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District 12 Newsletter
Commissioner Jose District 12 e-Newsletter

Dear residents,

Are you Election Ready? January 31 is the official voting day for the Republican Primary in Florida. Registered Republicans have the opportunity to select their candidate to run for U.S. President. However, even if you are not a registered Republican, you also have a chance to vote on issues that affect the Miami-Dade County Charter: petitions and how commissioners will serve in the future.

Voting is the best way to participate in your local government. Make sure you’re Election Ready with Miami-Dade’s Voter Tool Kit. If you have any questions about voting times, locations, or other information, feel free to visit www.miamidade.gov/elections or call 3-1-1. 

Make your voice heard!

Sincerely,

Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz

January 2012
Human trafficking forum brings light to issue in Miami

On January 9, Commissioner Diaz, who has sponsored several legislation items pertaining to human trafficking in South Florida, took part in a community forum on human trafficking organized by the State Attorney’s office. The forum, entitled “The Faces of Human Trafficking, Myths and Realities,” had a panel of experts that focused on this global dilemma that forces about 2.5 million people into labor and sex trade against their will.  The FBI has designated  Miami as one of 13 hubs for domestic minor sex trafficking, this forum was imperative and it examined misconceptions and possible solutions. Read legislation>>

Mom and Pop Program applications due Feb. 3

The application distribution period for the District 12 Mom and Pop Small Business Grant Program is over. However, if you have already picked up an application, please return your form to the Commissioner's district office from January 30 until February 3, 2012 by 5 p.m.  Late applications will not be accepted. The Mom and Pop Small Business Grant Program provides financial and technical assistance to local small businesses.

College scholarships offered to District 12 high school students

If you are a senior in high school and getting ready for college, you might want to apply for Commissioner Diaz's annual school scholarship. The scholarship applications will be available starting February 1 - April 13, 2012. This opportunity is open to students from District 12 high schools: Doral Academy Charter High, Mater Academy Charter High, Ronald Reagan/Doral Senior High, Belen Jesuit, and Hialeah Gardens High School. Students can download the applications on the Commissioner’s website at www.miamidade.gov/district12, or pick up a copy at the Commissioner's district office, 8345 NW 12th Street, or their CAP counselor's office in their school. 

Commissioner Diaz urges Florida Legislature to establish a vocational college for students with disabilities

At the December 19th County Commission meeting, Commissioner Diaz’s colleagues supported his resolution urging the Florida Legislature to establish the Dan Marino Foundation Florida Vocational College. Currently, there are over 341,000 students in Florida with a disability.  The school will focus on the needs of students between ages 18 to 28 who have developmental disabilities and are not eligible for exceptional student education funding due to age or graduation from high school.  The proposed vocational school would offer an opportunity to obtain a post-secondary education in a college campus setting. More>>

Residents come out for annual Three Kings Day Parade

On January 15, Commissioner Diaz took to the street to participate at the 42nd anniversary of the Three Kings Day Parade along Calle Ocho from 4th Avenue to 22nd Avenue. Commissioner Diaz loves to attend this event every year because it gives him a chance to greet residents and see the community having a great time. The Three Kings Day Parade featured local personalities, mascots, and marching bands, as well as our brave men and women from the military, with whom Commissioner Diaz proudly walked in the parade. 

Hialeah parade celebrates Jose Martí

Commissioner Diaz took part in the annual Jose Martí Parade on January 22 in the City of Hialeah. The parade honors the great Cuban poet and national hero. Commissioner Diaz had a chance to greet residents and get their opinions on issues that matter to them. Due to the popularity of this parade, the route was expanded this year from West 29th Street to 9th Avenue.

Commissioner Diaz attends Soccer Awards Banquet

Commissioner Diaz joined Mayor Spencer Deno from the Village of Virginia Gardens at the annual Virginia Gardens/Miami Springs Optimist Club Soccer Awards Banquet on January 22 at the Virginia Gardens Athletic Field.  The Village of Virginia Gardens has hosted this event for several years and the commissioner was presented with a plaque, praising him for his commitment and for always supporting the community. The event was sponsored by Outback Steakhouse and Pepsi-Cola.

