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District 12 Newsletter
Commissioner Jose District 12 e-Newsletter

Dear residents,

June 1 officially marks the beginning of hurricane season. Although we’ve been lucky to avoid any major storms in the past few years, that’s no reason to get complacent. Every resident should be prepared and have a plan.

Are you in an evacuation zone? Do you know what supplies you will need? Where are your nearest shelters? These questions and more can be answered by Miami-Dade County’s online Hurricane Guide. You can find a copy at www.miamidade.gov/hurricane and start planning on how you can protect yourself, your family, and your property.

Remember, hurricane season lasts until November 30. Be prepared and stay safe!


Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz

May 2012
Miami-Dade Commission approves Military Affairs Board to assist local servicemen and women

Commissioner Diaz, who serves as the military liaison for the County, presented legislation at the May 15th County Commission meeting to create a Military Affairs Board that would enhance the quality of life for active, reserve, retired, and disabled military personnel. The item passed unanimously.

The new board will focus on assisting servicemen and women with issues like healthcare, housing, loans, pension benefits, education, employment, incarceration, reintegration, unemployment benefits, disability claims, vocational training, and insurance. The board will also promote, attract and solicit military activities in Miami-Dade County. If you are interested in serving, please read the ordinance to review the requirements. More>>

White Hot HEAT Pep Rally hits Government Center

Before the Miami HEAT took on the Indiana Pacers on May 15, Commissioner Diaz, who serves as the Chairman of the Miami-Dade Sports Commission, and his colleagues hosted the White Hot HEAT Pep Rally at the Stephen P. Clark Center to support the team. The commissioner also presented HEAT legends Alonzo Mourning and Tim Hardaway with a certificate congratulating the team on winning the first round of the 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs. Morning commuters and County employees were greeted by HEAT Dancers, the HEAT Street Band and the mascot Burnie.  Some even walked away with giveaways and all were encouraged to wear white during HEAT games. GO HEAT! More>>

Veterans honored at Memorial Day celebration

At the dedication of Veterans Grove at Alice Wainwright Park, Commissioner Diaz thanked our U.S. Armed Forces veterans for their services and sacrifices. The event took place on May 25 and was sponsored by the Leadership Miami Team 6, Stand Up and Reach Miami, which is committed to raising awareness and recognition of our local veterans.

District 12 student wins Clean Up & Green Up poster contest

Commissioner Diaz was honored to congratulate Ana Corina Valencia from Doral Academy Elementary School, the third place winner of Miami-Dade’s annual Clean Up & Green Up poster contest competition. Students submitted poster artwork asking residents to keep our community clean and beautiful. This event was sponsored the County’s Community Image Advisory Board (CIAB) and the winners were presented with a congratulatory certificate and gift certificates at the May 15th County Commission meeting. Ana’s teacher, Bettina Alvarez, also walked away a winner after receiving a spa gift certificate provided by the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. This year, the selected posters were displayed at the Miami-Dade County Youth Fair & Exposition and the Miami-Dade County Public School Board building.

Commissioner Diaz participates in Career Day at Eugenia B. Thomas Elementary

On May 2, Commissioner Diaz attended Eugenia B. Thomas Elementary School for Career Day. The commissioner spoke to two eighth grade classes about how he started his political career in the City of Sweetwater and became its mayor. He also spoke to them about his job as a Miami-Dade County commissioner and some of his responsibilities as the County’s military liaison and as chairman of the Miami-Dade Sports Commission.

Commissioner Diaz welcomes inbound mission from Colombia

Commissioner Diaz was honored to welcome delegates from an inbound mission from Colombia at the Miami Free Zone on May 7, just days before the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade agreement went into effect. Commissioner Diaz also served as keynote speaker at the event, focusing on international trade and job creation due to the free trade agreement. The commissioner stated the agreement was a win-win for the United States as well as Colombia, with estimates that U.S. exports will get a $1.1 billion boost with access to Colombia's $180 billion service market.

National Prayer Day in District 12

May 3 marked our country’s National Day of Prayer. Commissioner Diaz organized several events with the municipalities in his district so residents could participate. Commemorative ceremonies took place in the City of Doral, Town of Medley, City of Hialeah, City of Hialeah Gardens, Virginia Gardens and the City of Sweetwater. Each ceremony lasted about 30 to 45 minutes, with local pastors leading groups in prayer for our community. More>>

Commissioner Diaz sponsors veterans at annual Blue Water Fishing Tournament

During the 9th Annual Blue Water Fishing Classic Tournament, Commissioner Diaz sponsored a boat for a group of disabled military veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan to partake in the tournament. The team came in third place on their boat, 'South Florida Legion Anglers,' winning $250.

