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District 12 Newsletter
Commissioner Jose District 12 e-Newsletter

Dear residents,

September is budget time in Miami-Dade County. I'd like to remind you that you are free to speak your mind in person at either of our two public hearings on September 8 and 22. These hearings will take place at Government Center in Downtown Miami, 111 NW 1st Street, on the second floor. While the meetings begin at 5:01 p.m., I encourage you to come early if you plan to speak so you can fill out a speaker card.

If you can't attend the public hearings in person, they will be televised on Miami-Dade TV (check with your cable service provider for channel) and online at www.miamidade.gov. Please feel free to contact my office should you have feedback on the Mayor's proposed budget. A copy of the proposed budget is available online at www.miamidade.gov/budget.


Commissioner Jose 'Pepe' Diaz
District 12

August 2011
Commissioner Diaz holds redistricting meeting for District 12 residents

On August 15, Commissioner Diaz hosted a redistricting meeting for his residents at the City of Virginia Gardens City Hall to inform them about potential boundary changes of future commission districts and to answer their questions. The redistricting issue is a result of the 2010 Census data and the double-digit population growth in at least eight Miami-Dade County Commission districts, which includes District 12 with the population growing 17.2 percent. Due to the 2010 Census, Miami-Dade County is holding several meetings on this matter to comply with Federal, State and local requirements. For more information redistricting, please visit www.miamidade.gov/redistricting.

District 12 gets ready to head back to school

At his annual back-to-school event, Commissioner Diaz was joined by Billy the Marlin in handing out over 200 free book bags filled with school supplies that included paper, folders, binders, erasers, pens and pencils. The event took place on August 16 at the commissioner's district office, where children and their parents enjoyed taking pictures with Billy the Marlin and Marlin Mermaids. The children also enjoyed snacks and drinks. The event was sponsored by the Marlins, the Miami Dolphins, Walmart, Philly Steak Sub Shop, Wholesome Foods and Panera Bread. More>>

Children receive free immunizations before start of school

Commissioner Diaz partnered with Miami-Dade County Health Department to offer free back-to-school immunizations for children ages 2 months to 18 years old. On August 18, more than 50 parents took advantage of this free event. The commissioner was happy that so many parents took advantage of this free event due to a recent news report on the alarming number of kindergarten children in Miami-Dade who are behind on their vaccinations. This free event took place at the Fire Fighters Memorial Building in the City of Doral. More>>

Commissioner Diaz speaks at "Yellow Ribbon Event" for soldiers and their families

As Miami-Dade's military liaison, Commissioner Diaz spoke to soldiers and their families at the 'Yellow Ribbon Event' for the 841st Engineer Battalion on July 30. The 140 soldiers that attended this event are currently in the pre-deployment phase and will be mobilized to Afghanistan in February 2012. The 'Yellow Ribbon Program' is a Department of Defense (DoD) wide effort that helps National Guard and Reserve Service members and their families connect with local resources before, during, and after deployment. This program offers access to soldiers and their families on health care, education/training opportunities, and financial and legal benefits. To learn more about this program, please visit www.yellowribbon.mil.

Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez honored at retirement event

On August 20, Commissioner Diaz, who also chairs the Miami-Dade Sports Commission, joined family, friends and fans at the official retirement ceremony of baseball great Orlando 'El Duque' Hernandez. The commissioner presented the former Major League Baseball player with a Key to the County and proclamation naming August 20, 2011 'El Duque Day.' The ceremony took place at the La Ley Sports Complex in Homestead, Florida. Hernandez made his mark in MLB history when he joined the Yankees after his defection from Cuba in 1998. He was a member of four World Series winning teams (1998, 1999 and 2000) with the Yankees and 2005 with the Chicago White Sox. More>> 

Commissioner Diaz welcomes the Vice President of FC Barcelona to Miami-Dade County

Commissioner Diaz honored FC Barcelona Vice President Jordi Cardoner at a special dinner hosted by the FC Barcelona Club of Miami on August 2 at the Intercontinental Hotel in the City of Doral. Mr. Cardoner was in town for the 2011 Herbalife World Football challenge match between FC Barcelona and CD Guadalajara that took place on August 3 at Sun Life Stadium. At the special dinner, Commissioner Diaz presented Mr. Cardoner with the Key to the County. The commissioner also assured Mr. Cardoner that the County is committed to working with FC Barcelona to bring more soccer events to Miami-Dade. The dinner event allowed FC Barcelona fans to mingle and chat with Mr. Cardoner.

Save money on your prescriptions with new discount card

In a joint effort between Miami-Dade and the National Association of Counties (NACo), Miami-Dade County has launched a new prescription discount card program to help residents save money on their medications. The free Miami-Dade County Prescription Discount Card can save you an average of 24% on prescriptions at participating pharmacies. There's no enrollment, no fee, and it's available at numerous County facilities near you. For more information, visit the program website or call 1-877-321-2652.

Grant funds available to property owners with flooding issues

More than 3,500 homeowners in Miami-Dade County filed repetitive flood claims. As a result, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Miami-Dade County have partnered to provide flood-prone homeowners some assistance through a grant provided by FEMA.  The grant allows homeowners to either elevate their homes or relocate. Property owners wishing to apply for the grant must have a current National Flood Insurance Fund (NFIP) policy in effect.  For more information, go to http://www.fema.gov/business/nfip  or send an email to Joy Duperault at joy.duperault@em.myflorida.com.

