- Strong Neighborhoods and Safer Communities
- Locally Owned Small Businesses and High Wage, Clean Industry Jobs.
- Streamlined Government and Low Taxes.
- A United Orlando that Respects our Diversity
On Safer Communities
In the area of keeping our city and neighborhoods safer, we have worked hard to build up our Neighborhood Watch Programs. In District 3, we proudly brag about having the highest number of participants, the largest number of Neighborhood Watch Groups and most Neighborhood Watch annual parties. While there is still too much property crime in our communities, even one intrusion or victimization is too many, it is encouraging that our crime rate has steadily gone significantly down since I first took office. While we can’t have a police officer on every corner, we have thousands of dedicated citizens who are an extension of eyes and ears for OPD, helping make Orlando safer.
A few years ago, I saw the success that the New York Police Department was having with “Operation Lock-it-Up.” So, we brought that here and have created an awareness campaign to help curb crime by remembering to secure your car and home. Let’s not give criminals an easy opportunity to commit crime. Along with our Neighborhood Watch program, we now have Business Watch, helping us create the same safe environment for our local businesses and main streets.
We have taken the lead in Central Florida with our Crime Free Multi-Housing Program, which is successfully making apartments safer and chasing out undesirable elements. Along with the encouragement of our Council, Chief Mina has created the Open Data system, providing the most up-to-date crime statistics for everyone.
Orlando has always had one of the best fire departments in the country, just a few years ago, OFD was recognized with an ISO rating of 1 and the highest certification available. Only 17 fire departments in the country have achieved this goal, out of 22,000 departments. Moreover, we made these achievements during the worst recession in 80 years.
On Stronger, Greener Communities
For the health and well-being of our citizens, the Mayor and I launched the first community training of “Take Heart Orlando”, a hands only CPR that can save lives. Along with a local phone app to locate a nearby AED, our fire department has trained more than 30,000 citizens on how to save a life. This means, according to the national statistics, that we have a 3x greater chance of surviving a heart attack in Orlando, Florida.
Building and refurbishing parks, recreation and green space will remain a priority for me. Just a few of those improvements in District 3 during the past four years include:
- Mitchell Nutter Park
- Blue Jacket Park
- Mathews Park Renovation
- Orlando Walks Sidewalks (adding 34 miles of sidewalks to Orlando)
- One Person/One Tree Program
- Constitution Green
- Expanded parking here at Dubsdread
- Creation of Druid Park
- Colonel Joe Kittinger Park
- Lake Ivanhoe’s Paddleboard Dock
- Fence upgrade at Leu Gardens
- Improvements at Loch Haven Park
- Enhancements at Gaston Edwards Park
- Bike and Walking Trails at the Urban Trail, Bumby Ave and soon to be the Colonial Drive Pedestrian Bridge.
On Small Business and Jobs
We are reaching out to become a hub for small business. Nationally recognized, Orlando has become the leader in creating and maintaining jobs, especially through our Orlando Main Streets. Ever since we started our main street program in 2008, we have created more than 9,400 jobs in our 8 districts. We have seen more than $383,000,000 in new buildings and renovations and this doesn’t include another $784,000,000 in economic growth of our two great hospital systems, of which District 3 is the home to one.
If you’re like me who looks for a return on investment, here in Orlando, for every $1.00 spent by one of our 8 Orlando Main Streets, $86 is returned through capital investment. In District 3, we have the strongest and oldest main streets: College Park, Audubon Park Garden District, Ivanhoe Village and Mills/50. We have some of those leaders here tonight…let’s thank them for helping us build a vibrant small business community.
On a United Community that also Respects Diversity
Over the past year, our community was rocked by the horrific tragedy at the Pulse Nightclub. This attack was not only on the LGBTQ and Hispanic Communities, but on our entire community.
Yet, out of this unspeakably dark moment in our history, Orlando has responded in ways that have amazed us all. We have joined hands with our neighbors, whether at a candlelight vigil, a prayer service or just across a meal, remembering that the love that joins us together is greater than any hate that can divide us. I have spent my entire life in Orlando and I have never been more proud to call it home.
On Leadership and the Future
In just the past few years, Orlando has seen incredible accomplishments. From the creation of SunRail, to the building of some of the country’s greatest venues, to Medical City, the addition of Orlando City Soccer and the USTA, and to one of the largest road projects in the United States (even if there are headaches and growing pains with that one!), we have a done great things together. And, as we have “cut the ribbon” on these projects, we do so knowing there is still more to do.
But running on past accomplishments alone isn’t and shouldn’t be good enough. It takes more than a resume to provide the type of leadership this city and our district needs and deserves. Orlando needs bold leadership with a vision for what we can still become. With your support, you can expect me to help shape our district and our city into one of the most tech friendly cities in America while also embracing our ‘main street’ and hometown feel. We can have both, and we need both.
I will continue to fight to keep our streets and our neighborhoods safe while respecting and proudly championing the diversity of our citizens. Each person has a special gift that can be woven into the fabric of Orlando. We need to remember that the strength of Orlando is that we are and will continue to become a “city for everyone.”
I will continue to fight to keep our taxes low while maintaining the top-notch city services, amenities, and capabilities that we have come to expect and deserve. Simply put—I will continue to fight for you, for our community, for this district, and for OUR city.
I will remain tireless in constituent services and response, providing you and our neighbors with real time information and answers to your questions and concerns. I hope over our years of friendship and work together I have proven to be someone you can trust and depend upon. I WILL NOT let you down.