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District 12 Newsletter
Commissioner Jose District 12 e-Newsletter

Dear residents,

Summer is here and our children are out of school. Unfortunately many of us work full-time and can’t stay at home with our children during summer break. Well no need to worry, Miami-Dade Parks’ Fit2Play” summer camps offers a variety of outdoor activities for our children and all at an affordable price. This program is available from June 9 until August 15, 2014 at 31 parks throughout the County. Parents interested can visit the Parks website.


Commissioner Jose 'Pepe' Diaz
District 12

June 2014
Aaron Cohen bill becomes law

Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jose 'Pepe' Diaz and road safety advocates around the state are celebrating the signing by Governor Rick Scott of a bill to stiffen penalties on hit-and-run drivers that Commissioner Diaz’s lobbying and advocacy efforts helped turn into law.

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 law was named in honor of cyclist Aaron Cohen, who was killed in 2012 on the Rickenbacker Causeway by 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.

Commissioner Diaz has been a strong advocate for improving roadway safety. Last year, he sponsored a resolution urging the Florida Legislature to pass the Aaron Cohen bill. He has also worked closely with bicycling clubs and the Aaron Cohen Initiative on their lobbying efforts, and in January he traveled to Tallahassee to speak at a Senate hearing about the bill.

He also sponsored legislation to implement bicycle and pedestrian safety measures on the Rickenbacker Causeway and surrounding roadways. He is currently working on legislation to install safety signs at the entrance to Rickenbacker Causeway to remind motorists to share the road with bicyclists and pedestrians.

Safety Signs at Rickenbacker Causeway

Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz sponsored a resolution that calls for installing safety signs when funding becomes available, from either the County or outside sponsors at the entrance to Rickenbacker Causeway. The resolution was approved by his colleagues at the Board of County Commission meeting on June 3.

Commissioner Diaz honors fallen firefighters

Supreme Court upholds tradition of legislative prayer

Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz joined Mayor Carlos Gimenez, the Board of County Commissioners, the Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue Department (MDFR), and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 1403, to honor the lives of local firefighters who have died in the line of duty or from cancer-related causes in a ceremony on June 17. The ceremony included touching personal stories about some of the fallen first responders. Speakers also discussed the high cancer rate among firefighters and the need to focus more attention on the problem.  Commissioner Diaz last month sponsored a resolution declaring June as “Fire Fighter Memorial Month” and authorizing an annual exhibit to fallen firefighters. This year’s exhibit, sponsored by IAFF Local 1403, features dozens of empty boots symbolizing the local firefighters who have died.

Remembering D-Day

Remembering D-DayCommissioner Diaz, who is the Chairman of the Miami-Dade Military Affairs Board joined Commissioner Sen. Javier D. Souto on June 3 to pay tribute on the 70th anniversary of D-Day, which launched the successful Allied invasion of Normandy and marked the beginning of the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi occupation during World War II. An exhibit commemorating the historic D-Day landing was on display until June 13 in the lobby of the Stephen P. Clark Center, 111 NW 1st St. The Battle of Normandy, the largest amphibious attack in the history of modern warfare, began on June 6, 1944, when more than 150,000 American, British and Canadian forces stormed five beaches along a 50-mile stretch of the heavily fortified coast of France’s Normandy region.

Commissioner Diaz attends CAMACOL'S 35th Hemispheric Congress

Commissioner Diaz attends CAMACOL

Commissioner Diaz, who serves as the Chairman of the International Trade Consortium Board and is an advocate for trade attended CAMACOL’s 35th Hemispheric Congress of Latin Chambers of Commerce and Industry, where he welcomed attendees and spoke about the importance of trade to our community. The program included interactive panels, networking events, luncheons and a trade show expo.  Speakers at the Congress also included 2 former U.S. Presidents, former Florida Governors, senior cabinet members, the Prime Minister of Spain, and heads of government from Latin America. CAMACOL has been a pioneer in the international business sector. For over 35 years CAMACOL has been active in this area through its Hemispheric Congress of Latin Chambers of Commerce and Industry, a program which is unique in that it has an established infrastructure comprised of the presidents of the national chambers of commerce throughout the Latin America and Caribbean region, as well as Spain. This infrastructure facilities business linkages for Florida companies in the export sector, and supports new to export business as well.

Diaz delivers commencement speech at Miami Springs Middle School

Diaz delivers commencement speech at Middle SchoolCommissioner Diaz was honored to deliver the commencement speech at the 8th grade graduation for Miami Springs Middle School on June 4 at the Miami Springs Senior High School, located at 751 Dove Avenue in Miami Springs. The commissioner spoke about changes we face in our lives and the levels we must go through to obtain knowledge, to be a productive part of society. Best of luck to them as they begin their new journey in life!

Miami Dade League of Cities honors Commissioner Diaz

Miami Dade League of Cities honors Commissioner DiazThe Miami Dade League of Cities (MDCLC) presented Commissioner Diaz with the “Certificate of Public Service” award at their Board of Director’s  monthly meeting on June 5 at West Kendall Baptist Hospital for his dedication to the community, specifically “The Golden Veterans Parade 50th Anniversary Commemoration” that took place on November 8, 2013 to pay tribute to our Vietnam Veterans and salute to Bay of Pigs and all veterans. Event was first of its kind in Miami-Dade County. Miami Dade League of Cities was established in 1953 for the purpose of uniting the common interests of the municipalities within Miami-Dade County.

PAMM offers free admission to military personnel

Pérez Art Museum Miami announced the launch of Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel including National Guard and Reserve and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2014.

Department Cultural Affairs announces grants for 2014-2015 cycle

The Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs is pleased to announce the deadline schedule for the fiscal year 2014-2015, summer and fall cycles of arts and cultural grants programs available to Miami-Dade County based non-profit cultural groups. Guidelines containing information regarding eligibility requirements, funding requests and other detailed program criteria can be downloaded at http://www.miamidadearts.org/ by clicking Grants / Online Grants / Organizations. Grant guidelines can also be requested in-person by calling the Department of Cultural Affairs at (305) 375-4634, or by email at culture@miamidade.gov.

Mosquito season is here

The start of the summer rainy season in Miami-Dade County brings with it an unwanted problem: mosquitoes.  The Miami-Dade County Public Works and Waste Management Department’s (PWWM) Mosquito Control Unit reminds you that mosquitoes carry a number of potentially serious diseases, including dengue, West Nile virus and, of recent concern in the Caribbean area, chikungunya.  To request a mosquito inspection or to report a mosquito nuisance, please call 3-1-1.  For more information on mosquito control in Miami-Dade County, visit http://www.miamidade.gov/publicworks/.  For more information regarding the mosquito-borne diseases mentioned above you may visit the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County website at http://www.dadehealth.org/ the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel.

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 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.

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


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