Oath of Office

4 Result(s) Found

June 1, 2012
Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre
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On February 22nd, 2003, I was sworn in as Mayor of Orlando in a ceremony much the like one we are having today. Nearly a decade later, I am humbled that our residents have seen fit to keep me on the job, working with them every day to make our City the best place anywhere to live, work and raise a family.

I’m also grateful for the confidence that our residents have shown in me, by entrusting this administration with the leadership of our City for another four years. In preparation for today’s event, I dusted off the first speech I ever gave as Mayor. On my first day on the job, I said: “My hope is the history books will reflect that the Dyer Administration asked citizens to imagine a great City and created just that.” Friends, over the last ten years… we have done exactly that.
We dreamed of new ways to make our beloved city even better. We tapped into the power of partnership like never before to make those dreams a reality and in doing so, we wrote a bold new chapter in the history of Orlando, the City Beautiful!

When I look back at that first oath of office and the shared vision we laid out for our community… I am filled with awe at what we have been able to accomplish. On that first day, we said diversifying our economy beyond our tourism base and creating quality, high paying jobs for our residents was a top priority. Those job creation engines are in place in the form of the Medical City at Lake Nona, our main street small business districts, our entrepreneurial incubators, our leading educational institutions and what will, in the years ahead, become Orlando’s Creative Village.

Through these initiatives we have laid the foundation for a 21st century economy and become what national publications call, “One of the most business-friendly cities in America.”
Today, three of our powerhouse industry sectors… Modeling, Simulation and Training… Life Sciences and Biotechnology… and Digital Media contribute an annual economic impact of nearly 15 billion dollars and are responsible for employing 51-thousand residents.
In just the last few years we have been recognized as:

  • Entrepreneur Magazine’s Number One City in America for Entrepreneurship
  • Inc. Magazine’s Top “Hot Spot” for job creation among companies with 100 employees or less.
  • The least expensive City in America to open a business.
  • And, America’s number one “Hot Bed for High Tech Growth.”

On that first day, we committed to making sure that everyone in our City had greater access to education and opportunity. So, we worked with businesses to adopt the City’s first living wage ordinance, to make it easier for working men and women to support their families. We established 12 voluntary pre-kindergarten classes in the City. And, we created the Blueprint Program to make sure that Orlando’s residents benefited from our construction projects in the form of jobs, contracts and job training. On that first day, we focused on revitalizing Downtown Orlando.

A decade ago, Downtown was described by many as a blighted “ghost town,” a center City that had lost its identity along with many of its residents and visitors. Through a number of citizen task forces, our community set to work engineering one of the most dramatic turnarounds, of any urban core in America. We doubled our skyline in less than five years. We increased our Downtown tax base by more than 50 percent and saw more than six hundred new businesses open their doors, which are still operating today. We helped shepherd more than 1.7 billion dollars of investment in our Downtown core. We also secured the largest public, private building project in Central Florida history, giving our residents access to world class sports, arts and entertainment, and the corresponding economic impact derived from those activities.

On that first day, we committed to restoring Parramore. Orlando’s historic African American neighborhood had been in decline for decades and had become notorious for crime and drugs.
Nearly seven years after we established Pathways for Parramore, crime in the neighborhood has been reduced dramatically through community policing, bike patrols, IRIS cameras and neighborhood watch groups. We also worked to stabilize the neighborhood by encouraging home ownership through the addition of new and rehabilitated homes… along with the construction of more than 100 new rental housing units.

And, we launched the Parramore Kidz Zone, which helped reduce juvenile arrests in the neighborhood by 80 percent. PKZ also provided young people in the neighborhood with access to tutoring, resulting in a dramatic increase in FCAT scores. Our first group of those PKZ students are enrolled in college.

On that first day, we stressed the critical need to focus on transportation and giving our residents options outside of their automobiles. After nearly 25 years of failed attempts to secure a public rail transit system, we were finally able to begin construction on SunRail, Central Florida’s first commuter rail line. We also put plans in place to expand LYMMO, Downtown’s free bus circulator, to Parramore and Thornton Park and worked to increase ridership on our LYNX bus system. And, last year LYNX hit record ridership of 28 million passengers. We also established an intelligent transportation system, which provides route guidance and emergency information for Downtown motorists, making it easier and safer to navigate our Downtown core.

