Major League Soccer
Commissioners, as you know last week was the end of the legislative
session and unfortunately, we were not able to get legislation
passed that would have provided a state sales tax rebate to assist
with the construction of a new Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium.
The politics of a sales tax referendum for the Miami Dolphins
complicated what should have been a fairly easy effort for MLS.
Despite this, the City is committed to pursuing an MLS team because
of the economic investment and job opportunities it will bring to
our entire region along with quality of life amenities that a
professional sports franchise offers.
I would like to thank our local legislative delegation, led by
Senator Gardner, Senators Simmons and Soto and Representatives
Nelson and Stewart, who worked very hard to get our legislation
Clean the World Trip
The week before last, I joined a team from
Clean the World for a soap distribution trip to the Dominican
If you’re not familiar, Clean the World, which is located in
Parramore, is a non-profit that takes partially-used soap from
hotels, sterilizes and recycles it and then distributes the soap to
children and families who do not have access to or cannot afford
Why? Because each day, more than 9,000 children around the world die
from diseases that can be prevented by washing with bar soap.
During our three days in the Dominican Republic, our team
distributed 10,000 bars of soap to 2,000 children who live in five
different villages across the country. And, we didn’t just
distribute the soap, we taught the kids how to use the soap to
properly kill germs – using a superhero skit and a song to the tune
of La Bamba.
I must admit, when I agreed to go, I didn’t realize it would involve
singing and acting.
While we were there, we partnered with Children’s International, an
organization which provides many of the social services for children
in the Dominican Republic including after school care, medical and
The Director of Children’s International in the Dominican Republic
explained that their organization serves the poorest of the poor and
the families have an average monthly income of $120. Only 20% of the
families have piped water and may have to walk up to two miles to
get their water each day. Many of the children must walk 45 minutes
to receive the services offered at their centers.
Being part of Clean the World’s team made me realize how thankful I
am that one of our own local non-profits is making a difference in
lives around the world, and they don’t just distribute
internationally. They also distribute to the underserved and
homeless right here in our own community.
Not only that, Clean the World has prevented 1.5 million pounds of
hotel waste from going into our landfills.
I encourage you to learn more about Clean the World and all they are
doing to impact our community and the communities of others. In
addition to volunteering on soap distribution trips, they are always
looking for volunteers to scrape the top layer off the used soap.
Orlando Police Department Domestic Violence
Today I’d like to recognize one our dedicated Orlando Police
officers, Roland Clee, for his outstanding support of crime victims
and their families.
Roland was honored by Attorney General Pam Bondi during National
Crime Victims’ Rights Week and received the Distinguished David S.
Crawford “Law Enforcement Officer Victim Services Award.”
Roland has played an integral role in several major City initiatives
aimed at assisting domestic violence victims. He has been the
organizer and promoter of numerous victims’ rights events, including
the largest domestic violence awareness event in the history of
Orlando. As a result of that domestic violence awareness event, 38
families sought shelter.
Thank you Roland for your hard work and dedication.
Public Service Recognition Week
This week is "Public Service Recognition
Week," when we honor the employees of federal, state and local
governments throughout the United States for their important
contributions as public servants. This week, we honor the diverse
men and women who meet the needs of the United States through work
at all levels of government. Since the founding of our country,
public employees have worked to ensure that our government is the
best in the world. I’d like to take time today to honor our unsung
heroes here at the City of Orlando for their dedication. Thank you!
Single Family Development
Permitting and development activity have been on the rise in the
City of Orlando. On Monday, the City Council approved three plats
that would allow for 672 new single-family homes, 549 of which are
in the southeast near Medical City. This is yet another strong
indicator that Orlando is pulling further out of the recession.
On Monday, the City Council also approved a re-plat for
infrastructure projects planned at the Creative Village site. The
re-plat will allow for the future realignment of Livingston Street
and the recreation of Terry Avenue. This action also designates the
necessary right-of-way for the Parramore Bus Rapid Transit system,
which will break ground this summer. This will help re-establish the
grid system at the site, laying the groundwork for the creation of a
true urban neighborhood.
On Monday’s agenda was an item that will create the first ever
monument in the U.S. honoring the Red Tail Pilots of the Tuskegee
Airman. On Tuesday, Buddy Dyer will join with Commissioner Stuart,
Commissioner Ings, Vision of Flight and the Orlando Science Center
to break ground on the future location of the monument.
Three surviving Red Tail pilots who call Central Florida home will
also be in attendance and recognized for their service at the event.
The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African American military
aviators in the United States Armed Forces.
Firehouse Subs Grant for Hands-Only CPR Classes
Through our Hands-Only CPR initiative, 95% of our City employees
have been trained. Next we will be looking to expand this life
saving program into the community, teaching our residents and
Monday’s agenda included a grant from Firehouse Subs that will
provide for CPR equipment so the City and the Orlando Fire
Department can further expand this program and educate our