jobs at Miami-Dade Parks, including pool managers, lifeguards, park service aides, and recreation leaders. To apply, applicants must apply via the Miami-Dade County Online Employment Application site at www.miamidade.gov/jobs and must also contact the Miami-Dade Park where you wish to work.  For a list of parks, phone numbers and addresses, please visit our web site at www.miamidade.gov/parks.

World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship

County employees who are active military or veterans are invited to see the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship from March 8-13 in Doral.

The event is free for active duty/retired and Reserve military and $15 for veterans. A hospitality tent will be set up throughout the event.  

Construction alerts
  • On November 30, 2009, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District Six in partnership with the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) began a reconstruction project of the State Road (S.R.) 826 (Palmetto Expressway) and S.R. 836 (Dolphin Expressway) Interchange. Now that construction has begun, there will be many upcoming lane and ramp closures on the Dolphin Expressway. For more information about construction-related activities, please contact Oscar Gonzalez at 786-280-0983 or via e-mail at ogonzalez@mrgmiami.com. General information can be found at www.826-836.com. Motorists are encouraged to call 511 before they drive, or log on to www.fl511.com for real-time traffic and lane closure information.
  • The Florida Department of Transportation will be conducting a landscaping project along SR 826/Palmetto Expressway from the FEC Railroad Track to West 42nd Street. The scope of work will include planting of native trees, palms shrubs, and ground cover on the existing grade along grass areas of the interchange and along the shoulders adjacent to the entrance and exit ramps. The project began November 2010 and is expected to last approximately 240 days.
  • The Florida Department of Transportation is also developing a project which will construct a new sidewalk along SR 948/NW 36th Street from NW 79th Avenue to NW 74th Avenue. The project will provide a safe pedestrian path along NW 36th Street through the Palmetto Expressway Interchange. The new sidewalk will connect the existing sidewalk on the north and south side of NW 36th Street. It will also provide a median through the interchange. The project includes pedestrian signals, guardrails on both sides of the median, replacement of bridge railing, pedestrian crossing warning signs, new pavement markings and pedestrian ramps. This project is anticipated to begin June 2011 and last approximately 200 days.
  • The Florida Department of Transportation is working on a landscaping project along 836/Palmetto Expressway from NW 62nd Street to 81 Street. The project will improve the appearance of the roadway by enhancing the canopy along 826 by planting trees, palms and shrubs on the roadside and ramps. This project will start August 2011 and will last approximately 200 days.
  • Other projects include the construction of a traffic signal at NW 97th Avenue and NW 17th Street, which will start in January 2011, and another at NW 12th Street and 124th Path to start in early to mid 2011.
Affordable health care within reach Adobe Acrobat Logo

Miami-Dade residents can now get help paying Miami-Dade Blue insurance premiums. Residents who meet certain income requirements may qualify for the Miami-Dade Health Insurance Assistance Program, which provides assistance with a portion of the monthly premiums households pay for Miami-Dade Blue. For more information, visit a federally qualified health center, www.miamidade.gov/ochp or call 3-1-1.

Upcoming events

April 9, 2011 - Commissioner Diaz's annual 'District 12 Spring Festival'
Join Commissioner Diaz for this free event for children and families. Families will be treated to FREE FOOD, games, a bounce house and water slide. There will also be an egg hunt for children. For more information on this free event, please call the commissioner's office at 305-599-1200
Time: 11 a.m. -  3 p.m.   
Location: North Trail Park, 780 NW 127th Avenue

Contact us

Downtown Office
Stephen P. Clark Center
111 NW First Street, Suite 320
Miami, FL 33128
305-375-4343

District Office
8345 NW 12th Street
Miami, FL 33126
305-599-1200 

District12@miamidade.gov

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