On that first day, this administration inherited a 23 million dollar budget shortfall. So, we laid out a plan to fix the budget without raising taxes and without cutting police and fire protection while also putting measures in place to make our finances more accountable and transparent.

We didn’t just keep that promise, we went beyond it. Ten years later, taxes are lower than they were on that day and our residents pay the lowest tax rate of any major city in Florida.
Today, we have more police officers and firefighters per thousand residents than any other major city in Florida. We’ve reduced the overall number of employees everywhere else, with the only new spending going towards police and fire protection. We did all this without draining our reserves. The result of this hard work is that we are now in the best financial shape of any major city in Florida.

Now, things didn’t always happen like we planned. We have had our share of challenges and disappointments over the last ten years. We certainly have not been immune to a national recession that has crippled cities across the country. We had to adjust on the fly. We had to scale back some projects and reduce some services. We had to shrink the size of our City government and make sure we lived within our means.

Through it all, we were able to keep our vision for the future moving forward. The result of our perseverance is that people are talking about Orlando as the place that is primed to recover stronger and faster than anywhere else.

The successes of the past decade are important. They have shaped the City we live in now and the City that we will be a generation from now. But, we must remember that success isn’t a destination; it’s a direction.

On April 3rd, this City held an election for Mayor and our City Commissioners. The result was extremely gratifying because it was built on votes from every corner of our community by a diverse group of people who believe that a common set of challenges can only be overcome by a common set of solutions. In my mind, our residents didn’t so much cast a vote for me and the City commissioners on this stage… as they voted to keep this City going in the direction we have laid out, together. In order to “Keep it going,” we need to see the major projects and initiatives we just talked about through, not just to completion, but into a place of prosperity.
Keeping it going also means being relentless in the fight against crime.

While we’ve worked hard to dramatically reduce violent crime in our City over the past few years, property crimes like burglary continue to rise. This is simply unacceptable. So, we are launching a concentrated effort to boost police presence in all of our neighborhoods.

Starting today, all Orlando Police Department personnel, from the Police Chief to all specialized units and the patrol officers will spend time patrolling neighborhoods. This “all hands on deck” approach sends a clear message to these criminals: If you are committing crimes and breaking into our homes. OPD is going to catch you. I am also asking our residents to remain vigilant, and to stay involved in your own neighborhood’s safety by calling police to report suspicious activity.

Keeping it going means continuing to invest in our strong, diverse neighborhoods, the lifeblood of our community. It means focusing on our quality of life: the arts, parks, ball fields, playgrounds and green space. It means encouraging ridership on SunRail and giving residents the multi-modal transit options that connect with and compliment our commuter rail system like the expansion of the free Downtown circulator, LYMMO. Keeping it going means attracting more new companies and growing our own jobs in the industries of the future. It means maintaining our investment in Downtown Orlando, our region’s social and economic hub. It means completing the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and finding a way to refurbish the Citrus Bowl so we don’t lose out on the bowl games and the massive economic impact the facility creates every year. It means continuing, as a City government, to be as careful with a dollar as the families in our City.
Finally, keeping it going means using one of the biggest advantages we have as a City and a region… Partnership.

One of the major reasons we have been able to keep the promises we made a decade ago… is because of unparalleled partnership in Central Florida. This community has been able to bring people together and offer those people a voice in the shaping of their future in a way that simply does not exist in other cities. This “culture of collaboration” is a strategic advantage that we possess as we look to grow jobs and attract companies and compete with cities around the world.

The credit for this collaborative spirit goes to everyone who calls Orlando home. It goes to our City Commissioners. It goes to our Orange County commissioners and County Mayor, who I am committed to working with to overcome the common challenges we face. The credit goes to our Police officers and firefighters. It goes to the dedicated members of our City family who serve our residents. It goes to our elected leaders from across Central Florida, from local governments to our state and federal leaders. The credit goes to our faith-based community. It goes to our civic leaders and business community. It goes to our arts community, who today is celebrating the one year anniversary of the commencement of construction on the Dr. Phillips Center. It goes to our educational institutions, the University of Central Florida and Valencia College.

Most of all, it goes to our residents whose passion for the City Beautiful is the reason I wake up every day excited about going into work and excited about the future of Orlando. Yes, we have done so much. But, we still have work to do. So today, we recommit ourselves to keep it going!

