Sanford Burnham Presentation – Representatives from the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute gave an update on the work happening within their state-art-facility life science facility located at Lake Nona.
General Items of Note
Join us on Saturday, February 28 in Downtown Orlando for the 9th annual Blues B-Q at City Commons Plaza on Orange Avenue from 4-10 p.m. The free event includes live performances by Grammy award winning artist Betty Wright as well as The Gerry Williams Band. This year we are partnering with Pathlight Home. Pathlight Home provides more than 500 formerly homeless persons in Central Florida with permanent, supportive housing. Help support Pathlight Home by bringing your old cell phones, IPods, IPads and batteries to Blues B-Q and dropping them off at their tent during the event.
Mayor Dyer congratulated Commissioner Patty Sheehan for receiving the Lake Eola Heights Historic Neighborhood Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. This award was created to recognize individuals that have contributed significantly to the quality of life in Lake Eola Heights and have been advocates for the Lake Eola Heights Historic Neighborhood Association.
Agenda Items of Note:
We are just days away from the very first Major League Soccer game here in Orlando. Orlando City’s inaugural game will be on Sunday, March 8 versus New York City FC at the Orlando Citrus Bowl. And from every indication it looks like we will Fill the Bowl and have a sell out for the first game! There will be several activities the week before, including a 5K, Family Movie Night at Lake Eola and a Pub Crawl. To kick-off the week we will be holding a press event to unveil a new mini-pitch at the Jackson Community Center. A grant from the U.S. Soccer Federation was on Monday’s agenda. This grant will convert an under-utilized tennis court into a hard court pitch.
On Monday the Council considered Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund Resolutions in support of two new headquarters in District 3. The first is a corporate/regional headquarters for Ruby Tuesdays, Inc., a well-known hospitality brand. The other is a corporate headquarters for SMRxT, Inc., a life sciences company seeking to improve health outcomes through innovative sensor technology.
The diversity of the types companies seeking to relocate to Orlando speaks to our City’s talented workforce, quality of life and business friendly environment.
If these incentives are approved, this corporate expansion will result in a combined total of 100 new high wage-high value jobs for local residents. We look forward to seeing the continued growth and success of both companies.
FPR #2 – MOU with Microsoft
An agreement with Microsoft to bring a new program “DigiGirlz,” to middle and high school girls who attend programs in our recreation centers was also on Monday’s agenda. DigiGirlz is a full day event where these young women will learn about careers in technology, connect with Microsoft employees and participate in computer and technology workshops.
We appreciate the partnership with Microsoft to get our students excited about STEM programs and the potential for a future career in technology and particularly opening this program to young women as women are typically underrepresented in technology careers.
FPR #3 – Orlando Repertory Engagement Program
In late October, we launched Stand Up Orlando, a new anti-bullying campaign in partnership with the Holocaust Center and the Zebra Coalition.
I wanted to provide you with a quick update on the initiative to date:
- More than 1,000 6th grade students from City middle schools have visited the Holocaust Center.
- After visiting, 95% agree they understand more about how the Holocaust began with hateful ideas.
- 98% agreed they feel more willing to treat others with respect and stand up for those who are treated unfairly.
- We launched a new anti-bullying marketing campaign in every middle, high and charter school in the county.
- The Zebra Coalition has provided outreach and training to more than 500 youth, parents and others to include cultural competency and youth mental health first aid training.
Another partnership was created on Monday as part of Stand Up Orlando. Funded through a grant with Walt Disney World, the Orlando Repertory Theatre offered an intensive arts residency program to our students at four of our community centers. Over the next three months, students will learn what it means to be part of an ensemble, explore theatre arts and even learn about the role arts can play in combating bullying.
At the end of the program, the students will showcase what they have learned during two performances in the Rep’s Universal Theatre at the end of May.
For more information about Stand Up Orlando, visit cityoforlando.net/standup
Compressed Natural Gas Commercial Garbage Trucks
Another item on Monday’s agenda furthers the City’s Green Works Orlando initiative, to lead the Southeast in sustainability.
One way we are doing that is through improvements to our solid waste operations. This March, we will launch a new fleet of compressed natural gas (CNG) commercial garbage trucks.
The new trucks will benefit both Orlando residents and the environment.
On Monday February 16, Fire Chief John Miller advised Mayor Buddy Dyer that he is retiring after 5 years as Chief and 27 years with the Orlando Fire Department. On Monday February 23, the Orlando City Council appointed Roderick Williams as the new Orlando Fire Chief. Chief Williams has been with OFD for 19 years and is an Orlando native who graduated from Jones High School.