If you are having trouble viewing this email, please click here.
District 12 Newsletter
Commissioner Jose District 12 e-Newsletter

On May 24, residents will be able to cast their vote during a special election that will include proposed amendments to the Miami-Dade Home Rule Charter and candidates to fill seats open for Commission Districts 7 and 13, as well as Miami-Dade Mayor.

I urge residents to visit our Elections website to view the sample ballot and ensure that their voter registration is up to date. Make your voice heard!

Sincerely,

Commissioner Jose 'Pepe' Diaz

April 2011
Commissioner Diaz urges Congress to oppose cultural and commercial exchange between Cuba and U.S. Adobe Acrobat Logo

At the March 15 Board of County Commissioners meeting, Commissioner Diaz sponsored a resolution urging Congress to pass legislation opposing cultural and commercial exchange between Cuba and the United States until the Cuban government ceases its human rights violations and denial of basic freedoms to its citizens.  Commissioner Diaz, a Cuban-American, feels that while President Obama has made drastic changes regarding the regulations and policies governing, purposeful travel, non-family remittances and U.S. airports supporting licensed charter flights to and from Cuba,  the Cuban government has yet to improve the way they treat its people. According to Commissioner Diaz, until the Cuban government starts to allow its residents to exercise their basic freedoms and human rights, the U.S. should not have cultural and commercial exchanges with Cuba. A copy of the commissioner's resolution was sent to the U.S. Congress, U.S. Senators Nelson and Rubio, and members of the Miami-Dade Congressional Delegation.

Residents attend town hall meetings to discuss Charter amendments

On March 31, Commissioner Diaz hosted the first Charter reform town hall meeting at the Fire Tower in Doral to allow residents to voice their opinions and provide input regarding reforming the Miami-Dade Charter. His first town hall meeting was so successful, other commission offices followed suit. Commissioner Diaz hosted another town hall meeting with Chairman Joe A. Martinez at the Jorge Mas Canosa Youth Center in the City of Sweetwater on April 27. Residents attended and discussed the six proposed Charter questions that will be on the ballot for the May 24th special election. Many residents had different views regarding term limits, but most agreed they wanted to keep the strong mayor form of government. At both meetings, the commissioner's office also handed out informational packages and a summary of what each of the six proposed Charter questions meant. More>>

Join Commissioner Diaz for "Armed Forces Appreciation Day"

As the military liaison for Miami-Dade County, Commissioner Diaz, along with Countyline Dragway, is sponsoring the 'Armed Forces Appreciation Day' scheduled for Saturday, May 21, 2011. Entry and food will be free for active and veteran military members and their families. Countyline Dragway is located at 19999 Okeechobee Road.

Everyone had a blast at District 12's free Spring Festival

More than 1,000 residents joined the commissioner at the annual District 12 Spring Festival on April 9 at North Trail Park. Families had a great time and were able to enjoy free hot dogs and hamburgers, Valentini ice cream, and plenty of Pepsi and water to drink. Most of all, kids loved the free Easter Egg hunt and even got some help searching for eggs from Commissioner Diaz himself! Some children had their faces painted and enjoyed Battlefield Live laser tag. The District 12 Spring Festival was made possible through the sponsorships of AMB Property Corporation, Fuentes Consulting Group/National Health Transport Services, Inc., Flagler Development, Florida Power & Light, and Waste Management. Goods and services for the event were donated by Comcast, Pepsi, Pop Chips, Merenguitos, Valentini Ice Creams and Crystal Springs Water. More>>

April is Autism Awareness Month in Miami-Dade County

On April 4, Commissioner Diaz was joined by his colleagues in the lobby of the Stephen P. Clark Center to promote Autism Awareness Month in Miami-Dade. 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 developmental disability in the United States. Commissioner Diaz sponsored legislation back in 2009, declaring the month of April as 'Autism Awareness Month' in Miami-Dade County. A special Autism Awareness display was featured in the building's lobby for the entire month. For more information on autism, please visit Autism Speaks at www.autismspeaks.orgMore>>

Commissioner Diaz opens 137th Avenue Extension

Commissioner Diaz was joined by Flagler's Executive Vice President and South Florida Market Officer Eric D. Swanson on April 5 for the grand opening of the NW 137th Avenue Extension, also known as Beacon Lakes Boulevard, located in District 12. The roadway connects the Dolphin Expressway/836 extension to the Beacon Lakes Business Park and will provide a much needed North and South route to help traffic congestion from the northwestern areas and Doral's business district. The new roadway was made possible through a public-private collaboration among Flagler, Beacon Lakes Community Development District, CEMEX, and Miami-Dade County. More>>

Commissioner Diaz rides to benefit Kristi House

On March 27, Commissioner Diaz joined more than 200 bikers in the 'Ride to the End' event that benefited Kristi House. Kristi House was able to raise over $10,000 to increase awareness to fight childhood sexual abuse. The event kicked off from Peterson's Harley North and South store locations and ended at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Actor and singer Carlos Ponce served as the event's Grand Marshal.

