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District 12 Newsletter
Commissioner Jose District 12 E-Newsletter

Dear residents,

As a result of the recent recall election, Miami-Dade commissioners are in the process of setting a special election to fill the vacant mayoral and District 13 commission seats, as well as reform the Miami-Dade Charter. Should you have any questions about these events, please feel free to contact my office at 305-599-1200 or visit our main website for more information.


Commissioner Jose 'Pepe' Diaz
District 12

March 2011
Spring is here! Join the fun at District 12's FREE Spring Festival on April 9

With economic difficulties still affecting many local families, Commissioner Diaz wants to make sure residents can enjoy quality family time at his District 12 Spring Festival on Saturday, April 9 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will have FREE food, FREE games, an Egg Hunt for kids, bounce houses, water slide and much more! The event will take place at North Trail Park, 780 NW 127th Avenue, in Miami. Thanks to the sponsorship of many local organizations, this year’s Spring Festival is sure to be a hit!

Commissioner Diaz calls for stricter imprisonment terms to protect law enforcement from assault by felons

At the County Commission meeting on March 1, the Board approved two legislation items sponsored by Commissioner Diaz asking the Florida Legislature to impose tougher imprisonment terms to protect our law enforcement officials. Commissioner Diaz pushed for both items following the tragic deaths of Miami-Dade County Police officers Roger Castillo and Amanda Haworth in January 2011. It was reported the convicted felon who killed the officers was a career criminal with a police record starting from 14 years of age. Records show he had been arrested 11 times for burglary, auto theft and armed robberies, one with a pistol and the second with a rifle.

Currently, Florida law states that a felon in possession of a firearm be charged with a second degree felony not exceeding 15 years imprisonment, but there is no mandatory minimum term that a convicted felon must serve. Commissioner Diaz is asking the Florida Legislature to amend the State law to require a minimum sentence will ensure that convicted felons possessing firearms would stay in prison for a minimum of 5 years. The other legislation sponsored by Commissioner Diaz urges the Florida legislature to impose a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years imprisonment when a law enforcement official is the victim of aggravated assault or aggravated battery with a firearm. More>>

Commissioner Diaz honors students from Jose Marti Middle School

During the March 8th Public Safety and Healthcare Administration Committee meeting chaired by Commissioner Diaz, the commissioner had a very special group in the audience.  About 30 students from Jose Marti Middle School, which is in Commissioner Diaz’s district, were presented with a certificate of appreciation and encouraged to keep up the great work in the Silver Knight Advanced Academy.

Eighth graders enrolled in the Silver Knight Advanced Academy study advanced courses that provide the students with a rigorous curriculum. The students in the Silver Knight Advanced Academy have an opportunity to participate in educational and career field trips, giving them a hands-on experience. The students also received a goody bag filled with pens, pencils and dictionaries from Commissioner Diaz.

Commissioner Diaz attends Autism Speaks Walk

On February 27, Commissioner Diaz welcomed more than 20,000 people to his district for the “Miami Walk Now for Autism” event at the J.C. Bermudez Park in Doral. The walk raised $685,000, which will support Autism Speaks’ local and national campaigns to increase awareness about autism. Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder and affects 1 in every 110 children, including 1 in every 70 boys, making this disorder the fastest-growing serious development disability in the country.

Commissioner Diaz, who knows many families that have been affected by this disorder, also sponsored legislation in 2009 declaring the month of April as “Autism Awareness Month” in Miami-Dade County. Throughout the month of April, Commissioner Diaz invites everyone to celebrate Autism Awareness month by attending the autism display featured in the Stephen P. Clark Center’s lobby.  More>>

Commissioner Diaz welcomes two students from District 12 to Miami-Dade County's First Youth Commission
The County Commission welcomed Miami-Dade’s first Youth Commission on March 15. District 12 students Alejandro Moreno from Ronald W. Reagan/Doral Senior High School and Peter Ramon from Belen Jesuit Preparatory School took an oath to be more involved with County government issues.  Commissioner Diaz was thrilled to meet these bright young men and learn their perspective on teen issues in the community. Both Alejandro and Peter will meet on a quarterly basis with Commissioner Diaz to advise him on matters and programs affecting the youth. The Miami-Dade Juvenile Services Department, under the umbrella of the County's Violence Intervention Project (VIP), has also been behind the initiative's implementation. Congratulations to Alejandro Moreno and Peter Ramon!
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:

