Miami-Dade County Commissioner
Sally A. Heyman
December 2019 e-Newsletter
Wishing all Happy Holidays and
Safe, Healthy New Year 2020!
Commissioner Sally A. Heyman  and District 4 Staff:
Bonnie Michaels, Mary Ferreiro, Margie Amador Robinson,
Danielle Mejia,  Alexis Moseley, Christopher Taylor, and Esther Evora 
To find out what legislation Commissioner Sally Heyman is
currently working on, sponsored and/or co-sponsored, and for the Commissioner's legislative history go to-  
Activities and happenings...

Commissioner Sally Heyman 
gets National Appointment

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Sally A. Heyman, District 4, was appointed earlier this year as the Chair of the Large Urban County Caucus (LUCC), for the National Association of Counties (NACo), representing U.S. Counties with populations larger than 500,000 people.
Commissioner Heyman, as an active member of NACo, has held several leadership positions over the past 15 years and has consistently collaborated on best practices for Miami-Dade County and counties throughout Florida, and the United States. Commissioner Heyman has worked on numerous issues in bipartisan partnerships for Miami-Dade and counties nationwide to access federal contracts, promote civil citations and reduce jail populations, cut FEMA reimbursement bureaucracy, tax legislation, mental health and illness treatment, to name a few.

NACo LUCC Symposium hosted by Miami-Dade County
Commissioner Sally Heyman along with Miami-Dade County, hosted a National Association of Counties (NACo) Large Urban County Caucus (LUCC) Symposium in November. The issues discussed in workshops and meetings included:  Early Childhood Initiatives; Homelessness; Resiliency addressing rising water levels; Mental Health Treatment in the Criminal Justice System; Utilizing Arts and Culture in Neighborhood Redevelopment. The emphasis in these workshops was seeking best practices and solutions through peer networking. We had g reat participation from leaders, learners and sponsors.  Thank you to everyone for making this a successful symposium here in Miami.


Miami-Dade Fire Rescue expands its K-9 Program
with trained greyhounds and adopted dogs
serving as station therapy dogs

The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (MDFR) Peer Support Team announced the expansion of its successful Response K-9 program on November 18th at the MDFR Ocean Rescue Station, Haulover Park (Beachside). The Response K-9 program helps first responders deal with occupational stress, as well as help victims in crisis situations. The program, which involves greyhounds and other adopted dogs, has become a model that Miami-Dade County officials are working to expand to other departments throughout Florida and the nation.

The expansion in the K-9 pilot program comes as suicide rates for first responders continue to rise nationally. A 2017 Ruderman Family Foundation study found that first responders are five times more likely than civilians to suffer from PTSD and depression. "As a former firefighter I know first-hand the demands placed on first responders and the tough situations involving loss of life that first responders often have to face," Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez said. "It's important to offer our first responders the help they need to continue to do the life-saving work they do."

Greyhound dog tracks are set to close by the end of next year, as required by a statewide voter referendum banning greyhound racing in Florida. MDFR will be working with Miami-Dade Animal Services and the Greyhound Association to adopt dogs and train them as therapy dogs to live in fire stations. Miami-Dade County Commissioner Sally Heyman has been reaching out to other localities in Florida and the nation to expand Miami-Dade's K-9 program to their jurisdictions. "When we have opportunities to support our first responders as well as rescue greyhounds, that's a win-win," Commissioner Heyman said.

The Response K-9 program was started three years ago by MDFR Captain Shawn Campana, who adopted Charlie, a greyhound, and has worked with other responders to train therapy dogs. Thanks to the support of recently retired Fire Chief Dave Downey, MDFR now has 10 therapy dogs of different breeds. "Now we are going into the next phase to help our firefighters and our civilian staff to deal with grief and embrace the importance of mental health," Captain Campana said.

Commissioner Heyman is currently working on the MDFR K-9 Response Team Foundation, created for the public to make tax-deductible donations.

What's been going on with District pictures. 
It was great working with so many people and helping so many causes. Thank you all.
Community Outreach

Every year before the Jewish Holidays, Rabbi Mark Rosenberg assembles Public Safety Professionals and key service providers to discuss unique needs and responses for the community. The meeting concluded with recognizing Israeli Counsel General Lior Haiat with a Key to Miami-Dade County.

