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District 12 Newsletter
Commissioner Jose District 12 e-Newsletter

Dear residents,

As Thanksgiving approaches, I just wanted to express my gratitude for being elected to represent each and every one of you. I wish you a wonderful holiday full of family, friends, and fond memories for years to come.

Due to the holiday, several events will be held throughout the County, as well as usual office closures. Find out everything here so you're in the know.

On behalf of my family and staff, have a great Thanksgiving!


Commissioner Jose 'Pepe' Diaz

November 2011
Fallen soldiers remembered at Medal of Valor Ceremony

At the November 15th County Commission meeting, Commissioner Diaz joined Chairman Joe A. Martinez and his colleagues to honor our fallen soldiers at the second presentation of Miami-Dade County’s Medal of Valor. The event posthumously awarded several soldiers who have died since the start of Operation Enduring Freedom with the Medal of Valor, given to the families of the brave soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for our Country. The Miami-Dade County’s Medal of Valor was created last year to formally recognize and remember our local men and women for their dedication to protect our way of life. Commissioner Diaz, who served in the United States Marines and also serves as the County’s military liaison, was pleased to meet the families of our soldiers and remind them how their loved ones will always be remembered for their bravery. More>>

Colombian American Chamber of Commerce honors Commissioner Diaz for FTA support

On November 21st at the Miami Free Zone, the Colombian American Chamber of Commerce honored Commissioner Diaz for the eight years he strongly advocated for the free trade agreements with Panama, South Korea and, Colombia. Commissioner Diaz, who is a member of the Federal Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee on Trade, under the Office of the United States Trade Representative, understood the economic impact the free trade agreements would have in Miami-Dade County. In February, he sponsored a resolution urging Congress to approve the free trade agreements, unanimously approved by his colleagues.  The free trade agreements were finally passed by Congress and signed by President Obama. The event also honored Congresswomen Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Commissioner Joe A. Martinez among others. The Colombian American Chamber of Commerce is an organization established in 1976 and looks for businesses opportunities that are beneficial to Colombians.

In 2009, Florida sold more than $3 billion of its products and services to Colombia, Miami’s second largest trading partner. Colombia is also the largest air trading partner for Miami International Airport by weight, with 192,000 tons of cargo moving through MIA to and from Colombia in 2009 with a value of almost $4.3 million. According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Colombia agreement eliminates tariffs and other barriers on most agricultural products, increasing export opportunities for a range of Florida’s agricultural products, including fruits, vegetables, and beef. Florida’s agricultural exports to all countries, estimated at $1.5 billion in 2010, supported roughly 12,600 jobs, on and off the farm. These export sales make an important contribution to the Florida farm economy, which had total cash receipts of $7.8 billion in 2010.

Wrestlemania kick-off party

On November 4th, Commissioner Diaz, who serves as the Chairman of the Miami-Dade Sports Commission, gave Miami-Dade County residents a warm welcome at Bayfront Park, where the Sports Commission hosted a free On-Sale Celebration party for 5,000 people who came to purchase WrestleMania XXVIII pre-sale tickets. The crowd also had the opportunity to meet and get autographs from their favorite WWE Superstars and Divas. First day ticket sales for WrestleMania XXVIII reached a record gross of $6.3 million, shattering the previous first day record of $4.8 million. To purchase your ticket, please call Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000. More>>

Commissioner Diaz celebrates Veterans Day

Commissioner Diaz, a United States Marines veteran, joined 2,000 veterans, students and residents at the Veterans Day Parade in Miami Beach on November 11th. The parade started on Washington Avenue and headed west on 11th Street into Flamingo Park. After the parade, there was a wreath laying ceremony, which included a 21 gun salute and a Makos Military Jets flyover. Veterans and participants also enjoyed a picnic at Flamingo Park.

The parade was organized by Miami Beach Commissioner Jerry Libbin and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3559. That same day, Commissioner Diaz also attended the Veterans Day Ceremony at Triangle Park in the City of Hialeah, where they also paid tribute to our veterans. The event was sponsored by the City of Hialeah and the Hialeah Veterans Affairs Board Members.

Santa's Enchanted Forest grand opening

Commissioner Diaz joined Lt. Colonel Stewart Mason as grand marshals of this year’s parade at Santa’s Enchanted Forest. They welcomed local military men and women, who were able to attend opening night with their families for free. This marked the 29th year for Santa’s Enchanted Forest at Tropical Park and Commissioner Diaz was extremely pleased he was part of an event where we honored our brave men and women and allowed them to spend some quality time with their loved ones. Santa’s Enchanted Forest is open from November 3, 2011 until January 8, 2012 at Tropical Park (7900 SW 40th Street). For more information on Santa’s Enchanted Forest, please call 305-559-9689. More>>



Commissioner Diaz hosts annual Thanksgiving event for District 12 residents

On November 16th, Commissioner Diaz held his annual Thanksgiving turkey giveaway for 200 lucky families in District 12. Commissioner Diaz wanted to ensure District 12 students and their families had all the trimmings for their Thanksgiving dinner. The turkey donations were sponsored by Contractor Resources, World Waste Recycling and Walmart in Doral, and Farm Share also provided beverages for the families. Commissioner Diaz also visited the Virginia Gardens Senior Center where he surprised 20 senior citizens with a turkey for their Thanksgiving Dinner. More>>

Commissioner Diaz celebrates 2nd annual L'il Abner Thanksgiving Bash

Commissioner Diaz joined L’il Abner mobile home park owner Raul Rodriguez and City of Sweetwater Mayor Manuel Maroño to help residents of the area celebrate the 2nd annual Thanksgiving bash provided by park owner Rodriguez. The residents of L’il Abner were treated to free food, bounce house, pony rides, train rides, and free cotton candy and popcorn. Residents also had an opportunity to win a free turkey for their Thanksgiving dinner. The event took place at the Sweetwater Elementary School. L’il Abner is located at 11239 NW 4 Terrace and is located in the Commissioner’s district.

