Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer Highlights a Downtown Built for the Future

Last updated on December 06, 2018

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer Highlights a Downtown Built for the Future, Providing a Pathway for Prosperity for Everyone

December 6, 2018 – ORLANDO, FL – Today, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer delivered his annual State of Downtown address at the Amway Center highlighting the community’s work together over the past 16 years to revitalize Parramore and fuel downtown Orlando’s resurgence through investments in education.

As part of this year’s address and to help tell this story, Mayor Dyer incorporated two young adults, Raysean Brown and Julian Harris, who grew up in Parramore and neighboring Pine Hills, and who are now working together with the city of Orlando to help shape the future of Parramore’s youth and downtown Orlando.

“Raysean and Julian’s stories are living proof that education can change lives, change neighborhoods, change entire downtowns and cities,” said Mayor Dyer.

Highlighting the new UCF and Valencia College campus in Creative Village, Mayor Dyer noted, “This is an urban campus that has been built with, and for, the residents of Parramore and our entire city.”

From UCF offering 20 of the most-sought after undergraduate degrees, to Valencia’s world-class culinary and hospitality school and Center for Accelerated Training, to FAMU law school, the ACE community school in Parramore and the city’s Parramore Kidz Zone and after-school programs, Mayor Dyer noted these pathways to education are the very definition of opportunity.

“Whether you have eight weeks to make your life better, or you want to spend eight years getting your undergraduate and law degrees, or something in between, all of this is now possible in the same village in Downtown Orlando,” said Mayor Dyer.  “And this all adds up to a new kind of commitment to anyone in our community who wants to leverage education to make their lives better.”

In closing, Mayor Dyer remarked, “If we succeed in bringing [this] vision to life, then we will have succeeded in creating a downtown that’s built to last, a downtown that’s built to own the future, a downtown that’s built to provide a pathway for prosperity for every single person in our city who is willing to work for it.  That is a future for our downtown that we can all be excited about.”

More information on highlights and focuses for the future Mayor Dyer noted in his speech, included:

A Place to Grow, Learn and Thrive

  • Since the launch of the city’s Parramore Kidz Zone in 2006, juvenile arrests in Parramore have decreased by nearly 70 percent and for the third year in a row, all of the program’s seniors graduated from high school and enrolled in college, the military or trade school.
  • Starting next year, Parramore residents can take advantage of Valencia College’s new Center for Accelerated Training. Through a program that takes as little as eight weeks to complete, adults can potentially go from not having a high school diploma to getting the skills to get some of the most in-demand jobs in industries like construction and advanced manufacturing. 

A Place Where People Want to and Can Live

  • The city and Community Redevelopment Agency have committed more than $12 million to increase the housing inventory for residents at all income levels to live in Parramore and downtown Orlando.
  • Current projects include partnering to build nearly 500 new multifamily housing units, constructing 57 new single family homes and providing up to $100,000 in down payment assistance for residents.

Addressing Community Challenges

  • Today, Mayor Dyer announced the city is launching a text-to-give campaign called “Give Smart Orlando.”
  • The campaign will provide another option that allows residents, workers and visitors to direct dollars that might typically be given to a panhandler to support non-profits that are part of the region’s Housing First initiative.
  • Starting today, people can text “Give Smart” to 8-5-5-1-1 to help change behaviors around panhandling and help create real, lasting change in the lives of homeless in the Central Florida region.

Watch Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer’s 2018 State of Downtown Address at —youtu.be/znPBPn0hE_I.

Watch Raysean Brown and Julian Harris talk about the impact of education on their lives and the young people in Parramore at – youtu.be/T4-DCWcaRPA.

Additional photos from the Mayor’s State of the Downtown Address are available upon request. To request, please contact Karyn Barber, City of Orlando Public Information Officer, at karyn.barber@orlando.gov.