District 4 is glad to have participated in the annual Jewish Community Services (JCS) Milk & Honey Event at Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center. Congrats to JCS on their 100th Anniversary and for again planning this event which helps give seniors in our community a Rosh Hashanah meal.

Commissioner Heyman and District 4 Staff started off the Thanksgiving Holiday with a celebration luncheon for Holocaust Survivors at the Jewish Community Services (JCS) Two's Company Luncheon. A part of the celebration was recognizing JCS President & CEO Fred Stock on his upcoming retirement.

W ith the assistance of our community's churches, temples, and local organizations, District 4 was able to identify people in our community who could use a little help to make their Thanksgiving meal special. Thank you to everyone who helped make our annual Thanksgiving Publix Gift Card distribution possible.

District 4 is lucky to have 
community gem  that is the  Mystic Force Foundatio n who seeks  to find a  c ure for  c hildhood  c ancer. To help these families who se  children are battling cancer ,  Commissioner Heyman donated apple pies to bring  them  some cheer during Thanksgiving. Thank you to Executive Director ,  Silvia Vanni ,  for starting this amazing organization and opening Heroes Hangout, a place located in North Miami Beach  where children with cancer can go and be a kid.


Commissioner Heyman did her annual paper and gift card deliveries to our District 4 Elementary, Middle, and K-8 Schools. This donation helps in the purchasing of supplies for the classrooms. "Happy to support our great Public Schools," said Commissioner Heyman.

A job without the pressure: Commissioner Heyman was happy to participate in Miami-Dade County Public Schools' Principal for the Day at Highland Oaks Middle School. Thank you to Principal Kushi, staff, teachers, and students for making this an enjoyable learning day.


A big dream has finally become a reality  with the Grand Opening of the ASPCA C ommunity  V eterinary  C enter . Thank you to The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and people who care about keeping animals safe and healthy; because of them, we have this new amazing facility in Liberty City. A major thank you goes out to the ASPCA donors, without them this could have not happened.


Commissioner Heyman and dog, Dali, attended the "Blessing of the Animals" at Miami-Dade County's Animal Service Department's facility. Thank you to everyone who came out including our Miami-Dade Fire Rescue's Response K-9 Unit; always great to see them. Remember, "adopt, not shop for a loving animal."

Honoring & Celebrating Special People

Commissioner Heyman was at the Florida Supreme Court for the Investiture of Jurist Robert "Bobby" Luck. "It was a great event shared with many friends, family, and former colleagues," said Commissioner Heyman. Congratulations to Florida Supreme Justice Luck! 

At the October 4th Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners' Meeting, we recognized friends Sam Dubbin and Holocaust Survivor David Mermelstein for their continued fight for Holocaust Survivors and Insurance claims. We also recognized Israeli Counsel General Lior Haiat on his new assignment back in Israel.

Happy to have celebrated with Judge Sam Slom and his great team, Mabel and Estelle, on their retirements. Their retirement is a great loss  to our 11th Judicial Circuit and we wish them all the best on their new adventures!

Commissioner Heyman was at the Investiture for friend and Judge Fleur Lobree, who was sworn in as the newest judge to the Third District Court of Appeals. It was a proud day for her, her family, and her friends.  Congratulations to Judge Lobree!

In Washington DC for a national county conference. Great timing to witness the Senate Judiciary Committee holding the nomination hearings for Florida Supreme Court Justices Robert "Bobby" Luck and Barbara Lagoa for the Federal Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. This was a great opportunity to see democracy in action. Congratulations to Judges Luck and Lagoa who subsequently were approved by the U.S. Senate.

At the retirement celebration for long time Baptist Health South Florida employee, Phillis Oeters. Commissioner Heyman and her colleagues presented Ms. Oeters with a proclamation for all her years of service to the South Florida Community. 


Israel Counsel General Lior Haiat hosted a celebration to say thank you to the South Florida Community. Counsel General Haiat will be missed for all that he did for our community.

It was a great evening, celebrating Rosemary Barkett's 80th Birthday with family and friends. It's always a fun evening when Rosemary is in town. She is Florida's first woman Supreme Court Justice, now serving as a U.S. Jurist in the Hague, Netherlands.

Commissioner Heyman was in Miami Beach with Commissioner Higgins to acknowledge and thank retiring City of Miami Beach Commissioners Joy Malakoff and John Elizabeth Aleman. "They are both great public servants that I had the pleasure of working with and I wish them the best of luck," said Commissioner Heyman.

