January 14, 2013
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Earlier today we recognized the members of my MLK Commission and
talked about some of the upcoming events to honor the life and
legacy of Dr. King. Last night I had the privilege of participating
in the Candlelight Vigil and March and the Multicultural Interfaith
Service. It was a great event with more than 300 people in
I was extremely moved by the event as we joined together and
reflected on the fact that we are all part of one community and
family – we are diverse, but united and committed to equality for
I want to encourage all of you to some of the other MLK activities
happening this month and thank my MLK Commission again for the hard
work and dedication they put into these events and activities every
MLK Event Calendar
Marc Morial Visit
I’d like to recognize someone here with us today, Marc Morial,
President and CEO of the National Urban League , former mayor of the
City of New Orleans and former Louisiana State Senator. He is here
today with Allie Braswell, our Central Florida Urban League
President, for a series of meetings with the local Urban Leagues'
board and it's local stakeholders.
Morial is a champion for civil rights and diversity and is often
called to the White House to consult on a variety of issues. We are
honored he is here is Orlando and look forward to working with him
on many initiatives including the Leagues’ new Jobs Rebuild America
program to help put urban America back to work.
One Year Anniversary of City’s Domestic Partnership Registry
January 12th marks the one-year anniversary of when the City’s
Domestic Partnership Registry went into effect. To date, 777 couples
I have been incredibly moved by all of the positive comments I’ve
received since we passed this ordinance. I am so proud of this
council and our City that we took a leadership role on this
important issue. We were the region’s first City to implement a
Domestic Partner Registry and now many other cities and counties
from across the state of Florida have used our ordinance to model
This was an important step to help make Central Florida a more
inclusive place for everybody, regardless of race, religion or
I invite you join me for this year’s 8th annual Neighborhood &
Community Summit being held on Saturday, February 23, from 7:30 a.m.
to 2:15 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel across from the entrance to
Universal Orlando. Each year I host this Summit to bring together
neighborhood, arts and cultural, civic, community and faith-based
leaders and volunteers to learn and share best practices for
community building and civic engagement.
This year’s event will also focus on the City’s sustainability
initiative, GreenWorks Orlando. Sign up today on our
GreenWorks interactive website to earn participation
points and redeem them for two free passes to the summit. Otherwise,
if you register by February 8, you will pay only $5, which is a 50%
For more information, a listing of the workshops and registration
for this year’s Summit go to
Blues B Q
I would also like to invite everyone to join me at the seventh
annual Blues B-Q festival.
Enjoy a free Blues concert featuring great live music from the
Robert Randolph & the Family Band as well as local bands.
Be sure to mark your calendars for Saturday, March 9, from 4 to 10
pm In front of the Orange County Courthouse between Amelia Street
and Livingston Street.
For more information, go on line to
OPD Staff Updates
It is with deep respect and gratitude that I announce that after
many dedicated years of service to the citizens and City of Orlando,
Deputy Chief Jeff O’Dell is retiring. I have appointed Carl Metzger
to the Deputy Chief position.
Most of you know and have worked with Captain Metzger, so you know
that he is an outstanding officer, a respected leader, an excellent
representative of the City and OPD, and a great addition to Chief
Rooney's command team.
Please join me in recognizing Chief O’Dell for his service and
congratulating Deputy Chief Metzger on his promotion.
I would like to recognize one of our citizens, Dr. Sylvester
James Gates, who is a graduate of Jones High School, class of 1969.
He was recently named, by President Barack Obama, as one of 12
eminent researchers as a recipient of the National Medal of Science
and one of 11 extraordinary inventors as a recipient of the National
Medal of Technology and Innovation - the highest honors bestowed by
the United States Government upon scientists, engineers and
inventors. The recipients will receive their awards at a White House
in early 2013.
I’d also like to recognize two of our small business owners,
David Lang and Carry ONeal, who own the Regalia dress shop in
Thornton Park which dresses beauty pageants contestants for
competitions. This past Saturday night they dressed the newly
crowned 2013 Miss America, Miss New York, and the first and second
runners up – Miss South Carolina and Miss Oklahoma. In total they
dressed 17 contestants who competed in the pageant.
Items of Note
Orlando Primary Bicycle Route Plan Feasibility
On today’s agenda is an item that will further the
City’s efforts to promote bicycling in Orlando through the efforts
of a comprehensive study. The study will look at the City’s future
plan to continue to connect our existing trail network with newly
constructed bicycle trails and on-street routes. Some of those trail
connections will include:
- Trails connecting the Medical City Area to
the Lee Vista Area
- Trails connecting the Semoran Corridor to
both Southeast Orlando and Downtown Orlando
- Closing the gap in the Cady Way Trail near
Fashion Square Mall by connecting the existing trail head to
Maguire Boulevard and Lake Druid Park.
- An extension of the Lake Underhill Path
- Trail connections in the Mercy Drive Area
providing Connections to the Shingle Creek Trail and the West
- A western expansion for the Orlando Urban
Trail to Washington Shores and the Shingle Creek Trail
The City of Orlando has been recognized as a
Bicycle friendly community since 2000 and is currently home to more
than 290 miles of urban bicycling trails, signed routes and lanes.
Today we will officially accept a federal grant
that will allow the City to hire 24 firefighters whose positions we
have held unfilled to save the City money during tough budget times.
The funding is part of the federal government’s SAFER Program.
The grant will cover the firefighter’s salaries and benefits for a
two year period with no matching funds required.
This will ensure that our residents and visitors continue to benefit
from the highest level of fire protection and help us maintain our
ISO 1 Ranking.