Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 213036
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File Number: 213036 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-66-22 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: CODESIGNATION OSWALDO PAYÁ WAY Introduced: 12/7/2021
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 1/19/2022
Agenda Date: 1/19/2022 Agenda Item Number: 11A11
Notes: SUPPLEMENT REQUIRED Title: RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO CODESIGNATE THAT PORTION OF STATE ROAD 953/NW 42ND AVENUE/LE JEUNE ROAD FROM NW 11TH STREET TO NW 14TH STREET AS “OSWALDO PAYÁ WAY”; URGING THE CITY OF MIAMI TO APPROVE SUCH CODESIGNATION; AND APPROVING SUCH CODESIGNATION
Indexes: CODESIGNATION
Sponsors: Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Co-Prime Sponsor
  Rebeca Sosa, Co-Prime Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 1/19/2022 11A11 Adopted P

County Attorney 12/7/2021 Assigned James Eddie Kirtley 12/17/2021

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO CODESIGNATE THAT PORTION OF STATE ROAD 953/NW 42ND AVENUE/LE JEUNE ROAD FROM NW 11TH STREET TO NW 14TH STREET AS “OSWALDO PAYÁ WAY”; URGING THE CITY OF MIAMI TO APPROVE SUCH CODESIGNATION; AND APPROVING SUCH CODESIGNATION

BODY
WHEREAS, Oswaldo Payá was born in El Cerro, Havana, Cuba on February 29, 1952; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Payá was raised Roman Catholic and attended a Marist Brothers school in Havana, which was closed in 1961 by the Castro regime; and
WHEREAS, in 1969, he was sentenced to three years of hard labor on Isla de Pinos because he refused to transport political prisoners during his mandatory military service; and
WHEREAS, while serving time on Isla de Pinos, Mr. Payá discovered a locked Catholic church, Nuestra Seńora de Dolores, and was able to obtain permission from the Bishop of Havana to reopen it as a mission offering religious talks and care for the sick; and
WHEREAS, after his release, Mr. Payá enrolled at the University of Havana as a physics major, but was expelled when authorities learned he was a practicing Christian; and
WHEREAS, he then attended night school, eventually studied to become an engineer, and later worked at a state surgical equipment company; and
WHEREAS, in 1980 during the Mariel boatlift, Mr. Payá was offered the opportunity to leave Cuba, but chose to stay and work for change; and
WHEREAS, in 1986, Mr. Payá married Ofelia Acevedo in a Catholic ceremony, and they would go on to raise three children together: Oswaldo José, Rosa María, and Reinaldo Isaías; and
WHEREAS, in 1987, Mr. Payá founded the Movimiento Cristiano Liberación (Christian Liberation Movement), which called for nonviolent civil disobedience against the rule of the Cuban Communist Party and advocated for civil liberties and freedom for political prisoners; and
WHEREAS, he also began a publication for Catholics titled Pueblo de Dios (People of God), which called upon Christians to lead the struggle for human rights; and
WHEREAS, unfortunately, the publication was shut down the following year by Cuba’s bishops under pressure from the government; and
WHEREAS, in the late 1990s, Mr. Payá and other activists began collecting signatures for the Varela Project, a petition drive that would become one of his most significant endeavors; and
WHEREAS, named in honor of Félix Varela, a Catholic priest who had participated in Cuba’s struggle for independence from Spain, the petition drive relied upon a clause in the Cuban Constitution requiring a national referendum to be held if 10,000 signatures of Cuban voters were collected; and
WHEREAS, by October 2003, Mr. Payá had collected and delivered over 25,000 signatures calling for a referendum on safeguarding freedom of speech and assembly, allowing private business ownership, liberation of political prisoners, ending one party rule, and a new electoral law; and
WHEREAS, according to the Los Angeles Times, the petition drive was “the biggest nonviolent campaign to change the system the elder Castro established after the 1959 Cuban revolution,” and gave Mr. Payá an international reputation as a leading dissident; and
WHEREAS, regrettably, further progress in the Varela Project was stalled when the Cuban government cracked down against its proponents and launched a competing petition drive to declare the socialist state “irrevocable”; and
WHEREAS, during the 2003 crackdown known as the Cuban Black Spring, Movimiento Cristiano Liberación members comprised around 40 of the 75 dissidents involved; and
WHEREAS, through the years, Mr. Payá received multiple threats from the Cuban government due to his efforts to ensure human rights, freedom, and lasting change; and
WHEREAS, on July 22, 2012, near Bayamo, Cuba, Mr. Payá died in a car crash at the age of 60 under suspicious circumstances; and
WHEREAS, many suspect that the Cuban regime was responsible for Mr. Payá’s death; and
WHEREAS, despite his untimely death, Mr. Payá touched many lives and proved to be a strong agent for change and freedom in Cuba; and
WHEREAS, through the years both before and since his passing, Mr. Payá was nominated for, and received, many awards recognizing his accomplishments and efforts towards change, including the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought of the European Parliament (2002) and the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom, posthumously (2018); and
WHEREAS, he was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by the former Czech president Václav Havel; and
WHEREAS, this Board would like to honor the legacy and life of Mr. Payá with a road codesignation on State Road 953/NW 42nd Avenue/Le Jeune Road in Miami-Dade County; and
WHEREAS, that portion of State Road 953/NW 42nd Avenue/Le Jeune Road from NW 11th Street to NW 14th Street is a state road located within the City of Miami; and
WHEREAS, because State Road 953/NW 42nd Avenue/Le Jeune Road is a state road, the Florida Legislature would be required to codesignate this road; and
WHEREAS, section 334.071, Florida Statutes, provides that the erection of markers for a state road designation shall be contingent upon the appropriate city or county commission passing a resolution in support of the particular honorary designation; and
WHEREAS, this codesignation is located in County Commission District 6,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Urges the Florida Legislature to codesignate that portion of State Road 953/NW 42nd Avenue/Le Jeune Road from NW 11th Street to NW 14th Street as “Oswaldo Payá Way.”
Section 2. Urges the City of Miami to approve the state road codesignation of that portion of State Road 953/NW 42nd Avenue/Le Jeune Road from NW 11th Street to NW 14th Street as “Oswaldo Payá Way.”
Section 3. Approves the state road codesignation of that portion of State Road 953/NW 42nd Avenue/Le Jeune Road from NW 11th Street to NW 14th Street as “Oswaldo Payá Way.”
Section 4. Directs the Clerk of the Board to send certified copies of this Resolution to the Governor, the Senate President, the House Speaker, the Chair and Members of the Miami-Dade State Legislative Delegation, the Secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation, the Mayor and City Commission of the City of Miami, the City of Miami Police Department, the City of Miami Fire Rescue Department, the United States Postal Service, the Traffic Signals and Signs Division of the Department of Transportation and Public Works, and the Development Services Division of the Regulatory and Economic Resources Department.
Section 5. Directs the County’s state lobbyists to advocate for the legislative action set forth in section 1 above, and authorizes and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to amend the 2022 State Legislative Package to include this item.



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