In Miami Beach for the swearing in of re-elected Mayor Dan Gelber and Commissioner Ricky Arriola, and newly elected Commissioners David Richardson and Steven Meiner. "Congratulations to everyone and I look forward to us working with and for Miami Beach," said Commissioner Heyman.

Community & Government... working at all levels

Commissioner Heyman participated in the annual Joint Meeting between the Miami-Dade Commission and the Florida State Legislators. This face to face meeting, gives everyone a chance to discuss important issues and to re-emphasize priorities. Hoping Tallahassee is listening!

We made it through Hurricane Season 2019 and District 4 stayed ready in Hurricane Prep Mode. Thank you to the Skylake-Highland Lakes Homeowners Association (HOA) members for being a part of the Miami-Dade County's Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

From serenity and beauty on Florida's Panhandle Coast, Commissioner Heyman went in-land to help out communities still under siege from the devastation of Hurricane Michael in October 2018. Hopefully, FEMA will soon step up and take care of our communities with reimbursement here in Miami-Dade County and debris removal and compensation in other parts of Florida.


Went to the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) Legislative Conference in Bay County. This conference was great for learning and community outreach. Thank you to FAC for choosing an area that was devastated by Hurricane Michael and is still struggling to restore economic stability. 

At the Miami Dolphins game, although  they did not win, they delivered with their Dolphin Cancer Challenge by raising over $5 million and hosting a special morning for Cancer Survivors. Glad to be an annual supporter, pledging bike riders and raising Cancer Research dollars. Go Dolphins!

Happy to have celebrated with Jackson Health System (JHS) the super remodeling of the Jackson North Medical Center. "Thank you JHS for all that you do for our South Florida Community and happy to have one of your facilities in Northeast Dade," said Commissioner Heyman.

Invited to the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) Federal Fly-In (Washington, D.C.), for local Florida Government to address federal impact issues. While in D.C., met with Senator Chris Coons to discuss continuing to advocate for Holocaust Survivor Claims Bill. At the White House pushed for expedited FEMA compensation for Florida disaster relief from the last two years of Hurricane devastation. It was great to team up with Georgia and Alabama on issues and problems that all of our states are challenged and plagued by.

Happy Anniversary to American Airlines on their 30th Anniversary at Miami International Airport (MIA). Thank you American Airlines for being a great community partner and wishing you many more years of success serving South Florida.

Attended the annual Aventura Marketing Council's Breakfast Meeting "Salute to Law Enforcement", where they recognize the police departments in our South Florida Community. "Everyday and always, I am proud to support and stand with the great police departments that represent, protect, and serve our community," said Commissioner Heyman.

At the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) to recognize Corporate Partners. A big thank you to the PAMM and all the Corporate Partners for all that you do for our community.


At the annual Multi-Agency Shred-A-Thon and DEA Prescription Drug Takeback at Bill Bird Marina (Haulover Park) in District 4. This event helps residents dispose of private papers and prescription drugs in a safe and secure way. Thank you to all the police departments and DEA for availing this service to our Miami-Dade County residents.

Commissioner Heyman attended the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) Legislative Conference, where Commissioner Heyman is the Chair of the Urban Counties Caucus. "Good to be working with county colleagues from all over the state of Florida," said Commissioner Heyman.

Attended the Botero on Lincoln Road Grand Opening in Miami Beach with the unveiling of Donna Sdraiata (2016 Bronze). Thank you to the Organizing Committee: Ambassador Paul Cejas, Gary Nader, David Martin, Lyle Stern, Howard Herring, and Susanne Birbagher, for making this happen. Also, a special thank you to the New World Symphony Fellows for the amazing music. W e have 13 fabulous, larger than life Botero figures until March 21st, to enjoy; cannot wait to see them all. Happy to be a part of this great exhibit kick off. 

Participated in the City of North Miami's 45th Annual Winternational Thanksgiving Parade on Thanksgiving Day. No Segway this time. Accompanied by my dog, Dali, in her 1st parade. Hope everyone had a great day with family and friends.

Giving Back with Community Organizations-
In addition to our everyday responsibilities, I along with my District 4 team enjoy working with our local Community Based Organizations on fundraising and awareness activities. 