God Bless America.

And, God Bless the City of Orlando.

Thank you.

January 11, 2016
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
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I want to thank everybody for coming today.

I especially want to thank my two predecessors, Mayor Frederick and Mayor Hood, who laid the foundation for so many of the transformational accomplishments we have achieved over the last decade, including this very special venue.

This is the fifth time that I have had the privilege of taking the oath as Mayor of Orlando. Every time, someone inevitably asks, is today your favorite day as Mayor.

Today IS one of my favorite days. But the best days to be Mayor are days like last Tuesday, when we started the demolition of some long-time dilapidated apartments that will transform the West Lakes neighborhood with new mixed-income housing.

Or getting the opportunity to speak with residents as they experience the Amway Center, the Citrus Bowl or the Dr. Phillips Center for the very first time.

Or when we celebrate our diversity, our equality and our fairness like last January when I helped marry 44 couples on the steps of City Hall.

Or when we cut the ribbon on a new business celebrating entrepreneurs fulfilling their dreams.

Or when hundreds of people unite in our effort to end homelessness by combing the streets to identify our homeless veterans. Which oh by the way, our community can now say virtually all of the region’s chronically homeless veterans are now in housing.

As Mayor, what makes me most proud, is that here in Orlando, for us, our best days are when we come together as residents, business, not for profits and governments to realize projects and initiatives that are shaping the future of our City.

I am inspired because I know that Orlando’s best days are still ahead of us … and that’s why you’ve heard me say time and time again that I am as passionate today as when I first took office … and I know that you are too.

That’s why together we will continue the transformation of our City by:

  • Leading the Southeast as the most sustainable City
  • Making it easier to get around by expanding our transportation options like SunRail to LYMMO
  • Uplifting our residents by ending homelessness and providing safe and affordable housing
  • Creating jobs for everyone in places like our Main Streets, Creative Village and Medical City at Lake Nona
  • Investing in the latest technology to provide both internal efficiencies and better municipal services to our residents
  • Fulfilling the vision of Project DTO by enhancing our sports, entertainment and arts offerings Downtown
  • And ensuring our neighborhoods remain safe and vibrant places

With this momentum, Orlando is a beacon of opportunity where businesses choose to locate and people from around the globe want to call home.

This isn’t a journey I have taken alone. Each and every accomplishment is due to the leadership, commitment and dedication of this City Council. Because of your work we have been able to celebrate our City’s accomplishments together. I couldn’t have picked better partners.

Commissioner Gray, Commissioner Ortiz, Commissioner Stuart, Commissioner Sheehan, Commissioner Hill and Commissioner Ings. Thank you.

While as elected officials we get to represent the City, our City employees work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that we are able to make our vision a reality while maintaining the best-in-class municipal services. Thank you for always meeting and exceeding our high expectations.

But to get to where we are, it takes more than just City government.

It takes a culture of collaboration and partnerships. And I want to thank each and everyone of you. Our business community, our Civic and faith-based organizations, our non-profit and arts community, our universities and educational institutions, Mayor Jacobs and our partners at Orange County, our regional partners in Osceola, Seminole and Volusia County. Thank you.

I want to thank my family, for their love and support on this journey.

And thank you to the residents of Orlando for entrusting me to serve for another four years. I’m proud to be Mayor of Orlando, the best City in America. I am Orlando Proud!

Thank you.
God bless the City of Orlando
And God bless America.

January 13, 2020
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
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Good morning,

It is humbling beyond measure to share in this ceremony with all of you... and to take the oath of office for mayor for the 6th time.

While I may be the one in the spotlight... this day is not about me.

It’s about US.

It’s about a group that came together 17 years ago and said Orlando can, and must be, more... and then set to work to create a better future for our City... and everyone who calls it home.

It’s about how that group has grown... year after year... as a diverse spectrum of residents have come to our table of partnership... adding their time, talents, unique perspectives and ideas to our shared mission and vision.

It’s about everyone who has worked so hard to turn our vision into reality... and to constantly challenge the status quo.

More than anything.... today is about everyone who loves our City!

Because when it all comes down to it... love is the great intangible.

Love is our greatest strength.

