The list of contributions former Mayor "Pepe" Diaz has made to the Miami-Dade community is endless
Electors in Sweetwater will choose a new Mayor of Sweetwater in May if there is no opposing candidate that presents themselves in Sweetwater's City Hall by today March 24th. Former Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz is the only candidate so far. On the Thursday that Diaz submitted his candidacy papers, he made an announcement at Sweetwater City Hall, accompanied by some of the people behind his return to the candidacy.
So far, he has received endorsements from the Police Benevolent Association (PBA), the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the Hispanic Police Officers Association (HPOA), the Police Officers Assistance Trust (POAT), as well the Metro-Dade Firefighters Local 1403.
Diaz was a member of the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners for two decades and while he did serve as Mayor of Sweetwater from 1999 to 2002, he has been vocal about running again for years.
Pepe Diaz and his many contributions to the Sweetwater community
For almost half a century, Jose "Pepe" Diaz has called Sweetwater, Florida home. He was born and raised in Pinar del Rio, Cuba. He's a devoted family man and a proud father of three daughters. He started his public service career in 1986 when he was appointed chair of the City of Sweetwater Police Retirement Trust Fund Board. After being appointed Mayor of Sweetwater in May 1999, he served the following seven years on the city commission.
When serving as Mayor of Sweetwater, Jose "Pepe" Diaz took steps to address the countywide flooding problem in Miami-Dade. He poured in a great deal of time and effort campaigning in Tallahassee and Washington, DC, and was successful in getting the funding for a citywide street drainage upgrade. Diaz hasn't stopped cooperating with flood prevention officials from his state and others to ensure that future floods don't happen again. Former governor Jeb Bush nominated Diaz to serve on the Everglades Restoration and Eco-System Task Force. Here, he provides input on proposed rules that may harm water supplies to West Miami-Dade.
Jose "Pepe" Diaz has also been an active member of the County Commission, participating in several committees during his time there. From 2020 to 2022, he presided as Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners for Miami-Dade County after serving as Vice Chairman. Furthermore, Diaz, served with honor in the United States Marine Corps, as the Chairman of the Military Affairs Board and the Military Liaison for Miami-Dade County. He held these positions for more than 20 years. Diaz's commitment to the community extends beyond his work for the county; he's also a member of the Executive Committee for Citizens' Crime Watch in Miami-Dade.
When three severe hurricanes struck our county, Diaz did everything he could to assist the people who lived here by coordinating relief efforts, collecting needed supplies, and procuring funding for those in need. We can only imagine the kind of positive change he'll bring to our community if he becomes Mayor of Sweetwater again.
His support for sports and seniors in Miami-Dade
Diaz chaired the Miami-Dade County Sports Commission, an organization dedicated to drawing junior, adult amateur, and professional athletic events to the county and rallying locals in their favor. Under his guidance, the Sports Commission established a local bid group to campaign for Miami to host the FIFA World Cup and organized a huge block party on Brickell Avenue to show public support for bringing the tournament to the United States.
He brought international matches to Miami-Dade County, which ultimately helped to popularize the sport there. The Sports Commission was instrumental in bringing WrestleMania to Miami-Dade County, which resulted in an estimated $102.7 million in economic activity for the county. He played a major role in bringing not one but two Super Bowls to our county, as well as the Formula One racing series, which has an annual economic effect of $349 million and provides over $100 million in salaries and compensation to more than 3,000 locals.
When it came to matters that affected seniors and veterans, Diaz has always been a staunch advocate. Diaz initiated the "Seniors Never Alone" initiative, which guarantees participants at least two weekly phone calls. Switchboard of Miami, Inc. runs the service, and its reassurance specialists chat with the elderly and help them in times of need.
Besides his work with the military, Diaz served on the board of governors for the Greater Miami Chambers. As the first naval battleship to be commissioned in Miami, he was an outspoken supporter of the USS Gridley.
Given all his contributions to the county, there's no doubt that Jose "Pepe" Diaz is more than deserving of becoming Mayor of Sweetwater once again. We're excited to see what the future holds for him.
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