September was Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and I attended many events in support of this cause. One of the events was Live like Bella: Childhood Cancer Foundation's 6th Annual Bella's Ball. Happy to sponsor a table and spend the evening with people stepping up to help find a cure for cancer. This event truly pulled on all of our heartstrings, especially meeting a family from District 4, a mother and her 4 year-old son battling cancer.


Another event attended to support Childhood Cancer Awareness Month was Mystic Force Foundation: Finding a Cure for Childhood Cancer's Annual Childhood Police Car Initiative. This event involved over 20 police departments, including Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (MDFR). It was a great showing of support for this amazing organization trying to find a cure for cancer.


October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Commissioner Heyman and staff participated in The Women's Breast and Heart Initiative's (WBHI) Pink Walk. WBHI and event partner, Aventura Mall, hold this walk annually. It is a two-mile indoor walk and Stroller Stroll to help raise breast and health awareness and fund preventive and early detection resources in our community. Go Pink!

Attended the Suited for Success/ Dress for Success Miami's Cirque du Success. Happy to have been there to celebrate with Founder and Executive Director Sonia Jacobson and her team on their 25th Anniversary. "Proud to be a supporter from the start and time to empty the clothes closet again to assist others," said Commissioner Heyman.

At the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis and The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis's 34th Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner. So proud of the Buoniconti Family, Dr. Barth Green, and their teams for their decades of work and successes. It was an emotional event without Nick Buoniconti, who passed away earlier this year.

Commissioner Heyman and staff attended the Children's Home Society's annual fundraiser, Claws for a Cause. A special thank you to Joe's for starting the season with this charity event. 

Thank you to Barbara and Larry Stein for hosting a BBQ Kickoff to celebrate a new season for Actors' Playhouse. Barbara and her team are a blessing for our community, the arts and our children. Wish there were more community gems like this in South Florida.

Attended the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired's 14th Annual See the Light Luncheon. It was a great luncheon to raise money for this amazing organization we are blessed to have in our community. "My favorite was the children singing," said Commissioner Heyman. President and CEO Virginia A. Jacko and her team are truly amazing people  for what they have accomplished for the blind and visually impaired residents in our community.

Commissioner Heyman and staff attend the Voices for Children 25th Annual Be a Voice Luncheon. Voices raises funds for children in the Guardian and Foster programs.

Commissioner Heyman and staff participated in the American Cancer Society's Making Strides of Miami-Dade Walk. This annual breast cancer awareness walk was a great success. "It was great to see so many people from the community come out to support this great cause and thank you to Mary Ferreiro, my Deputy Chief of Staff, for organizing the County Commission Team and everyone else who came out to walk and show your support," said Commissioner Heyman. Hopefully we will find a cure soon!

Commissioner Heyman and staff attended the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami's Jazz at Joe's. Commissioner Heyman was a proud sponsor of this event
 helping children in our community. 

Congratulations to the Actors' Playhouse for the start of another great season of shows. Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash was a great way to start off the season. Happy to support this local community theater. 

Attended the I Have a Dream Foundation's Miami Gala. Thank you to Stephanie and Jules Trump for their vision, philanthropy and success of this great organization for our youth. The success of our children's learning is everyone's success.

At the Best Buddies' 23rd Annual Miami Gala. Well done to Chairman and CEO Anthony Kennedy Shriver and his team for  a successful Annual Gala, raising millions  for this international organization helping to foster one-to-one friendships between people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). 

Upcoming Events in District 4 and Miami-Dade County... 
Santa's Enchanted Forest
October 31st
until January 5th

For more information, go to  
Aventura Express Train at the Aventura Mall

November 4th
until December 24th
For more information, go to
The NightGarden at Fairchild


November 15th
until January 11th

For more information, go to

Photos with Santa at the Aventura Mall
November 16th
until December 24th

For more information, go to
Holiday Evening at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
December 18th
Starts at 6:00pm 

For more information, go to
Helpful Tips & Resources... 

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Safety Tips for 
Holiday and Seasonal Safety 

Festivities can easily turn to tragedy if we don't look out for some typical holiday hazards.

December is the time of year when most of us gather to celebrate many different holidays, including Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, New Year's Eve, and others. While the festivities vary from culture to culture and house to house, all share one common concern: safety. 