Kristi House provides a healing environment for all child victims of sexual abuse and their families, regardless of income, through prevention, treatment and coordination of services with community partners. Kristi House is dedicated to ending the epidemic of child abuse in Miami-Dade County by healing those who have been victims and breaking the cycle of abuse for future generations.

Commissioner Diaz speaks at Brazilian Marketing Annex BMA/Doral Chamber of Commerce Breakfast

Commissioner Diaz served as the keynote speaker at the Brazilian Marketing Annex BMA/Doral Chamber of Commerce breakfast on April 12 at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Doral. Commissioner Diaz spoke to a group of Brazilian business owners about the importance Brazilian and other international trade plays in our local economy. The commissioner also spoke about the County's Targeted Jobs Incentives Fund program which is available to companies outside of the county,  companies wishing to relocate to Miami-Dade County, or existing Miami-Dade companies that undertake a business expansion to create new jobs. 

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

In an effort to control the pet population in Miami-Dade County, Commissioner Diaz sponsored free spay/neuter services for feral and free roaming cats on April 17 at the Jorge Mas Canosa Youth Center. All cats were vaccinated against rabies, sterilized, dewormed and ear tipped. The Miami-Dade Animal Service Department sterilized 86 cats that day. According to Miami-Dade Animal Services, one un-spayed female cat and her offspring can produce 11,606,077 cats in nine years.

Low cost spay and neuter services offered to residents

Animal Services is excited to announce additional donor-subsidized surgery days for Miami-Dade County residents. ASD will offer spay/neuter services every Monday and Tuesday for dogs for a $25 co-pay, and spay/neuter surgeries for cats every Thursday and Friday for a $15 owner co-pay at the Animal Services shelter, located at 7401 NW 74th Street, Miami, FL 33166. Check-in begins at 7:30 a.m. This is on a first come, first served basis. For more information, please visit www.miamidade.gov/animals or call 3-1-1.

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.

Florida Department of Transportation Projects

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.

Upcoming District 12 Projects

Other projects include the construction of a traffic signal at NW 97th Avenue and NW 17th Street, which started in February 2011, and another at NW 12th Street and 124th Path which started April 2011. Both traffic signals are expected to be operational in 90 days.

Intersection of 138 Street and NW 113 Avenue to be closed
The Miami-Dade County Public Works Department will be closing he intersection of NW 138 Street and NW 113 Avenue the weekend of April 30th through May 1st to perform drainage work for the subject project.  This area is an industrial area and Public Works will be working during the weekend to minimize the traffic impact.

Tamiami Canal Park
In two weeks, the Tamiami Canal Park project will also get started and will take up to three months to be completed. Tamiami Canal Park  is located between Tamiami Canal on the south and SW 7th Street on the north side. Its length stretches from SW 122 Avenue to SW 119 Avenue. This project will provide for new drainage improvements, a 10-foot asphalt  walkway, connections to existing neighborhood sidewalks,  landscape screening shrubs, fencing and site furniture. When completed, this project will provide the surrounding neighborhood a nice ADA accessible walking path with benches along the way to sit and enjoy the views.

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.

Make your home Weather Wise! Adobe Acrobat Logo
Miami-Dade's Community Action Agency (CAA) is offering qualified homeowners the opportunity to participate in its Weatherization Assistance Program. Applicants may be eligible to receive free weatherization services that will make their homes more energy efficient and reduce energy costs. For more information, contact the CAA at 786-469-4600 or visit its website.
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 CAA's website or contact them at 786-469-4600.

Upcoming events

May 21, 2011

It's annual Armed Forced 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 (100 yeard north of the intersection of Krome and Okeechobee)

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

You are receiving this e-mail from the Office of Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz. If you no longer wish to receive these updates, please respond to this e-mail with the word "Remove" in the subject line.

Delivering Excellence Every Day