Love... our love for Orlando... is what makes us different and makes us special.

Love is what makes us go the extra mile.

Love is what tells us what should and shouldn’t be a priority.

And, love is what will serve as the driving force behind our City’s successes... today, tomorrow and for years to come!

We’re so grateful that our community has emphatically chosen to continue the journey we started together 17 years ago.

We have so much to be proud of.

We have so much to be thankful for.

But, as we are fond of saying... success is not a destination.

It’s a direction.

And, we have so much more to accomplish, together.

So, today, we are asking all our partners to recommit themselves to the ambitious vision we have for our City.

  • To continuing to diversify our economy and create the careers and companies of tomorrow. Remember, 85 percent of the jobs that our residents will have just ten years from now haven’t even been invented yet. We want those high-quality careers of tomorrow to be pioneered in Orlando, to be an engine for prosperity and quality of life.
  • To extending opportunity to everyone who is willing to work hard and pursue their own version and vision of the American dream. That’s why we’re so focused on workforce development programs and partnerships that extend the ladder of opportunity to everyone.
  • To expanding transportation options, so that every resident has a reliable and affordable transit option they need.
  • To having a community where diversity and inclusion is fundamental to who we are.
  • To solving big, important challenges like affordable housing and homelessness to ensure that anyone who wants to live in our city CAN live in our city.
  • To making Orlando one of the most sustainable cities in the world... to showcasing how a modern city can protect our environment and our natural resources... and still have a robust economy.
  • To own the future.... to be a City where innovation is part of everything we do... and where we leverage technology for the betterment of us all.
  • Simply put... to continue building the best City anywhere on earth for everyone... EVERYONE... to live, work, learn, play and raise a family!

I’d like to recognize a few specific individuals.

First, our City Commissioners.

Commissioner Sheehan... congratulations on your reelection for your 6th term representing the residents of district 4.

Commissioner Ortiz was also reelected this year, congratulations to you and for the confidence the residents of district 2 continue to show in you.

Congratulations to our new District 6 Commissioner Bakari Burns... welcome to our City government... we are excited to work with you.

Commissioner Gray... Commissioner Stuart... and Commissioner Hill... thank you for your continued service.

Commissioners, you are all the best partners that any mayor in America has... and it is a distinct honor to work with you each and every day as we serve our residents.

Next, I want to recognize our City employees... the members of our “City Family” as we call them.

Often times... the focus of our City tends to be on its leadership.

We want our residents to know that every single day... there is an army of people working for them.

Making sure their trash gets picked up.

Keeping our city clean.

Helping businesses and entrepreneurs succeed.

Providing after school and summer programs for your kids.

Making sure we have incredible public spaces and parks to gather with friends and family.

Keeping us all safe.

And that is just to name a few things.

There are so many things that our City family members do for our residents that go unnoticed... but that work is the absolute foundation of our great City.

Our City family members don’t often get the credit they deserve... but I want to take a special moment today and make sure that they feel the love.

So, Commissioners would you please stand with me and salute and applaud all of our City employees for their unwavering dedication and service to our community!

Finally, we must thank every single individual at our table of partnership... everyone who continues to believe in the work we are doing together.

Thank you for the confidence you continue to show in our government.

Thank you for your partnership.

Partnership and the love we share for Orlando, our City Beautiful, can take us anywhere we want to go!

We are excited to continue that journey, together!

Thank you everyone.

God bless America.

And, God bless Orlando.

January 8, 2024
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
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Good morning, everyone. I want to thank each and every one of you for being here. 

You are all witnesses to an event which is part of entering office for virtually every elected position in the United States, from local office all the way to President.

On its face, the Oath of Office is the formal process by which we swear-in someone who has just been elected to public office. But, this event is about much more than just process.

It’s about much more than just putting a hand on a bible and reciting words. In Orlando... the Oath of Office is about Promise and Partnership.

It’s a promise each of us makes... to treat both the challenges and opportunities of every single person who calls our city home... as if they were our own.

And, it’s a commitment to work on behalf of people we see every day... as well as those we’ll never have the privilege to meet... to build a city that creates pathways for prosperity for everyone.

Fulfilling that promise... that’s where partnership comes in. You see... if there is one overarching lesson I’ve learned since the first oath of office ceremony we took part in together 21 years ago, it’s this:

We may take the Oath of Office as individuals.