According to Underwriters Laboratory (UL), an independent not-for-profit product-safety certification organization, most fires and fire deaths occur in the United States during December, January, and February. UL credits the main culprits for these fires as faulty lighting, dried-out trees, and candles.

Additionally, UL reports that nearly 12,500 people each year are treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to holiday decorations. But you don't have to skip the festivities in order to enjoy the holidays, just follow a few safety guidelines.

No matter what blend of holiday traditions you choose to celebrate, add a bit of safety and a pinch of caution to the mix and you'll have the perfect recipe for a safe holiday season.
When cold weather approaches, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department reminds residents to take the time to prepare for the drop in temperatures.

The winter season has cooler temperatures, lower humidity and less frequent precipitation. Most of us in South Florida are not used to handling cold and dry weather, so click here  to see the tips that  help to ensure that you stay safe when the temperature drops and the air becomes much dryer.  

Miami-Dade County Apps
Get Miami-Dade County's information on the go! These mobile apps let you take advantage of our services from the palm of your hand.

As new applications are developed, we'll add them here in our Mobile Application Center. All apps are free to download.

Some helpful mobile apps for this Holiday Season are 311 Direct App, Audio Traffic App, and MIA Airport Official (see more information below). For a complete list of all the apps Miami-Dade County has to offer, go to

311 Direct App
311Direct is a mobile app which enables the residents of Miami-Dade County and City of Miami to report neighborhood problems and code violations to the 311 Contact Center. Users can attach a photo of the problem, submit relevant details, and choose to either remain anonymous or provide their contact info for follow-up.

Download 311Direct Now-

Audio Traffic
The Miami-Dade Audio Traffic app allows Miami-Dade residents to listen to live traffic reports and breaking bulletins, giving users the traffic and public safety information they need without the distraction of looking at their phone while driving.
Download Audio Traffic Now-

MIA Airport Official
The official mobile app for Miami International Airport puts helpful information for all things MIA right at your fingertips. Whether you're looking for somewhere to grab a quick pre-flight meal or arranging ground transportation to and from the airport, MIA Airport Official has you covered.
Events and Community Activities Calendar

Every Tuesday of the Month 
Food Truck Fest
5:00- 9:30pm 
Haulover Park 
10800 Collins Ave 
Miami, FL 33154
For more information, go to

Every Wednesday of the Month
Food Truck Festival 
5:00- 10:00pm 
Pelican Harbor Marina
1275 Northeast 79th Street
Miami, FL 33138
For more information, go to

Every Fridayof the Month
Yoga at Founders Park
Starts at 9:00am
Founders Park
3105 NE 190th Street
Aventura, FL 33180

Every Last Friday of the Month
(rain or shine)
Jazz at MOCA
 Starts at 8:00pm  
MOCA Plaza 
770 NE 125th Street 
North Miami, FL 33162  
Every Wednesday, Thursday,
Friday, and Sunday
( No presence on Christmas Day or
New Year's Day)
Humane Society of Greater Miami-
Aventura Mall Adopt-A-Pet Outreaches
2:00- 5:00pm
Aventura Mall First Floor by Ann Taylor
For more information, on Adoption Outreach go to
 or call (305) 696-0800.

Northeast Miami-Dade Service Center
OPEN to Assist Residents

North Dade residents don't have to travel downtown for assistance with basic county services with the Service Center at the North Dade Justice Center located at 15555 Biscayne Boulevard. The Service Center is open Monday- Friday, 9:00am - 4:00pm (closed 12:00pm - 1:00pm). 
Some of the available services are:
  • Golden Passport new applications and renewals
  • Homestead exemptions
  • Property Tax and Local Business Tax Payments
  • Baby stroller permits
A Miami-Dade staff person will be available to assist residents, as well as an automated computer touch screen that will allow residents to pay their bills and access other services online. 
Residents can call 3-1-1 for additional information on services provided at this Service Center.    

District Office
1100 NE 163 Street
Suite 303
North Miami Beach, FL 33162
Phone (305) 787-5999
Fax (305) 787-5998
Downtown Office
111 NW 1 Street
Suite 220
Miami, FL 33128
Phone (305) 375-5128
Fax (305) 372-6179

I encourage you to contact my office and share your concerns and ideas on how we can improve our community.  You can contact my office at (305) 787-5999 or via e-mail at 
Sally A. Heyman
Miami-Dade County Commissioner
District 4