Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer hosted his annual State of the City address in the Rich Devos Family Room at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday, August 7.
The theme for this year’s pep rally centered on Mayor Buddy’s 60th birthday, the same day as the speech, by sharing 60 reasons why Orlando is awesome. Following a reading of an original by Orlando’s own Poet Laureate, Susan Lilley, entitled “This is Orlando,” the mayor took the stage to rhyme off his list – which you can read from his script which we’ve included at the bottom of this post.
Points of note included an acknowledgement that there was more work to do, echoed by Orlando’s “Ambassador of Love,” Donna Dowless, who stood up in the crowd to call for “pushing onward” and that “there’s more work to do.” Because, Donna Dowless. Mayor Dyer specifically highlighted the progress the community has made to tackle homelessness and future plans to further those efforts.
“Loving our city isn’t just about the fun stuff. It’s about working together to solve problems. That’s what we do best.”
– mayor dyer
Other highlights included:
- Infrastructure Improvement Projects – The City has committed more than $80 million in funding for projects like the Orlando Beltway. More on that HERE.
- The City is moving ahead on their Orange/Robinson projection park concept. More on that HERE with updates coming soon.
- Major improvements at Lake Lorna Doone Park and the creation of two new parks in the southeast area of the City; McCoy Park and Heroes Community Park, adding more than 50 acres of ball-fields, playgrounds and fitness trails throughout Orlando.
- The new home of the Orlando Tennis Centre will be built in the heart of the upcoming Packing District, in West College Park.
- The city will be adding two new job positions to create more housing options and is dedicating more than $1 million in this year’s budget to affordable housing initiatives. including a $15 million investment strategy to acquire and rehabilitate foreclosed properties and with partners from non-profits, businesses and private developers. More than 600 affordable units are planned, under construction or have recently opened in Orlando this year.
- Funding for 15 new school resource officers (police officers) in public schools across the County and the City will also add 10 new Orlando Police officer positions in the year ahead.
- Residential burglaries have been reduced by more than 50 percent over the last three years, which the City attributes in part to an expanded network of Community Watch programs.
- The City is installing a gender-neutral bathroom.