Commissioner Diaz welcomes Prologis to District 12

On January 5, Commissioner Diaz and other elected officials attended a groundbreaking in District 12 for Prologis. Prologis is an international company that is building a new distribution facility in District 12, creating jobs and allowing for more efficient distribution of materials around the State of Florida.

Head Start/Early Head Start Program now accepting applications

Miami-Dade Community Action and Human Services Department’s (CAHSD) Head Start/Early Head Start Program will begin its open enrollment period for the 2012-2013 program year beginning on January 17, 2012 through April 17, 2012.  Applications are being accepted to provide services to expectant mothers and children ages two months to three years old in the Early Head Start Program and three years old (by September 1, 2012) to five (5) years old (after September 1, 2012).  The program also provides services to families with children with special needs.  Applications are available at all Head Start/Early Head Start centers and CAA Community Service Centers throughout Miami-Dade County.   Applications and a list of Head Start Centers may also be downloaded from the County’s Portal at www.miamidade.gov/cahs.

For additional information or to locate a Head Start Center in your neighborhood, please call 786-469-4622. 

Mini-Florida Licensing on Wheels to deliver services at Coral Gables Branch Library

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), in partnership with the Miami-Dade Public Library System, will bring motorist services to the Coral Gables Branch Library, 3443 Segovia Street in Coral Gables, on Monday, February 13, 2012, from 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Mini-FLOWS are a convenient way to renew a driver license, change a name or address on a driver license, get an identification card, and renew vehicle registrations.  To find out what documents are required, visit www.GatherGoGet.com or call 850-617-3995. Cash, personal checks, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover cards are accepted. To learn more about the DHSMV and their services, visit www.flhsmv.gov. For library information, visit www.mdpls.org.

Miami-Dade Parks announces free salsa concert at Tropical Park

Bring the kids for a family friendly night of salsa dancing with Grammy-nominated Latin music sensation Edwin Bonilla on Friday, February 10, 2012, as part of the free Noches Tropicales concert series presented by the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department and sponsored by Target. Admission and parking is free for this event. Showtime is at 8pm. For more information, please call Tropical Park at 305-480-1717, or visit www.miamidade.gov/parks.

Miami-Dade holds Small Claims Court Clinics Adobe Acrobat Logo

The Miami-Dade County Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Division (BACP) will launch its 2012 series of Small Claims Court Clinics on Wednesday, February 8, 2012, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Town of Surfside Community Center, 9293 Harding Avenue in Surfside, Florida. This will be the first of several clinics scheduled for 2012 and will be led by Miami-Dade Consumer Advocate, Leonard Elias, who will explain the County’s Small Claims Court system. In addition, Elias will provide a detailed explanation of how the Small Claims Court works and will answer questions from participants. The Small Claims Court process is used by individuals to address disputes involving $5,000 or less, without the costly assistance of an attorney.  Visit the Miami-Dade County's Business Affairs and Consumer Protection website, formerly Consumer Services Department, for instructions in English and Spanish on how to file in Small Claims Court as well as collect on a judgment.  Legal forms are available for download from the website free of charge, or at the clinic for $5.00. For questions regarding the clinics or additional information, call 305-375-3677.

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.

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 or contact the Miami-Dade Community Action Agency at 786-469-4600.

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.

Upcoming events

February 4, 2012 at 10 a.m. – Commissioner Diaz will be joining Commissioner Souto for the dedication of “Veterans Way” at Tropical Park, 7900 SW 40 Street, Miami.

February 19, 2012 at 8 a.m. – Commissioner Diaz will serve as the Grand Marshal at the 10th Annual Tribute to the Military 5K Run/Walk at Merrick Park. To register for the race, please visit www.tributetothemilitary.org

March 4, 2012 at 8 a.m. - 12th Annual Miami Walk Now for Autism Speaks at JC Bermudez Park, 3000 NW 87 Avenue, Doral. To register for the walk, please visit www.walknowforautismspeaks.org/miami.

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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