Community Trust and Equity Initiative

Students using computers in computer lab

Taking Action to Make Change and Increase Equity in Orlando

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and the City of Orlando remain committed to listening to our community and responding by making change and investments that ensure our residents are treated with dignity and respect.

We’ve increased investments in affordable housing, job training, education and economic development initiatives for minority and women-owned businesses, expanded youth and mentorship programs, improved police policy and increased transparency, and hired the city’s first equity official whose focus will be to provide an internal review of the city’s policies, programs and procedures to curb systemic inequities.

These investments align with our longstanding, shared effort to create a city where every resident is equally valued, equally protected and has equitable access to opportunities.

  • In early July 2020, we took action and made several significant changes to OPD policies to ban all choke holds, ban no-knock warrants and updated our Use of Force policy.

  • Refocused $4.5 million in funding from our FY20/21 budget to strengthen community policing efforts, enhance review and training for use of force and fund mental health assistance for officers.

  • The city has partnered with Aspire Health Partners on a Community Response Team pilot program. Through this program, behavioral health professionals are able to respond to some 911 calls for service. Learn more on the Community Response Team page.

  • In October 2020, the city began a year-long, independent, third-party analysis to recommend reforms of Orlando Police Department policies, training, operational practices, accountability systems and technology. This analysis was led by The Bowman Group and two national nonprofits committed to excellence in policing: CNA Institute for Public Research and Effective Law Enforcement for All. The Bowman Group presented their recommendations(PDF, 5MB) for reform to city council on August 23, 2021. These findings were presented as part of a workshop which included a presentation(PDF, 4MB) from The Bowman Group and a presentation(PDF, 7MB) from former Orlando Police Chief Rolón.

  • In October 2020, the city also established a partnership with Bethune-Cookman University Center for Law and Social Justice to launch a unique community engagement program in the Parramore and Washington Shores areas that will utilize interactive and scenario-based training for law enforcement officers together with local residents, youth, neighborhood and faith-based leaders.

  • Additional efforts by the Orlando Police Department include:
    • Police Accountability and Transparency
    • Police Operations
    • Police Training
    • Community Policing
  • In 2020, the city increased funding for our Families, Parks and Recreation budget to expand the Parramore Kidz Zone (PKZ) and My Brother’s Keeper programs.

  • The expansion of PKZ will add programs in three additional neighborhoods including Holden Heights, Mercy Drive and Engelwood in an effort to reach more at-risk youth in order to increase academic performance, reduce juvenile crime, and reduce teen pregnancies.

  • The expansion of the My Brother’s Keeper program will include four new neighborhoods in order to connect more of Orlando’s boys and young men of color with mentoring, support networks and skills to help them improve academic performance, increase employment opportunities and reduce incarceration.
  • In the Fiscal Year (FY) 20-21 budget the city allotted $22 million toward short and long-term affordable housing.

  • Additionally, the city and CRA are providing residents up to $100,000 in down payment assistance to make the homes even more affordable through city and CRA down payment assistance programs. 

  • In the last five years, the city has invested or committed more than $40 million to create or preserve housing options, a majority of the investment in West Orlando neighborhoods. This includes the construction or rehabilitation of more than 1,600 multifamily units and the construction of more than 150 new residences (single-family residences and duplexes) that provide opportunities for residents interested in pursuing the American dream of homeownership.
  • The city dedicated nearly $4 million in the FY 20-21 budget towards providing equitable opportunities to education and jobs.

  • The city is also providing up to $40,000 in grant funding through the Minority/Women Entrepreneur Business Assistance (MEBA) Program to help retain existing minority-owned businesses and to attract new minority-owned businesses in the Parramore area.
  • We have awarded $20.5 million in city contracts to Minority & Women Owned firms through the city’s Minority and Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) Office this current fiscal year.

  • The city continues to connect residents to careers in some of Orlando’s fastest growing industries including construction, distribution, advanced manufacturing, healthcare and transportation and logistics, through the city’s BluePrint 2.0 program.

  • Residents who are enrolled in one of more than 100 job and vocational training opportunities are eligible for a subsidy in the amount of $125 per week to cover the costs of housing, food and other needs.

  • The city is also investing a total of $300,000 in annual funding to the Black Business Investment Fund (BBIF) and Prospera to provide technical assistance to small minority-owned businesses. 
  • In 1972, the city hired its first human relations official, Albert Nelson, and a year later, passed our anti-discrimination ordinance. Since that time, various amendments, including sexual orientation protections, have been added to enhance the protections for residents. The Office of Human Relations promotes equality of opportunity for citizens of Orlando by advocating these policies of nondiscrimination and enforcing city and federal laws that prohibit discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodation.

  • In 2019, the city passed an LGBTQ+ business inclusion resolution that allows the city to develop a database of registered LGBTQ+-certified businesses that tracks city contracts and spending to ensure the inclusion of LGBTQ+-owned businesses in the city.
    Apply to be recognized as an LGBTQ+ owned business.

  • The Office of Multicultural Affairs also oversees the Hispanic Office for Local Assistance (HOLA) which welcomes newcomers from around the world to our community by connecting them to resources and services to find jobs, housing, healthcare, and education.

As we remain committed to continue to build on these actions and engage the community, this page will reflect those updates. Additionally, beginning in November 2020, we will email updates to those interested, as well as hold community meetings and public forums, which will also be posted on this page. 

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