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

Dear residents,

In 2009, I sponsored a resolution recognizing April as Autism Awareness Month in Miami-Dade County. We have been able to partner with great organizations like Autism Speaks and the Dan Marino Foundation regarding this disorder that affects 1 in 68 children born in this country. The prevalence of autism can be worrisome to many parents, but it’s important that all families recognize the signs of autism. For more information on this disorder, please visit Autism Speaks or the Dan Marino Foundation.


Commissioner Jose 'Pepe' Diaz
District 12

March 2014
Commissioner Diaz applauds final passage of SB528 to improve tracking of sexual offenders


Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz  applauds the Florida Legislature’s final passage of legislation that will improve law enforcement’s ability to keep tabs on sexual offenders. SB528 passed the Senate on March 20th by a vote of 39-0.

The bill’s passage represents the culmination of months of hard work and lobbying by Commissioner Diaz to close a major loophole in state law that was allowing a growing number of sexual offenders to escape law enforcement oversight by claiming homeless or “transient” status, thus making their whereabouts unknown.
Commissioner Diaz began strategizing with the Miami-Dade Police Department and legal staff on how best to address the issue last year when it was first brought to his attention. The idea of enhancing the state’s reporting requirements developed from several meetings with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and conference calls with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The Commissioner then worked with the County Attorney’s Office to develop language for a proposed state bill and began lobbying for its passage before the League of Cities and the Sheriffs Association. He sponsored a resolution at the Jan. 22 County Commission urging the state to make the change in the law. For more information, read the press release.

"Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act" bill

Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act

Miami-Dade Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz’s campaign to make our streets safer scored a victory in the Florida Senate today with the unanimous passage of SB 102 to stiffen penalties on deadly hit-and-run drivers. The “Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act” imposes a minimum mandatory sentence of four years for drivers who flee the scene of a fatal accident – the same as for DUI manslaughter. The bill was named in honor of cyclist Aaron Cohen, who was killed while riding on the Rickenbacker Causeway on February 16, 2012 at the hands of a hit-and-run driver who was sentenced to less than a year in jail because there was insufficient evidence to prove he was drunk. The bill is still awaiting approval in the Florida House. Commissioner Diaz last April sponsored a resolution urging the Florida Legislature to pass the current legislation. He also worked closely with several bicycling clubs and the Aaron Cohen Initiative, a grassroots group that has been pushing for passage of the bill. Commissioner Diaz continues to work on legislation to protect the safety of cyclists and pedestrians along the Rickenbacker Causeway and surrounding areas. In 2012, Miami-Dade County reported 12,813 incidents of drivers leaving the scene of a crash, the highest in Florida.

Projects in District 12

Projects in District 12

A project to improve traffic signalization at NW South River Drive and NW 74 Avenue should be completed by May 2014. The traffic signal installation project includes the construction and installation of a new traffic signal, including the installation of mast arms, traffic controller assemblies, traffic signal heads, pedestrian heads and push buttons, mounting hardware, signal cable, power cable, power services, milling and resurfacing at the signalized intersection.

Commissioner Diaz honors man that saved Cyclist Life

Commissioner Diaz

At their March 19th “South Florida Triathletes Team Hammerheads” meeting, Commissioner Diaz surprised one of its member’s with a commendation certificate after he saved the life of Dino Rio, a fellow cyclist. Earlier this month, Dino was participating in a MS bike ride to Key Largo from Miami. It was in Key Largo that Tony Russo noticed Dino had stopped during the race and went over to ask him if he was ok. Dino was having shortness of breath and experiencing chest pain, Tony immediately recognized the signs of  a heart attack and notified a nearby police officer, who called for an airlift from Key Largo to a hospital in Miami. Because of Tony’s quick thinking, Dino Rio is with us today and for that we honor and thank Tony for his exceptional generosity and compassionate towards another human being.

Commissioner Diaz welcomes Costa Rican Delegation

Costa Rican Delegation

On March 11, Commissioner Diaz, who also serves as the Chairman of the International Trade Consortium welcomed a Costa Rican trade delegation to Miami-Dade County. The delegation traveled to Miami for a buying mission, which was a direct result of a business development mission to Costa Rica led by the commissioner in 2013. The commissioner also provided each delegation member with a “distinguished visitors” certificate. Costa Rica is currently Miami-Dade’s third largest trading partner with a total annual trade volume of more than $7.8 billion.

Mission Trip to Republic of Korea

Republic of Korea

Commissioner Diaz, who also serves as the Chairman of the International Trade Consortium will be leading a business development mission trip to Republic of Korea from May 9th through May 17, 2014. Anyone interested in a business opportunity with South Korea can contact Desmond Alufohai at 305-375-3526 or email [email protected]. Deadline to sign-up is April 4, 2014. Download the application now.

