Mayor Buddy Dyer asked City Council to take a moment to remember one of our community’s most generous philanthropists, who passed away earlier this month. With great style, flair and tenacity, Harriett Lake supported so many worthy causes.
Harriett was especially passionate about the arts and donated to many of our cultural organizations ranging from the Orlando Ballet to the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts to the Orlando Shakespeare Theater. She was a wonderful friend to me and so many others in Central Florida. Harriett left a lasting legacy and helped make our community a more vibrant place to live.
State of the City Save the Date
On August 7 10:30 a.m. across the street at the Dr. Phillips Center’s DeVos Family Room Mayor Buddy Dyer will give the annual State of the City Address. At the address, he will share how, together as a city, we are building on the progress we’ve made, and celebrate the many people, places and things that make Orlando unique.
If you cannot attend, you can stream it on cityoforlando.net or Facebook Live. Visit cityoforlando.net/SOC for more information.
ITEMS OF NOTE
K # 1 – Trust Act
Orlando is one of the most diverse, inclusive and fastest growing cities in the country and immigrants are a vital part of our community and economy.
There have been a number of changes to the federal immigration policies. Mayor Dyer voiced his concerns that this is creating confusion and fear for residents here in Orlando and believe it is important that we remain a city and a government that values diversity in all that we do. We are going to do all we can to reaffirm our commitment to inclusiveness and continue to build trust between the police and our residents with a new City policy and City Council resolution.
Unfortunately, while we want to do everything possible to support those who feel vulnerable because of their immigration status, it is also important to understand that immigration is a federal issue and unfortunately, no local ordinances, resolutions or policies will prevent ICE from enforcing federal laws in our city. Orlando Police Chief, Joh Mina and Mayor Dyer want to ensure that everyone understands OPD is committed to working alongside our residents to keep our community safe and does not enforce immigration laws.
As a community, we must remain focused on continuing to find ways to work together to overcome hate, intolerance and injustice and embrace diversity, equality and fairness in Orlando and throughout the nation.
To further the city’s commitment to supporting our diverse community, Mayor Dyer announced the formation of the Mayor’s Committee on Multicultural Affairs. This committee will advise on the needs and issues of importance to our various multicultural communities. Additional details about the structure and staffing of the board will be determined in the coming weeks.
Mayor Dyer recognized District 2 Commissioner Tony Ortiz for his leadership in developing this policy and resolution.
B # 5 – Grand Avenue – Design/Build Rankings
As a city, we continue to remain committed to investing in our neighborhoods and providing our residents with more amenities and the enhanced infrastructure they deserve.
Council voted on an item that will help us further these efforts and also in the preservation of a historic landmark as we work to repurpose Grand Avenue Elementary School into a recreation center to continue serving our community.
The project will also help us bring expanded youth services for the Holden Heights neighborhood including after-school and summer programs. It will also serve as the new home for the Pottery Studio and programming currently offered at the Downtown Recreation Center will relocate here.
If you are interested in learning more about this project and being a part of it, you are invited to attend an upcoming community meeting on Thursday, August 2nd at 7 p.m. at the Holden Heights Community Center.
F # 1 – Housing Plan and New Horizons Ribbon Cutting
Council discussed their annual action plan for how they plan to reinvest the housing dollars the city receives from the federal government back into in our community, using these funds to increase our housing inventory and meet other community development needs of our residents.
One of our top priorities is to ensure that every resident, regardless of economic status, has access to quality housing that is safe and affordable … and we rely on partnerships with the federal and other governments and our private sector and non-profits to help us further this effort.
One fantastic example of this is the recent rehabilitation of the New Horizons Apartment Homes. Bishop Allen Wiggins, the HOPE Church and the Village of Orlando in partnership with the city and OUC have transformed this previously vacant 58-unit complex into a showcase for affordable, sustainable and supportive housing.
The rehabilitated units have also been retrofitted with several sustainability features including a rooftop solar array, an on-site community garden and Florida Landscaping, all improvements that align with the Green Works Orlando initiative, and our goal to be the most sustainable city in the southeast U.S.
A ribbon cutting for the New Horizons Apartment Homes will be held Wednesday, July 25 at 10:30 a.m.
# 1 – Hearings 1st Read – Minimum Housing Standards
Following the most recent fatal fire on Lescot Lane and the three tragic fires in the Parramore neighborhood earlier this year, council heard an item to revise our Minimum Housing Standards as they relate to safe living and maintenance standards. The changes provide more clarity as it relates to fire prevention, fire protection and heating to better ensure the safety of Orlando residents and businesses.
Coupled with these code amendments and outreach and education by the Orlando Fire Department, it is our goal to help bring attention to these issues and prevent future tragedies.