Click here to watch the October 5, 2015 City Council meeting.
Mayor Dyer invited residents and businesses to join him, City Commissioners and Police Chief John Mina on Tuesday, October 13 at 6:30 p.m. for the second Orlando Speaks, an interactive workshop designed to strengthen relationships and trust between our police officers and our residents.
Building on the national dialogue, the Valencia College Peace and Justice Institute, in partnership with the City of Orlando, is conducting these workshops to enhance our City’s community policing initiative. Our community’s strength is our diversity and the City is committed to ensuring that Orlando remains safe, inclusive and accepting of all.
The workshop will be held at Edgewater High School and registration is required. Please visit our website, cityoforlando.net, for registration information. Seating is limited, so please register early.
Chief Mina Recognition
Mayor Dyer congratulated Chief Mina on being named one of the Orlando Business Journal’s Veterans of Influence. Chief Mina is a veteran himself and served in our U.S. Army.
Since Chief Mina took office in 2014, he made it one of his goals to hire as many veterans as possible at the Orlando Police Department. To date, he has hired 29 veterans as police officers, approximately 40% of all hires during that same time frame.
20th Anniversary of Mayor’s Matching Grant Program
Last week, the City marked a milestone as Mayor’s Matching Grant project team leaders joined the City to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Mayor’s Matching Grant program. Commissioner Stuart joined Mayor Dyer and City staff to honor our dedicated project leaders.
This community and citizen engagement program that began in 1995 has engaged more than 50,000 residents and served more than 137,000 youth. In 20 years, nearly 700 Mayor’s Matching Grant projects have been planned and completed by our neighborhood associations, nonprofit organizations and schools, in partnership with business and community partners.
Breast Cancer Awareness
Mayor Dyer reminded everyone that this month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Last week, the Mayor had the opportunity to launch Pink Out College Park with Commissioner Stuart, the College Park Partnership and Florida Hospital to help raise awareness and funding for breast cancer screenings.
The Mayor also joined with Commissioner Sheehan and Orlando Health as part of the annual Hope Hike, a symbolic mile walk from City Hall to the UF Health Cancer Center at Orlando Health that brings together the strength of the local community to support cancer survivors and those fighting cancer.
And on Saturday, October 31, the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk presented by Siemens will be at Lake Eola Park in Downtown Orlando. Registration opens at 6:30 a.m. and the walk begins at 8 a.m. Individuals and teams can still register and help support the fight against breast cancer by signing up online at OrlandoStrides.com.
The Mayor recognized and thanked all of the City teams and staff that are participating in Breast Cancer Awareness events this month. He encouraged everyone in our community to join in the fight against breast cancer. Whether it’s attending an event or wearing pink, residents can help get the word out to their friends and loved ones about the importance of breast cancer screening and early detection, diagnosis and treatment.
State of Downtown
On October 22 at 3:30 p.m., the Downtown Orlando Partnership will host Mayor Buddy Dyer’s annual State of Downtown Address. Join the Mayor at the Orlando Citrus Bowl as he shares Downtown’s Winning Game Plan. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit doporlando.com. If you are unable to attend, you can watch the State of Downtown live on cityoforlando.net.
Amway Center Five Anniversary
Just last week on October 1, the City of Orlando celebrated the fifth anniversary of our Amway Center. The Center has been – and continues to be – a remarkable success; hosting more than 6.6 million guests and bolstering Orlando’s economic vitality by creating jobs, keeping local restaurants & bars bustling and drawing both residents and tourists to Downtown Orlando.
During that time it’s hosted numerous high-profile sporting events like NBA All-Star Weekend, NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championships, ECHL All-Star Classic and World Championship Boxing while also welcoming the biggest names in entertainment including Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney, Justin Timberlake, the Eagles and Kevin Hart.
Additionally, our Amway Center has won numerous awards ranging from the Sports Business Journal’s “Sports Facility of the Year” to the Stadium Business Awards’ “Customer Experience Award” and they are still coming in.
Just last month, the Amway Center received the #1 ranking in the NBA for achievement of the ELEVATE standards during the 2014/15 season. This is a mystery shopping program that tracks exceptional & inspirational service standards impacting the fan experience.
Items of Note
Community Organization Funding
The Mayor announced funding agreements that will provide support for many community service organizations, arts and cultural organizations and housing assistance organizations. Many of these are funding through the CRP process and through HUD grants.
Making it easy to get around Orlando continues to be a priority for the City of Orlando. By providing multi-modal forms of transportation, the City is able to offer those who live, work and play in Orlando options for getting around the City.
Part of this effort includes the City’s commitment to investing in our biking amenities. Currently, Orlando is home to more than 300 miles of urban bicycling trails, signed routes and lanes and is a designated Bicycle Friendly Community since 2000.
On today’s agenda, the Council approved an item that will further these efforts with the expansion of our Bike Share Program – adding an eventual eight new stations throughout Downtown. To date, our bike share users have traveled nearly 20,000 miles. That is the equivalent of one person riding from Orlando to Australia and back!
Today, the City renewed its annual Orlando Main Street program agreements with the Audubon Park Garden District, College Park Partnership, Downtown South, Ivanhoe Village, Mills50, Church Street District, Gateway Orlando, Thornton Park District and the Orlando Tech Association.
Since 2008, the Main Street program has resulted in an average public/private investment of more than $260 million. Together the Main Street districts have grown to include 600 new businesses resulting in the addition of more than 4,000 full and part time jobs to the local economy.
Congratulations to all of our Main Street districts for attracting great businesses to strong neighborhood commercial districts throughout our City.
Harbor House Funding
As part of the City’s ongoing effort to keep our community safe, this month Orlando joined with cities across the country to raise awareness about domestic violence and renew our focus on ending domestic violence in our community.
To further support these efforts, today the City Council approved more than $100,000 in grant funding to the Harbor House of Central Florida. This funding will help to continue to connect victims in our community with vital services and resources and to prevent reoccurrences of domestic violence incidents.
Just last week, the City announced another new program with Harbor House, where our Orlando Police officers will be able to start using a dedicated hotline that goes straight to a domestic violence advocate when responding to domestic violence calls, putting victims on the phone with an advocate right away.
Through partnerships like this, the City of Orlando continues to make great strides in moving the needle on domestic violence, not only making our residents safer, but also in many cases, saving their lives.
Demolition of City Properties
Earlier this year, the City purchased seven vacant, foreclosed properties in the greater Washington Shores area and Mercy Drive, in an effort to transform these sites into safe and attractive housing for our residents.
The City sold two of the properties and the City’s partners at Lift Orlando will be working to redevelop those sites in Washington Shores.
On today’s agenda, the Council approved an action to have the other five properties demolished. Demolition of these multi-family properties is our next step in continuing to make the neighborhood safe, clean and suitable for redevelopment.
The City is also currently reviewing proposals for redevelopment of three of these remaining sites. As we continue seeking development partners, the City remains committed to ensuring quality redevelopment with affordable housing options that benefits the surrounding neighborhoods and contributes positively to the quality of life of Orlando residents.