Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer Speaks on Safety, Inclusion, and Opportunities at the Annual State of the City Address

By Jessica LaVigne

This morning, May 24th, Mayor Buddy Dyer addressed the city of Orlando about its current state, including recognitions and accomplishments over the past year, opportunities, and introducing “The Promise of Orlando”. 

“The Promise of Orlando is hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of individual stories that are being written in our community every single day”, said Mayor Dyer, “and those stories, our stories, are the measurement of the state of our city.”

We’ve seen many successes and challenges arise when it comes to the safety of Orlando residents, the building of small businesses, unemployment and homelessness, and inclusion initiatives. Mayor Dyer highlighted many of these, with hope for the future as the city continues to establish initiatives that improve the quality of life for Orlando residents and beyond.

A major topic included the success of small businesses and their individual stores, including one of several in Orlando that have received a well-renowned Michelin star for their delicious food - Kabooki Sushi. Orlando also leads the way in sustainability as one of the greenest cities in the Southeast U.S. by utilizing another small business - Kolumi. This company lights up Orlando with their lighting systems that are made of 100% recycled materials, use 80% less energy, and lasting twice as long as any other leading brand.

When it comes to individuals with a dream of starting their own business now or in the future, Mayor Dyer wanted to share a message on behalf of the City of Orlando.

“We’re not done when it comes to shaping Orlando as America’s premier community for opportunity. We want you to join us, to keep our momentum going!”

Mayor Buddy Dyer

Mayor Dyer continued onto the topic of inclusion, homelessness, and affordable housing. “Opportunity doesn’t belong to a particular zip code, it belongs to all of us”, he said. Every individual deserves compassion, respect, and every opportunity that Orlando has to offer. With this in mind, there are many projects in place, including Accelerate Orlando and home rehabilitation efforts, to bring some wonderful opportunities to the city beautiful.

The City of Orlando continuously looks ahead to the future, and what it can do to rise above challenges and bring opportunities to the forefront. As stated by Mayor Buddy Dyer, “...we choose collaboration and partnership over partisanship and division… We welcome everyone to take part in the incredible city we are building together and that’s because of The Promise of Orlando. Because of that promise, the state of our city is as strong as it’s ever been.” 

You can watch the whole speech on the City of Orlando’s YouTube channel here.


Speech Highlights and “The Promise of Orlando”:


  • Commitment to adding 20 new officers and eight new 911 dispatchers within the next year.

  • Prioritizing the importance of having an officer in every school within Orlando.

  • Expansion of the Community Response Team Program to help with incidents involving mental health and addiction, consisting of behavioral health specialists. So for this year, this team has responded to 2,000 service calls, saving 2,200 hours of police time.

  • With the reorganization of the Orlando Police Department, there have been an estimated 20% more officers on the streets/taking calls.

Opportunities for All

Small Businesses
  • Orlando has committed $7.5 Million to programs that will assist small businesses start and grow based in the city over the next year.

  • For the third year in a row, Orlando is ranked as one of the best cities in America to start a business.

  • The city has assisted more than 1,500 new businesses launch, with more than 10,000 jobs created within Orlando.

  • Orlando also wants to emphasize the support for minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs, with the city contributing $30 Million to these just last year.

Student Programs
  • Orlando plans to develop young students and kids, providing them with the essentials needed to hopefully contribute to the Orlando community later in life through the help of the Orlando Kids Zone. This will give kids access to academic support, mentoring, health and wellness programs, job skills, and more.

  • Last week, more than 100 high school seniors within the Parramore community graduated from the Orlando Kids Zone program. Due to its success, this program will now expand to Holden Heights, Mercy Drive, and Englewood Park.

Homelessness and Affordable Housing

  • Accelerate Orlando is an initiative that invests in the community to provide opportunity, through investing in the Christian Service Center, Salvation Army, and Coalition of the Homeless, “to modernize their campuses and better serve those experiencing homelessness.”

  • Alongside Accelerate Orlando, the city has made great strides in placing more than 1,600 people in the region into permanent, supportive housing with 97% remaining in those homes. 

  • In 2015 the city invested nearly $7 Million to purchase seven vacant, foreclosed, uninhabitable properties in the greater Washington Shores and Mercy Drive areas, with a goal to transform these sites into safe and affordable housing. This has resulted in 600 new housing units, with more than $115 Million in private investment (a return of nearly $16 for each dollar invested by the city).

  • In addition to this, the city has supported the construction/rehabilitation of more than 3,100 housing units either completed, in progress or planned since 2015.

Recreation and Sustainability

  • There have been continued investments in parks and neighborhood improvements, including playgrounds, fitness stations, and renovations to Lake Eola Park that will begin later this year.

  • The new Age Friendly Livability Plan aims to enhance the lives of Orlando residents at all ages, focusing on the expansion of services for adults aged 55+ within various neighborhood centers.

  • The brand new Brightline Orlando location allows residents to travel to various parts of South Florida, with trips beginning the first week of September.

Innovation in Lake Nona

  • In partnership with LYNX, the transportation company BEEP will expand to Downtown Orlando’s Creative Village.

  • SymCom, whose headquarters are located within Orlando, will expand to a brand new aviation training facility that will welcome 10,000 pilots annually.

  • The world’s largest tennis campus, USTA, just hosted all three NCAA tennis championships for the first time ever.

  • Tavistock, the main developer for Lake Nona, is investing $30 Million in startup space in the area to make it the Silicon Valley of startup sports.

The Orlando Real is sponsored by The Pozek Group. If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home in Orlando, reach out and we would love to help!

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