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Multi-Cultural Inclusion and Diversity

City Policies & Initiatives that foster Inclusion & Diversity for our Multicultural Community

The City is proud of its diverse multicultural community and that we attract people from across the country and globe who want to seek opportunity and call Orlando home. Diversity and inclusion are a vital part of our way of life. The City has a long history of advancing policies and initiatives that embrace diversity and celebrate our various cultures, including:

  • A non-discrimination ordinance established in 1973 to foster equality in Orlando and it continues to be active in promoting the City’s recent equality initiatives.
  • Equal Opportunity: The City of Orlando is committed to a policy of equal opportunity free from discrimination and harassment. All City services to the public and employment related policies are administered without regard to race, sex, color, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or marital status.
  • Our City Council is comprised by six City commissioners who are elected at-large from their respective districts to four-year terms. Members of our City Council are diverse in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, nationality and sexual orientation representing the composition of our diverse local community.
  • Same-sex Domestic Partnership benefits for City workers: Since 2009, the City offers domestic partner health benefits, legal dependent benefits and equivalent family leave.
  • Domestic Partnership Registry: Approved by the Orlando City Council in December 2011, the ordinance created the City’s first-ever Domestic Partnership Registry, becoming the first government agency in Central Florida to take the important step towards giving all couples the same basic rights other couples in committed relationships have. Since then, 13 other Florida jurisdictions have used the City of Orlando’s registry as a model. Currently, more than 1,300 couples have registered on the registry.
  • Gender Identity added to Anti-discrimination Chapter 57: On July 28, 2014, Chapter 57 Review Board, unanimously recommended to our City Council that gender identity be added as a protected class to the City’s Recruitment & Employment and Harassment policies and procedures. City Council unanimously approved an ordinance adding gender identity on August 11, 2014.
  • The City of Orlando Citizen Boards are composed of members of our diverse community, community leaders and entrepreneurs that are part of the City’s policy-making process by providing recommendations on diverse matters of public concern, such as municipal planning, public art, housing codes, and others. Currently, approximately 50% of our board members represent one of our minority communities.
  • The City’s Nominating Board is comprised of a diverse group of professionals and community leaders who recommend qualified individuals for appointments to City and multi-jurisdictional boards. The Nominating Board members come from different cultural and professional backgrounds and are constantly recruiting and identifying potential candidates from our local multicultural community interested in getting involved in the policy-making process through volunteer work.
  • The Office of Multicultural Affairs: Mayor Dyer created the Office of Multicultural Affairs to create strong communication bonds with the growing multicultural community, continue building relationships and enhance the engagement of all multiethnic communities with City services, programs and events.
  • The City’s Minority & Women Business Enterprise (M/WBE) program increases the opportunity for minority and women-owned firms to participate in City procurement and ensure equal contracting opportunities for M/WBE. During the fiscal year 2016, the City awarded 22% of the overall project dollars to M/WBE subcontractors. We are proud of the City’s M/WBE program and its role in embracing the inclusiveness of minority and women-owned firms as an important component of the region’s continued economic success. Providing opportunity to these companies has resulted in increased revenue and job creation.
  • BLUEPRINT Employment Office: To ensure the largest public works project in Florida’s history, the construction of the MLS Soccer Stadium, Orlando Citrus Bowl, Amway Center and the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts, had a direct economic benefit on the local community, the City of Orlando opened the BLUEPRINT Employment Office. The BLUEPRINT Program Office provides assistance to minority and women-owned businesses as well as employment and training opportunities for residents of Parramore, ex-offenders and homeless persons interested in working on the construction of the new Major League Soccer stadium.
  • The Office of Community & Human Relations promotes equality of opportunity for citizens of Orlando by advocating policies of nondiscrimination and enforcing City and federal laws that prohibit discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodation. Human Relations is a contracted partner of both the S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) .
  • Chapter 57 Review Board: Members of this board advocate for the citizens of Orlando in the areas of human and civil rights, with a primary focus on equal rights and equal opportunities in employment, housing and public accommodations. It reviews determinations of Chapter 57 complaints of discrimination filed under the protected classes of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation or retaliation. It conducts mediation and/or conciliation conferences and holds hearings when any party to a complaint violates the terms of a negotiated settlement agreement.
  • The Hispanic Office for Local Assistance (HOLA) was created in 2004 by Mayor Dyer to offer a multicultural outreach center where families, residents and businesses identify local resources and access to public services, such as housing, schools,jobs, healthcare services and others. Currently, HOLA has served more than 145,000 individuals and reached out more than 300 community partners.
  • Mayor’s Neighborhood & Community Summit brings together neighborhood, arts and cultural, civic, community and faith-based leaders and volunteers from our diverse multicultural community to share information and ideas for community building and creating partnerships. It also provides an opportunity to learn more about City programs, initiatives and resources that will help guide neighborhood and community organizations toward making a greater positive impact in our community.
  • Mayor’s Council of Clergy is comprised by leaders of our faith-based community who meet quarterly with Mayor Dyer to provide advice on the important issues that affect their members and continue building relationships with the City. In addition, these dialogs allow the Mayor to directly inform our faith-based leaders about current City projects and events.
  • Mayor’s Veterans Advisory Council is comprised by our military veterans and members of the active military and has a proud history of serving our community through education and outreach. This dedicated group of volunteers, representing more than 20 veterans’ organizations, puts together quality events that raise awareness of significant milestones, holidays and veteran related topics.
  • The Mayor’s Committee on Aging advises and communicates to the Mayor issues of importance to older residents in Orlando. The committee consists of 10-14 members from the community and various agencies involved in identifying senior needs and seeking resolutions to barriers that hinder seniors from enjoying the fruits of their labor.
  • The Orlando Mayor’s Martin Luther King Commission is a partnership and represents a cross-section of civic leaders from the private, public and non-profit sectors to plan and promote the citywide MLK events to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Orlando Speaks establishes a safe space for dialogue where citizens, police officers and community leaders come together to share stories, concerns, and perspectives with a goal of maintaining a safe city by finding common ground among police and citizens. These conversations are critical to bringing the community closer together, strengthening Orlando’s diversity and ensuring that the City remains safe, inclusive and accepting of all. Orlando Speaks community conversations are held across the city.
  • Stand-Up Orlando: In October 2014, Mayor Dyer launched Stand Up Orlando to publicly demonstrate his commitment to bullying prevention and to ensure our community continues to be a place of belonging, acceptance and respect for all people. More than ten community partners joined Mayor Dyer to launch this anti-bullying initiative, which encourages safety and positive relationships among our students, parents, administration and teachers.
  • City participation in national inclusiveness campaigns: The City has participated in national inclusiveness and non-political campaigns, such as ‘Everyone Matters’, a national campaign in which more than 50 Mayors, 100 cities and 150+ schools across the United States participate to deliver a message of inclusion and affirm that everyone contributes to the vibrancy of all cities and the nation.

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