Affordable Housing for Senior Citizens

Affordable Housing for Senior CitizensCitrus Health Network developed a small housing project for low-income seniors at 302 East 9th St., in Hialeah. This project is funded through HUD and the City of Hialeah. Eligible persons have to be 55 and older. They have to be able to afford the rent and utilities, and their income cannot exceed $27,480 annually. The rents range from $540 to $737 a month. For more information, please view the application process. Adobe PDF

Head Start and Early Head Start program is accepting Applications for 2014-2015 Year

Now accepting ApplicationsMiami-Dade Community Action and Human Services Department (CAHSD) Head Start and Early Head Start Program has started its open enrollment for the 2014-2015 year. Applications are being accepted until May 7, 2014 for pregnant women and children ages two months to five (5) years old (before September 1, 2014). In Miami-Dade County, the Head Start and Early Head Start program serves 7,234 children and families. Head Start is a federally funded comprehensive child development program, serving low–income families in Miami-Dade County. Services available through this program includes: education, health, mental health, nutrition, children with special needs, social services, and parent involvement. Applications are available at all Head Start and Early Head Start centers and CAHSD Community Service Centers throughout Miami-Dade County as well as the County’s web portal.

Miami Marlins Join Forces with GovX.com to extend special online ticket program to Military & Fire responders

Miami MarlinsGovX.com and the Miami Marlins have partnered to bring U.S. Military service members and first responders “Super Hero Mondays,” offering these deserving individuals each up to four free tickets to every Marlins Monday home game, except Opening Day. Every Super Hero Monday, GovX.com will also sponsor an in-game recognition of a military service member, a local first responder and law enforcement personnel who will each get to invite a guest to watch pre-game batting practice. Beyond that, for all other home games, members of the U.S. Military and first responders get 50% off regular priced tickets to weekday (Monday-Thursday) home games for the 2014 season. To access this exclusive discount, qualified fans can visit the Marlins/GovX ticketing page at marlins.com/govx. Upon selecting the desired game, users who are not already GovX.com members are directed to a simple online verification page to complete the one-time verification. From there, users proceed with their ticket selection, where the discount is automatically applied. The purchased tickets can then be emailed and downloaded.

Golden Passport Holders encourage to renew EASY Card

Golden Passport RenewalMiami-Dade transit is encouraging golden passport holders under the age of 65 years old, to please renew their EASY card before expiration date. Cardholders can check the front right-hand side of their EASY Cards to determine when their card expires. To find out about the renewal documentation you need, please visit the transit website, or call 305-891-3131. TTY users should call 305-499-8971. By renewing their EASY Cards before the date of expiration, these Golden Passport patrons can ensure uninterrupted Metrobus and Metrorail service.

Miami-Dade Public Library's 4th annual Poetry Contest

4th Annual Poetry ContestYoung adults, 12-19, are invited to enter the Miami-Dade Public Library’s fourth annual Poetry Contest, in celebration of National Poetry Month. The contest runs from April 1-30, and the theme is Technology. Poems may reflect how teens use technology, the way it’s affected their lives or its impact on society. Poems should be 20 lines or less and will be judged on originality, artistic quality, and emotional impact. Contest entry forms are available at any branch or online at www.mdpls.org. Poems may also be submitted, at the library’s Facebook page.

Free concert by Tony Swing

Free concertMiami-Dade County Parks and Target present a free live concert by Merengue music sensation Tony Swing on Friday, April 4, 2014, at Tropical Park. With hit singles like “Hit the Dance Floor” and “The Swing Is Back,” Swing’s music is action packed and is all feeling the dance beat. His contagious and festive music-style embraces traditional merengue with merengue ripiao, adding a touch of urban flavor. The concert starts at 8:00 p.m. Admission and parking are free. For more information on this event, call 305-271-0812, or visit Miami-Dade County Parks on the web.

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 [email protected]. General information can be found at 826-826 website. Motorists are encouraged to call 511 before they drive, or log on to the Florida Statewide 511 website for real-time traffic and lane closure information.

Looking for a job? Need to update your resume?

To help Miami-Dade County residents, the Miami-Dade Public Library System is offering a wide assortment of vital information and valuable assistance for job seekers! From computer classes and access to the Internet, to help with resume writing, job interviewing skills and test preparation, the Library wants to help patrons prepare for and search for jobs. Free classes are held throughout all 47 branch locations and are available in both English and Spanish. The Library’s website has created a “Job Search” section for individuals to access from any location 24/7. For more information, contact 305-375-BOOK (2665) or visit the 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 County’s website or contact the Miami-Dade Community Action Agency at 786-469-4600.

Upcoming Events

April 5, 2014 from 11:00a.m to 3:00p.m. – Open House for Latin Builders Association Construction and Business Management Academy Charter High School. Location: 13835 NW 97th Avenue in Hialeah. For more information, visit the LBA Academy website.

May 3, 2014 from 11:00am to 3:00pm – Commissioner Diaz will host his annual District 12 Spring Festival. For more information on this event, please visit the District 12 website.
Location: North Trail Park, 780 NW 127th Avenue

Contact Us

Downtown Office
Stephen P. Clark Center
111 NW 1st Street, Suite 220
Miami, Florida 33128
(305) 375-4343


District Office
8345 NW 12th Street
Miami, FL 33126
(305) 599-1200

[email protected]

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