But, creating a vision for the future... and bringing that vision to life... cannot be done alone. It can only be accomplished through the power of partnership and collaboration!


For the last 21 years... our beloved City Beautiful has been a living testament to what’s possible when people are willing to put aside their differences... their politics... their biases... and their personal agendas... in favor of the collective good.

It hasn’t always been easy. When I was first elected to office, it’s fair to say our community was fractured.

In those early days, we found a way to rally around a shared vision for a revitalized Downtown... the creation of the UCF Medical School and the Medical City…and of course our Community Venues.

And, by the way... isn’t this an amazing venue we’re in today? Our Dr. Phillips Center’s Steinmetz Hall was also recently recognized by Architectural Digest as one of the eleven most beautiful theaters in the world.


Bringing these big, audacious projects to life through the power of partnership served as a catalyst for other big advances… year... after year... after year.

And the unity we relied upon to bring those projects to life helped us achieve even more big, bold pursuits... and overcome unforeseen challenges.

We eventually brought a regional commuter rail system to life with SunRail. We established Creative Village and the UCF and Valencia Downtown Campus.

We helped foster an environment where thousands of new businesses were born... and hundreds of thousands of quality jobs were created. With our partners at OUC we met the challenge of creating the most sustainable community in the southeast.

We established an incredible partnership that brought Major League Soccer to our city with the Orlando City Lions and then the Pride at Exploria Stadium.

We rallied together to endure economic downtowns and once-in-a-generation pandemics.

Of course... when tragedy struck in 2016 at the Pulse Nightclub, we showed the world what it means to truly love one another.

While all these accomplishments and challenges are different, the common thread that unites them all is partnership. It’s also vital to note that we accomplished all of this at a time when other cities, states and our entire country were becoming more divided.

A major reason for this has also been collaboration between our local governments in Central Florida – in particular, with our friends at Orange County.

I assure you... this is not the norm across much of our country. And it’s a huge credit to Mayor Demings and so many other local elected officials in our Central Florida community.


Even right now... as we gather to renew our promise to Orlando... we’re doing it at a time when our country seems as divided as ever... as angry as ever... as partisan as ever.

But, here is what I know with every fiber of my being... I KNOW there is so much more that unites us... than divides us as Americans. If we remind ourselves of this constantly... anything is possible.

If we remain open to the perspectives and opinions of others... anything is possible. And, if we treat all people with dignity and respect - even those we disagree with - anything is possible.

So, it’s my hope that here in Orlando... here in our City Beautiful... we can continue to be different and be the unique exception.

It’s my hope that we can continue to show what’s possible when we are able to remain united despite our differences.

I cannot begin to tell you how humbled I am to have been entrusted with the leadership of our city once again. And, I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am of what we’ve accomplished TOGETHER... and what I know we’re going to accomplish in the weeks and months ahead!


If you’ll indulge me just a few more moments to specifically recognize and thank some of our partners. First and foremost... our talented and dedicated City of Orlando family. Would every City staff member here please stand up.

The Orlando we have today is a direct result of your hard work and dedication. There is no better team of City employees anywhere on earth than here.

Thank you, thank you, thank you... for everything you do for our city and residents every day.

We want to recognize and thank our City Commissioners. No Mayor has better partners than these six individuals. Commissioners:

  • Jim Gray
  • Tony Ortiz
  • Robert Stuart
  • Patty Sheehan
  • Regina Hill and
  • Bakari Burns

To everyone that represents our business community... our civic organizations... and our faith-based community... you are the life blood of our city.

Thank you for your unwavering commitment to investing in... and partnering with... our City.

And... to our residents... everyone who has made a choice to live in our city... to follow their dreams here... thank you for making Orlando the most special city on earth.

Finally... my wife Susie... my two sons Trey and Drew... and my mother are here today.

I’d like to thank them for their unwavering love and support.


It’s a new year in Orlando. And at times it feels like so much is changing all around us as we enter 2024... that there are so many reasons to feel anxious and uneasy about the future.

But, I know... WE KNOW... that if we remain united... if we remain steadfast in our commitment to partnership... that the future is ours for the taking.... that anything we envision – together - is possible!

Thank you.

God Bless America.

And, God Bless Orlando!

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