Commissioner Stuart – January 2020
As we begin a new year and a new decade in our Great City, it provides us all with an opportunity to refocus our efforts on ways we can make the world just a little better than we found it. Read on for some ways we are leveraging partnerships to do just that, and ideas for how you can help.
Last year ended with 2019 elections in the City of Orlando. Mayor Dyer, Commissioner Sheehan (District 4) and Commissioner Ortiz (District 2) were all re-elected for another term. In the open District 6 seat, non-profit executive Bakari Burns won in the run-off election and will be sworn into office alongside Mayor Dyer and the other commissioners on Monday, January 13th at 10 a.m. I look forward to working with the Mayor and Council on ways we can make a difference here in our city.
As we think of people who made the world a better place, we can all celebrate an influential leader, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. by participating in or attending this year’s downtown Orlando Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade sponsored by the Southwest Orlando Jaycees (swojaycees.org). This year’s parade takes place on Saturday, January 18th at 10 a.m.
If your New Year’s resolution is to get more involved, we have ideas for you! Here in Orlando, we have seen first-hand how a single individual can make a difference. If you are interested in a long-term volunteer opportunity, we have many citizen boards, appointed by the mayor, that advise our city in different capacities. For more information, to view current vacancies or to fill out an application, visit the City Clerk’s webpage, orlando.gov/cityclerk.
For those with a green thumb or who just like working outdoors, our Keep Orlando Beautiful and Green-Up Divisions have projects throughout the year where volunteers are needed. One of their most impressive events each year, Trash 2 Trends, is also their biggest fundraiser. It takes place this year on February 1st at 6:30 p.m. at Sea World’s Ports of Call. This fashion show with a twist showcases upcycled one-of-a-kind creations, which proves how one person’s trash can truly become another person’s treasure. This amazing night also helps educate the public about the importance of sustainability and the City’s commitment to reducing our environmental impact.
Our Orlando Police Department and our Emergency Information Center also utilize volunteers throughout their division. From answering phones during an emergency such as Hurricane Irma, to working at a special event, in the mounted patrol stables, performing clerical work, or mentoring area students, there are numerous ways that citizens assist our City’s public safety efforts. For more information on how to get involved, visit orlando.gov/volunteer.
If your resolution is to get out and be more active, we have many different amenities in our City parks. From disc golf courses at Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake to mountain biking at Lake Druid Park, there is something for everyone. Or visit one of our numerous community centers where you could work out in the gym, take a class- maybe in fencing or karate- or play in an athletic league. Visit orlando.gov/parks and orlando.gov/recreation for ideas and information.
One resolution we can all adopt is to help our Orlando Police Department prevent crime in our neighborhoods, especially when it comes to vehicle burglaries. Please remember to remove anything of value from plain sight (consider placing items in the trunk), regardless of how small it is. The majority of these crimes take place overnight in our area. If anyone has any video that they think will be helpful, especially with the widespread use of RING-type doorbells now, please call the police department so that we can view it.
If you see something, anyone, anything out of the ordinary, regardless of what time of day it is, say something by calling 911 or the non-emergency number, 321-235-5300.
If you have not joined a Neighborhood Watch group, please consider getting involved. Call 407-246-2369 for more information.
The new decade also brings with it the U.S. Census and everyone’s involvement is needed in the counting process. Since 1790, the United States has performed a census every 10 years to count every person living in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. It is mandated by the U.S. Constitution, and the 24th count will take place this year on April 1st. The results determine how federal funding flows to our community and how may seats in Congress we receive. For more information, visit 2020census.gov.
As we begin 2020, I look forward to joining all of you in making a few new resolutions and keeping some old ones, including my commitment to the Citizens of District 3. As you have probably heard me say, this is Your City, so thanks for giving of your time, energy and talents to make it a wonderful place to live, work, play and raise a family.