District 12 firefighters host turkey giveaway

On November 20th, Commissioner Diaz joined Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (MDFR) firefighters for a turkey giveaway to benefit the low income residents of the districts they serve. Fire crews from the Sweetwater and Fontainebleau stations contributed $20 each in order to collectively raise more than $1,700 to purchase more than 220 turkeys and cooking ingredients for the less fortunate.

Commissioner Diaz is "Principal for a Day"

Commissioner Diaz was up early on November 16th and reported to Coral Reef Senior High School to serve as principal for a day. Commissioner Diaz’s day started at 6:50 a.m. when he met with Principal Ms. Adrianna Leal, who filled him in on his duties. After his meeting with Principal Leal, Commissioner Diaz started with attendance review, curriculum review, participation in a fire drill, classroom visitation and he also had an opportunity to tour the school. After serving as principal for a day, Commissioner Diaz expressed his appreciation for all the educators in our school system, saying teachers have the hardest but most rewarding job. They are mentoring our future leaders and should always be appreciated for their dedication and commitment to our children. 

Nighttime closures of eastbound closures of SR 836 until December 23

All eastbound traffic on SR 836/Dolphin Expressway will be detoured to southbound SR 826 from Sunday, November 13 through Friday, December 23 (excluding Saturdays and the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend) between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. to allow for the removal of the Milam Dairy Road Bridge. Double westbound lane closures will also be necessary at times from NW 72 Avenue to SR 826. The closures will allow the contractor to remove portions of the Milam Dairy Road Bridge over the eastbound SR 836 lanes. If weather or any other unforeseen conditions affect the closures, they will be scheduled on the next available night. For more information about the SR 826/SR 836 Interchange Reconstruction Project, please contact Construction Public Information Specialist Oscar Gonzalez at 786-280-0983 or Project Engineer Francis Chin at 305-388-5450 or go to www.826-836.com. Drivers are encouraged to call 511 before they drive or log on to www.fl511.com to get real-time traffic and lane closure information. FDOT reminds drivers that wearing a safety belt is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. Please drive cautiously in work zones.

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. Starting in November 2011, there will be a major closure that will impact the westbound traffic flow on the 836 (Dolphin Expressway). FDOT will be removing the ramp used by westbound 836 traffic that travels southbound onto the 826 (Palmetto Expressway). Drivers wanting to go southbound on the Palmetto Expressway will still have the second ramp that is located at the north side of the 836 which loops and takes them onto the Palmetto. This also happens to be the side (north side of 836) that drivers take to go northbound onto the Palmetto; obviously this will cause major traffic in the area, so if you can seek alternative routes, please do so.  The closure will take approximately one year. 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.

District 12 projects underway

Commissioner Diaz announces the following public works projects taking place in District 12 to ensure a better and safer community for all residents:

NW 97th Avenue from NW 41st Street to NW 45th Lane and NW 97th Avenue and NW 33rd Street
This project will to improve the drainage in the area which has been documented by flooding in this vicinity.  This work includes the construction and installation of drainage structures, exfiltration drains, miscellaneous drainage improvements, grading, sodding and miscellaneous roadway restoration including curb and gutter, and sidewalks as needed. Construction is anticipated to be completed by February 28, 2012.  No mainline road closing are foreseen, therefore no alternate route is necessary.

NW 138th Street Bridge over the Miami River Canal from NW 113 Avenue to Okeechobee Road
The scope of work consists of, but not limited to, furnishing all supervision, labor, materials, equipment, tools.  The project consists of replacing the existing bridge with a new and wider bridge; turn lane improvements and replace existing signal at the intersection of Okeechobee Road and NW 138 Street. Work also includes a striped median with a center left turn lane, sidewalks, a continuous storm drainage system, roadway lighting, signalization, pavement markings and signage. Construction is anticipated to be completed by April 30, 2012. Mainline Closure: The bridge will be closed for the duration of the construction.  Detour: Motorists are advised to seek alternate route or follow posted maintenance of traffic (MOT) signs or detour route.

Miami-Dade County Animal Services introduces new online service

As part of the department’s effort to make services and information more accessible to the public, Animal Services is launching its new on-line application, http://www.miamidade.gov/animals/licenses.asp, that enables pet owners to check their pet’s account for license and vaccine expiration date, as well as for account contact and pet information. Pet owners are encouraged to visit the website to ensure their account is up-to-date.  Any inaccuracies can be reported to http://www.miamidade.gov/animals/service-requests.asp 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 CAA's website or contact the Miami-Dade Community Action Agency at 786-469-4600.

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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