Miami-Dade Animal Services offers subsidized spay/neuter surgeries for cats

In an effort to help control the pet overpopulation problem and reduce the shelter intake of homeless cats, Miami-Dade Animal Services will offer donor subsidized spay/neuter services for cats for a co-pay of only $15. The service is available every Thursday and Friday (check-in starts at 7:30 a.m.), until September 30, 2011 at the shelter located at 7401 NW 74th Street, Miami, FL 33166.

Requirements: Proof of current rabies vaccination for cats over 4 months of age.  Rabies vaccine can be obtained at Animal Services for $10 (or $3 for qualified low income).  Up to 4 cats per household ages 3 months and older. Cats must be in separate carriers.  No food or water after 9:00 p.m. the night before for cats over 4 months of age.   No appointment necessary.  Veterinarian may decline surgery due to health reasons.  Feral cats accepted and will be ear tipped.  Microchipping is also available for $10. For more information, please visit their website at www.miamidade.gov/animals.

U.S. HUD awards Miami-Dade County Public Housing Agency Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers for US Veterans

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (U.S. HUD) awarded funding to the Miami-Dade Public Housing Agency (MDPHA) to support 50 Section 8 housing vouchers for eligible veterans through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) initiative.  The HUD-VASH program combines Section 8 rental assistance with case management and clinical services for homeless veterans.  Supportive services are provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). HUD-VASH funds may only be used for providing permanent housing for eligible homeless U.S. veterans who are single or with families.  Eligible candidates for the program are expected to participate in case management and utilize the supportive services, treatment recommendations, and assistance needed to successfully maintain recovery and sustain housing in the community. To apply for HUD-VASH Section 8 vouchers, contact your local VA Homeless Program at 305-541-5864.

Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department to host Landscape Irrigation Training Workshop

The Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department (WASD) and the Miami-Dade Cooperative Extension Division are hosting a two-day workshop on Thursday, September 15, 2011 and Friday, September 16, 2011 at the WASD Office, located at 3071 SW 38th Avenue in Miami, Florida. The courses will offer training on basic irrigation principles, operation and maintenance of irrigation systems, water conservation applications, and rules and regulations.

Session A will be held on September 15, and has a registration fee of $100 for members.  This course will offer an introduction to Landscape Irrigation Maintenance in Florida.  In addition, the curriculum will cover basic irrigation components, obtaining site information, underground piping systems, sprinkler performance, control systems, operating and maintenance procedures, irrigation codes and standards, and smart technology.  Session B will be held on September 16, and has a cost of $50 for members. This class will focus on technology and practices for water conservation in landscape irrigation.  Session C has a cost of $50 for members, and will focus on local ordinances, and regional rules and regulations pertaining to water conservation efforts in local municipalities and in the State of Florida for landscape irrigation systems. Non-members can also attend the workshops for an additional fee.

Miami-Dade Public Libraries holding annual t-shirt design contest for teens

The Miami-Dade Public Library System invites teens 12 to 19 years of age to participate in its annual T-Shirt Design Contest promoting the theme 'Outloud!' Entry forms are available at all library branches and online beginning August 22 through September 10, 2011. The teen with the winning design will receive a Barnes & Noble NOOK Color, an autographed football from the Miami Dolphins, and will have his design reproduced on t-shirts to be worn by participants during the official observance of Teen Read Week, October 17-23. One runner-up will receive a $75 Best Buy gift card.

Teen Read Week is a literacy initiative of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association, which encourages teens to read just for the fun of it. Teen Read Week and its activities are sponsored by the Friends of the Miami-Dade Public Library and the Miami Dolphins Foundation.  For more details, log on to http://www.mdpls.org/news/entry/teanReadContest.asp.

Constituents First - Here are a few examples of how Commissioner Diaz has assisted constituents in District 12

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:

  • Resident Ms. Fuste, who owns the Butterfly Ranch in the Redlands, called our office after she was cited by the Miami-Dade Neighborhood Compliance Department for housing two pot belly pigs. The commissioner's office informed Ms. Fuste of an ordinance Commissioner Diaz sponsored that passed on August 2, 2011 that allowed hog farms or hog raising. The ordinance Commissioner Diaz sponsored applies to the Snake-Biscayne Canal Basin area, as well as 8.5 acres that surround the area including the Redlands Butterfly Ranch. After a hearing on the ordinance that Ms. Fuste attended, the case was dismissed and she was allowed to keep her two pet pigs. The story on the two little pigs was featured on Channels 4 and 23. 
  • The commissioner's office was contacted by District 12 resident Mrs. Still regarding home care service for her sick husband. She called the commissioner's office for assistance, which contacted the Department of Human Services. Working together, the department will be providing home care to Mrs. Still's husband. Mrs. Still was grateful for the commissioner's help in the matter. 
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.

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 call 786-469-4600.

Upcoming events

September 3, 2011 at 2 p.m. - 4th Annual Kids & Families Foundation Motorcycle Run at Sun Life Stadium. To purchase tickets, please visit www.marlins.com/motomadness or call Rene Sardina for more information at 786-486-6066.

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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