ORLANDO, FLORIDA – Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer announced that he plans to run for re-election as he concluded his 2015 “State of the City” speech before an overflow crowd Wednesday morning at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.
“My journey here is not done yet,” Dyer told the crowd. “There is so much more that we can accomplish together. But I can promise you this: My passion for Orlando is larger today than it’s ever been.”
Dyer’s 30 minute speech focused on generating high quality jobs, sustainability, transportation, ending homeless, public safety, City for everyone, and efficient government as his outlined some of the city’s biggest accomplishments.
“We opened this amazing facility, we reconstructed our Orlando Citrus Bowl, secured a Major League Soccer team and broke ground on their stadium, added eight iconic sculptures downtown, kicked off SunRail and started planning a downtown UCF-Valencia campus,” he said.
State funds for that new soccer stadium are in limbo as the Florida Legislature’s impasse on the state’s budget grinds on. Mayor Dyer also addressed homelessness. He said since 2011, Central Florida has seen a 57 percent reduction in veteran homelessness. He said he wants to end veteran homelessness completely by the end of this year.
Dyer also spoke about new initiatives with the Orlando Police department, which will include more community outreach and the deployment of body cameras.
The goal is to create a mutual trust and respect between the officers and the community, in light of two OPD officers recently being punished for using excessive force and the state of police relations nationwide.
“We have seen on a national level what happens when divides form between police and communities and it is important that we take proactive measures to insure that doesn’t happen here,” said Dyer.
According to Dyer, the City of Orlando has worked to become one of the most sustainable cities in America to ensure that we protect our natural resources and amenities for our residents and future generations to come. In his speech, Dyer declared Orlando is the most sustainable City in the Southeast. He pointed to Greener Buildings, Greener Fleet, Increasing Recycling, Reducing Food Waste, Reducing City Energy Costs, and Electric Vehicles. Dyer also announced the launch of one person, one tree campaign to increase our canopy from 25% to 40% by 2040.
“Protecting our natural resources is key to sustainability in America,” Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor Daisy Morales told the Florida National News, who also attended Mayor Dyer’s State of the City Address. I support Mayor Dyer’s efforts to turn neighborhoods into EcoDistricts and would like to see this program implemented across Orange County, expressed Morales, a first time elected official elected to countywide office.
There’s a proposal moving forward to hold city elections this November instead of next year.