  • As part of the County’s “Save Our Seniors” initiative, many seniors with Florida Homestead Senior Exemption started receiving their $100 check in the mail in November, but many called the commissioner’s office wondering why they hadn’t received the payment. After some research, Commissioner Diaz’s staff discovered many of callers did not have the Senior Exemption, but staff printed the application and mailed it to them. The commissioner’s staff also followed up with calls to make sure they received the application and understood what they needed to submit for them to receive the Florida Homestead Senior Exemption. 
Commissioner Diaz's Fourth 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 public university in the State of Florida. The winner has to attend a high school within District 12. The deadline for applications is April 20, 2011 at  5 p.m. and up to six scholarships will be awarded. To download an application, visit the Commissioner’s website at www.miamidade.gov/district12. Any questions, please contact Andy Dielingen at 305-599-1200

Animal Services temporarily suspends selected services due to infectious disease problem Adobe Acrobat Logo

Animal Services is temporarily suspending selected services due to an infectious disease problem among dogs and puppies.  The impact and control of infectious diseases is a challenge for every open admission shelter.  Many dogs and puppies are not vaccinated prior to entering shelters and are incubating viruses, such as Parvo and Distemper. 

In Fiscal Year 2009-2010, 36,000 animals were abandoned at Animal Services, creating overcrowding and stressful conditions for the shelter pets, which leads to the spread of infectious diseases.  Distemper, in particular, has become endemic in the shelter and all dogs and puppies are ill or considered exposed and at risk.  After a thorough collaboration with the University of Florida’s Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program veterinary experts in infectious disease and the ASPCA, and in an effort to decrease the pathogen load in the shelter, some services will be temporarily suspended for no more than two weeks, effective immediately. More>>

Commissioner Diaz sponsors free spay/neuter services for feral and free roaming cats

Miami-Dade residents are invited to take part in an effort to reduce the stray cat population. Commissioner Jose 'Pepe' Diaz is sponsoring free spay and neuter services for feral and free roaming cats on Sunday, April 17, 2011at the Jorge Mas Canosa Youth Center, 250 SW 114 Avenue, in Sweetwater. Animal Services staff will be performing surgeries throughout the day.

Please call 305-805-1603 to make an appointment. Check-in for appointments begins at 7 a.m. Animal Services will also be accepting walk-ins during the day. All cats will be vaccinated against rabies, sterilized, dewormed and ear tipped. Veterinarians may decline surgery due to health reasons.

SR 836/Dolphin Expressway closures

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.

Construction projects in District 12
  • 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 is anticipated to begin 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 also 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

Miami-Dade residents can now get help paying Miami-Dade Blue insurance premiums. Up to 400 Miami-Dade residents can get help paying their Miami-Dade Blue premiums. Residents who meet certain income requirements may qualify for the Miami-Dade Health Insurance Utilization Program (MDHIUP) which provides assistance with a portion of the monthly premiums households pay for Miami-Dade Blue. For more information about the Miami-Dade Health Insurance Utilization Program, visit a federally qualified health center, www.miamidade.gov/ochp or call 3-1-1.

Need assistance paying your utility bills?

The Miami-Dade Community Action Agency’s (CAA) Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is currently assisting eligible residents with payment of their gas or electric bills.  The program assists individuals who are experiencing an increase in their energy bill due to the weather as well as individuals with final notices or those who have had their services disconnected.  Applications for LIHEAP are available Monday through Friday at CAA Service Centers like the Hialeah Service Center, 300 E. First Avenue, or the Sweetwater Service Center, 250 SW 114 Avenue. For a complete list of all the CAA Service Centers or to download the application, please visit the County’s website at www.miamidade.gov/caa/liheap.asp  or contact the Miami-Dade Community Action Agency at 786-469-4600.

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: 11a.m. - 3 p.m.  
Location: North Trail Park, 780 NW 127th Avenue

April 17, 2011
Free spay and neuter services offered by Animal Services for feral and free roaming cats. Please call 305-805-1603 to make an appointment.
Time: Check-in starts at 7 a.m.
Location: Jorge Mas Canosa Youth Center, 250 SW 114 Avenue

May 21, 2011
It's Annual Armed Forces Appreciation Day! Come out and show your appreciation for our troops by celebrating with a full evening of racing and excitement at Countyline Dragway. Contact Raymond Bush at 305-599-1200 or bushg@miamidade.gov for more information.
Time: 5:30 p.m. - Midnight
Location: Countyline Dragway, 19999 Okeechobee Road

Contact us

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

District Office
8345 NW 12th Street
Miami, FL 33126


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