The Anglers seek to provide fishing based recreational therapy for disabled veterans and wounded troops. The tournament, organized by Miami-Dade Parks and the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade, took place from May 17 to May 20. Participants had the chance to collect a total of $20,000 in cash prizes. The winners were determined by the combined weight of the three largest fish within the species of dolphin, wahoo, black fin tuna and kingfish.

The Anglers included Chaplain Colonel Rick Morrow, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Fmr. Command Chaplain, Special Operations Command South - 70% Disabled; Dr. Howard Wasdin, Former, Seal Team Six Sniper, Author, Seal Team Six, Medically Discharged after Black Hawk Down Battle - 100% Disabled; Ken Morrow, President, Adaptive Fly Fishing Institute, 1st Gulf War - 100% Disabled; and Barry Offenburger, Afghanistan - 100% Disabled. The boat was donated through Veterans Ocean Adventures - Branson Rector.

District 12 projects underway

North Trail Park upgrades
Starting May 7, there will be construction at North Trail Park for improvements. Some of the work includes a parking lot expansion, basketball court relocation, skate park, and lighting of basketball court and existing tennis courts. The project is expected to be completed in November 2012.

Intersection improvements
Miami-Dade County’s Public Works Department, at the request of Commissioner Diaz, will be enhancing the intersection of NW 87th Avenue and NW 25th Street. They will be widening the road.

Summer break kicks off kids' fishing camp

The Kids Let’s Go Fishing! Program is back for summer 2012 with the newest summer camp in Miami! The Fishing and Conservation Trust, in partnership with the Miami-Dade Cooperative Extension Sea Grant program and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are offering three, 5-day fishing camps at Bayside Marketplace in Downtown Miami. Each camp will include mornings of educational activities and afternoons of fishing aboard the 56-foot Coast Guard-approved 'Reward Won.”  Fishing styles will include: anchoring, drifting, trolling, live-bait catching and use, and use of artificial lures.  Educational activities will teach campers about ethical angling skills, boat safety, basic fishing skills for all types of fishing, fish identification and anatomy, and resource awareness.

Enrollment is now open for children 8 to 13 years of age. Each 5-day session is limited to 20 attendees. The cost is $500* per session and a portion of the proceeds will go to the Fishing and Conservation Trust, a 501(c)3 non-profit, to fund fishing events for the underserved communities of Miami-Dade. To register, please call the Fishing and Conservation Trust at (305) 372-9470. *Register early for a $50 discount. You can find more information on the Kids Let’s Go Fishing! Summer camp program online at www.kidsletsgofishing.com or by calling (305) 372-9470.

Be part of Miami-Dade Public Library's Summer Reading Program

The Miami-Dade Public Library System and the Miami Dolphins Foundation are teaming up for another exciting summer of reading for people of all ages! The 2012 Summer Reading Program begins on Saturday, June 9 and continues through Saturday, July 21 with a number of special events and programs in branches throughout the county. The summer reading program is divided into three categories: Dream Big READ for children 0-12; Own the Night, for teens 13-18; and Between the Covers, for adults 18 and older.

To qualify to receive an entry ticket for the grand prize drawing, children and teens are encouraged to read two or more hours each week. At the end of the program, a drawing will be held for a chance to win a grand prize such as a Miami Dolphins VIP Training Day or Game Day Experience; Miami Dolphins Memorabilia; Miami Seaquarium Dolphin Encounter and admission tickets; gift cards to Barnes and Noble and Toys ‘R Us; a digital camera and more. For adults, the weekly challenge is to discover new ways to enjoy the library from downloading books or movies to enjoying an audio book. Prizes include a Kindle Fire and gift certificates to Home Depot, Publix or Chili’s restaurant for $100. Special summer programs include magic and juggling shows, sing-a-longs, and much more!  Everyone is invited to register at their nearest branch beginning Saturday, June 9.  For more information, call 305-375-BOOK (2665).

Affordable health care within reach

Miami-Dade County has an online pre-screening tool to help people obtain health insurance. In less than 5 minutes, County residents can find out if they qualify for premium assistance in paying for their health insurance. By answering some simple questions, residents can find out whether Miami-Dade County's new Health Insurance Assistance program which provides premium assistance for Blue Cross and Blue Shield's Miami-Dade Blue, is for them. Just click on Health Insurance Assistance today and see if you qualify.

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.

Upcoming events

June 30, 2012 at 5:30 p.m.– Commissioner Diaz will be hosting the annual 'Military and Veterans Appreciation Day' at County Line Dragway, located at 19999 Okeechobee Road. For more information contact Raymond Bush at 305-599-1200 or e-mail him at Bushg@miamidade.gov.

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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